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Ashley Twichell
Courtesy: Duke Photography
Ashley Twichell
Duke Swimmers Start Strong at U.S. Olympic Trials
Thursday 06/26/2012  -  Duke Sports Information
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OMAHA, Neb. - The first two days of action at the U.S. Olympic Trials saw several current and former Blue Devils turn in lifetime best performances against the top swimmers in the country.

Former All-American and 2011 graduate Ashley Twichell paced the legion of current and former Duke swimmers competing in Omaha, finishing 18th in Tuesday morning's 400-meter freestyle preliminaries. Twichell tapped the wall in a lifetime-best 4:12.69 to drop nearly three seconds from her seed time, and improved from the 48th-fastest seed time to the 18th-fastest time in the field.

Tuesday morning's session also included an impressive performance by All-ACC honoree Christine Wixted in the 100 breaststroke. Wixted took 25th in a field of 152 swimmers with a lifetime-best 1:10.02 clocking, moving up 38 spots from her 63rd-place seeding. Meanwhile, rising sophomore Megan McCarroll recorded a time of 1:04.87 in the 100 backstroke to finish 123rd in the nation.

Two current Blue Devils posted lifetime-bests in the preliminary heats of the men's 100 breaststroke on Monday, with rising senior Jim Zuponeck taking 47th at 1:03.55 to move up 15 spots from his seeding. Rising junior Hunter Knight also improved upon his seeding, placing 70th with a time of 1:04.19.

Knight is set to return to the water on Thursday, June 28 in the prelims of the 200 breaststroke, while Wixted will swim the women's 200 breaststroke in Friday morning's preliminaries. Friday's events will also include rising seniors Ted Minturn and Cara Vogel in the preliminary heats of the 200 backstroke.   

The 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials - Swimming continue through Monday, July 2 in Omaha.

For a complete list of events and results visit www.usaswimming.org.

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