April 8, 2004
The annual banquet for the Notre Dame men’s swimming and diving team was held last week in the Oak Room of the University’s South Dining Hall. Among the highlights were the naming of freshman Tim Kegelman (Yorktown, Va./Tabb H.S.) as the squad’s MVP and the announcement of junior Matt Bertke (Edgewood, Ky./Covington Catholic H.S.) as the 2004-05 team captain.
Five other awards were handed out at the banquet. Seniors Josh Dermott (El Dorado Hills, Calif./Rio Americano H.S.) and Brian Coughlan (Moraga, Calif./Campolindo H.S.) became the first co-winners of the Knute Rockne Scholar-Athlete Award, presented by the Notre Dame Club of Saint Joseph Valley. Sophomore Patrick Davis (Clearwater, Fla./Jesuit H.S.) and freshman Scott Coyle (Indianapolis, Ind./Hamilton Southeastern H.S.) garnered the Most Improved Award, while freshman Ted Brown (Kokomo, Ind./Western H.S.) was honored with the Meghan Beeler & Colleen Hipp Award. Sophomore Patrick Heffernan (Norcross, Ga./Norcross H.S.) won the Patrick Reilly McManus Captain’s Award and Dermott was presented the Blanchard Award.
Additionally, all 24 student-athletes who represented the Irish in the BIG EAST Championships were recommended for monograms.
The banquet also featured the traditional reflections and exchanging of books between the coaching staff and the members of the class of 2004: Dermott, Coughlan, Matt Obringer (Jacksonville, Fla./The Bolles School), and J.R. Teddy (Spring, Texas/Klein H.S.).
Kegelman, on the votes of his teammates, became just the third freshman to be named team MVP, joining Scott Zumbach (1996 winner) and Paul Godfrey (1988). Kegelman was Notre Dame’s team leader in three events, setting University records in two of them, while also being a member of two school-record relay teams. He was Notre Dame’s top point scorer at the BIG EAST Championships, netting 64 points (41.5 in individual events), finishing second on the Irish for the season in points scored with 407.75. Kegelman posted the three fastest times in Notre Dame history in the 100-yard butterfly (and six of the top nine on the team in 2003-04). His school record of 48.43 was good enough for a second-place tie at the BIG EAST meet and an NCAA “B” cut. It was the first time an Irish swimmer ever placed in the top six of the race. Kegelman notched the two quickest times in program history in the 200 individual medley, setting the University record and earning the top seed with a “B” time of 1:49.68 in the BIG EAST prelims before finishing third in the evening. An all-BIG EAST honoree in the 200 IM and 100 fly, he also became just the third student-athlete in school history to break the 1:50.00 mark in the 200 butterfly, going 1:49.44 in placing ninth at the conference meet. His performance was good enough for a three-second victory in the consolation final and would have placed him third in the championship final. Kegelman also swam on three fourth-place relays in the BIG EAST Championships. The 200 free quartet set a school record of 1:21.30 in finishing fourth, while the 200 medley was the quickest in Irish history, at 1:30.48. Despite not swimming them at the conference meet, Kegelman was fourth on the team in the 100 breaststroke (58.33) and fifth in the 50 freestyle (21.29). He registered 15 victories in dual-meet competition and was beaten just once in the 100 fly.
Next season will mark just the second time in the last 25 years that just one student-athlete has captained the Irish, as Bertke will join Matthew Rose (1996-97) in that group. The current junior was part of the 800 freestyle relay team that set the University record at the Notre Dame Invitational and then bettered its mark by nearly three seconds in taking third at the BIG EAST meet in 6:42.55. Bertke was among the top five on the Irish in each of the four longest freestyle events this season. He scored in two events for the third consecutive season at the conference meet, taking 16th in the 500 and 1650. Bertke ranks among the top seven Irish swimmers ever in the 500 (6th, 4:31.44), 1,000 (5th, 9:30.09), and 1,650 (7th, 15:51.52).
Coughlan and Dermott carry the two highest grade-point averages on the Irish and are separated by just .005. Coughlan is the team leader with a 3.760 cumulative mark, while Dermott has a 3.755. Coughlan, a history major who posted a 4.000 in spring ’03 studying in Rome, qualified for the BIG EAST Championships in both butterfly events and scored a point in the meet for the first time with a 16th-place finish in the 200. He was fifth on the team in the 100.
