Feb. 13, 2018
by Tony Jones
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Championship season has finally arrived for the University of Notre Dame women’s swimming and diving team. The No. 19 Irish, along with members of the Notre Dame men’s diving team, arrive in Greensboro, North Carolina, in search of greatness at the 2018 Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Swimming and Diving Championships from Feb. 14-17 at the Greensboro Aquatic Center.
Competition begins on Wednesday with women’s 1-meter diving, men’s 3-meter diving, the 200 medley relay and the 800 freestyle relay. Events set for Thursday include the 500 freestyle, the 200 IM, the 50 freestyle, the 200 freestyle relay and men’s 1-meter diving. Friday sees the 100 butterfly, 400 IM, 200 freestyle, 100 breaststroke, 100 backstroke, the 400 medley relay and women’s 3-meter diving. The final day of racing on Saturday features the 200 backstroke, 100 freestyle, 200 breaststroke, 200 butterfly, the 1650 freestyle, platform diving and the 400 freestyle relay.
“This will be a very exciting ACC Championships for our team,” Notre Dame head coach Mike Litzinger said. “These women have swum/dove together all season, combining their talents to become one of the NCAA’s rising programs. Now it is the time to prove that on the championship stage.”
Irish Look To Repeat Strong 2017 ACC Showing
Notre Dame looks to build upon a strong foundation that was set at the 2017 ACC Championships in Atlanta. The Irish, who placed seventh overall with 654.50 points at the 2017 conference meet, set eight program records during competition last February.
Erin Sheehan placed third in the 100 butterfly with a time of 52.22 at last year’s championships, which remains a school record. Abbie Dolan added individual school records in the 100 freestyle (48.93, later broken with a time of 48.70 at NCAAs) and 200 freestyle (1:44.65) during her standout freshman campaign.
Where The Irish Rank In The ACC Top 20 This Season
Entering the women’s ACC Championships this week, a number Notre Dame performers find themselves with times amongst the fastest 20 swimmers in the conference. Nearly all of the following swims fell within NCAA B-cut standards.
Abbie Dolan ranks 18th in the ACC in the 50 freestyle with a time of 22.66 that was set at the Shamrock Invitational, ninth in the 100 freestyle with a time of 48.94 set in a dual with No. 9 Louisville, and seventh in the 200 freestyle with a time of 1:45.90 at the Ohio State Fall Open Invitational. Elsewhere in freestyle events, Lindsay Stone has delivered the ninth-fastest 500 free time (4:45.10) and Molly Treble the 10th-fastest readout (4:45.18) in the conference this season, with both marks set at the Ohio State Fall Invitational. Stone also ranks fifth in the 1650 freestyle with a time of 16:12.78 at the Shamrock Invitational, and Treble sits in ninth in the event with a time of 16:29.36 at the Ohio State Fall Invitational.
In the 100 backstroke, Carly Quast has posted the third-fastest time in the conference with a time of 52.27 at the Ohio State Fall Invitational. Alice Treuth ranks eighth with a time 52.84 at Ohio State, whole Sofia Revilak added a time of 53.62 for 18th in Columbus. Treuth has posted the number seven time of the year at 1:54.77 in the 200 backstroke at Ohio State, while Quast sits 19th after a time of 1:56.42 set in Columbus.
Alyssa Storino holds the fastest Notre Dame time in the 100 breaststroke this season, ranking sixth in the ACC with a time of 1:00.85. Meaghan O’Donnell has posted the eighth-fastest time in the 100 breast with an effort of 1:01.27 at the Ohio State Fall Invitational. Storino holds down the 14th slot in the 200 breaststroke with a time of 2:14.06, with O’Donnell in 19th at a top time of 2:14.83.
In the 100 butterfly, Notre Dame record holder Erin Sheehan ranks 13th in the ACC this season with a time of 53.47. Cailey Grunhard sits 14th with a time of 53.49, with Rachel Wittmer in 16th (53.76) and Nicole Smith in 19th (53.82). In the 200 butterfly, Smith paces the Irish with a fifth-place time of 1:57.01. Katie Rentz is slotted 19th with a time of 2:00.66.
“I am looking forward to having this group excelling together, feeding off each other’s performances and taking that next step to the NCAA meet,” Litzinger said.”
Key Irish Victories Have Powered Season’s Success
A stellar 11-1 mark in dual meets guided Notre Dame to the 2018 ACC Championships this week in Greensboro. The Irish have top-25 wins against No. 9 Louisville (181.50-118.50) on Oct. 7, No. 23 Purdue (163-137) on Oct. 27, No. 9 Indiana (123-120) on Nov. 9, and No. 25 Florida State (193-160) on Jan. 20 under their belt entering championship season.
In addition to the key dual victories, Notre Dame took first place at the competitive Shamrock Invitational on Jan. 26-27 at the Rolfs Aquatic Center. The Irish scored 1023.50 points to outlast the likes of No. 13 Ohio State and No. 18 Wisconsin.
Coumos Returns To Defend ACC 1-Meter Crown
While the entirety of the women’s ACC Championships will be held this week, divers from the Notre Dame men’s side will also have the chance to score early points for the Irish prior to the full men’s conference meet on Feb. 21-24.
One of the top divers in the conference will be on center stage for Notre Dame, looking to defend his crown in the 1-meter competition. Joe Coumos won the first individual ACC title by an Irish diver in program history by scoring a Notre Dame record 420.00 points off the 1-meter board at last season’s championships in Atlanta.
Coumos’ score of 414.15 points off the 1-meter board in a win over Iowa earlier this season is the top score of the year thus far in the ACC. He also broke the Rolfs Aquatic Center and Notre Dame program record in the 3-meter dive with a score of 419.80 points at the Shamrock Invitational, the second-highest score in the conference this season.
On the women’s diving side, Erin Isola ranks 13th in the ACC off the 1-meter board with a score of 301.80 points at the Shamrock Invitational, with Kelly Straub 14th with a score of 301.60 points at the Shamrock meet.
“Our diving will be crucial to the result of this meet,” Litzinger said. “It will of course give us a start on next week when our men will be competing as well.”
Tony Jones, athletics communications assistant director at the University of Notre Dame, has been part of the Fighting Irish athletics communications team since 2012 and coordinates all media efforts for the Notre Dame softball, men’s soccer and swimming and diving programs. A native of Jamestown, New York, Jones is a 2011 graduate of St. Bonaventure University, and prior to arriving at Notre Dame held positions at the University of Louisiana Monroe and with the National Football League’s Buffalo Bills.