Oct. 26, 2017
By Leigh Torbin
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The No. 14/10 Notre Dame men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams have charged up the bi-weekly CSCAA national rankings to a pair of school record highs. The Irish (3-1, 2-0 ACC) aim to scale similar heights on a conference level in February when the team competes in the Atlantic Coast Conference championship meet. More immediately and locally, the Irish will look to be the best in the Hoosier state the next two weeks, starting with a meet Friday afternoon at No. 23/16 Purdue.
The Boilermakers will be the third ranked foe for the Irish out of the first five dual meets. Tomorrow’s 5 p.m. meet at the Burke Aquatic Center in West Lafayette is the first of two straight in-state challenges. The Irish follow it up with a Nov. 9 tri-meet at No. 1/8 Indiana that also includes Cincinnati.
“We are looking forward to travelling to West Lafayette and competing against a strong Purdue squad,” Irish head coach Mike Litzinger said. “Purdue is coming off of a great win versus South Carolina, and we will have our work cut out for us.
“Our team is getting in a great racing groove and we hope to keep our momentum going. Not only will we be facing a challenge in the racing course, but our divers will be tested to their maximum. Purdue boasts several U.S. National Team members on the boards, and we will need to be focused. As always, whenever we match up with a Big Ten team, you can guarantee it will be a great meet.”
About the Boilermakers
Purdue stands at 2-0 on the year for both genders, defeating Miami (Ohio) on the road and South Carolina at home. Olympic silver medalist Steele Johnson has already been named the Big Ten’s Male Diver of the Week twice this young season for Purdue. In the women’s meet against the Gamecocks, Kaersten Meitz won three events, the 200, 500 and 1000 freestyle, while also helping the Boilermakers’ triumphant 400 freestyle relay team.
A year ago at the Rolfs Aquatic Center, the Irish men and women both defeated Purdue with the men claiming a 165-135 victory and the women winning, 190-110, in a meet that also included Miami (Florida) and Rutgers. The Irish had five dual individual winners on that evening, all of whom are still at Notre Dame in Abbie Dolan, Meaghan O’Donnell, Justin Plaschka, Nikki Smith and Rob Whitacre.
Notre Dame is 1-0 this young season against Big Ten foes, downing Michigan State for each gender in a Oct. 13 meet which also included current No. 11/5 Texas A&M.
Leigh Torbin, athletics communications assistant director at the University of Notre Dame, has been part of the Fighting Irish athletics communications team since 2013. A native of Framingham, Massachusetts, Torbin graduated from the University of Massachusetts in 1998 with a bachelor’s degree in sports management. He has previously worked full-time on the athletic communications staffs at Vanderbilt, Florida, Connecticut and UCF.