Dermott, a political science major, ranked among the team’s top three performers in his three events – ranking second in the two breaststrokes and third in the 200 IM. One of the team’s co-captains, he scored 27 points at the BIG EAST meet, taking seventh in the 200 IM, ninth in the 200 breast, and 11th in the 100 breast. Dermott graduates as one of the top five swimmers in Irish history in each of his events: fourth in the 100 breast (56.43) and fifth in the 200 breast (2:02.96) and 200 IM (1:51.13).
The Most Improved Award honors the student-athlete who has improved the most throughout the course of the season. Davis became the first swimmer ever to win it twice, after garnering the honor in 2002-03, as well (diver Joe Miller also was a two-time recipient). He has finished as Notre Dame’s top distance swimmer in each of the past two seasons. He was second in the 1,650 freestyle at the BIG EAST meet, gaining all-conference honors and posting the third-fastest times in school history in both that race and the 1,000 (his split time), behind a pair of swims by two-time BIG EAST champion Jonathan Pierce (’02). In addition to leading the team in the 1,000 freestyle (9:23.23) and 1,650 free (15:34.41), he ranked third on the Irish in the 500 (4:28.89). He ranked fifth on the team in points scored in individual events (222), with 26 of them coming at the BIG EAST meet. While holding the second-place slot on the all-time top performers list in the two longest races, he is fourth in the 500, which he won in a quadrangular with #19 BYU, Iowa, and Louisville in November.
Coyle, Notre Dame’s lone diver, finished seventh on the team in points scored (216), with 27 of them coming at the BIG EAST Championships. His season-best 11-dive score of 459.35 off the three-meter board was good enough for a fourth-place finish. Coyle was seventh in one-meter diving. After not claiming a victory up to that point in the season, he finished first five times in the final four dual meets of 2003-04, highlighted by a sweep of the springboard competitions against Oakland. In the six-dive format, Coyle ranks as the sixth-best diver in Irish history off the lower board and ninth in the three-meter competition.
The Beeler-Hipp Award is presented to an outstanding freshman who best exemplifies the vitality, competitiveness, and love for Notre Dame shown by Meghan Beeler and Colleen Hipp in their freshman year prior to their deaths in a bus accident in 1992. The award honors the 1991-92 Irish men’s and women’s teams for their courage, discipline, and love for one another. Brown set the University record in the 500 freestyle (4:25.83) and was the anchor of the school-record 800 free relay. He led the Irish in points scored both overall (465.50) and in individual events only (427), holding a 148.5-point advantage over the next-best competitor in the latter category. Brown also led the team with 21 victories in the dual-meet season, coming in six different events. He posted three top-10 finishes in the BIG EAST Championships, earning all-conference honors for his third-place result in the 500, which was an NCAA “B” time. He ranked among the top three on the team in five different races: 500 free (1st), 200 free (2nd, 1:39.76), 1,000 free (2nd, 9:26.53), 1,650 free (3rd, 15:53.17), and 400 IM (3rd, 3:56.95). In four of those events, he is among the top four Irish swimmers of all-time, ranking third in the 1,000 and fourth in the 200 free and 400 IM, in addition to his school record in the 500.
The Patrick Reilly McManus Captain’s Award is given by the captains to a student-athlete who performs well both in and out of the pool and exemplifies the term “teammate.” The recipient is a clutch individual, an outstanding swimmer, a spirited competitor, never awed by circumstances, reliable, cooperative, well-liked and accepted, and a hard worker. He is a consistent pillar of the team who is willing to swim wherever he has to and is cooperative when other people need a chance. He is always there when his teammates need him and the ideal for what all Notre Dame swimmers should strive to be. The award was renamed in 1989 to honor 1987-88 captain Pat McManus. Heffernan was second on the team in the 200 butterfly (1:51.76) and fifth in the 400 IM (4:02.68), scoring points in both of those races at the BIG EAST meet. He was 11th in the fly and 13th in the IM. Heffernan is among the all-time top 10 in both of those events, coming in sixth in the 200 fly and ninth in the 400 IM. He posted three victories in the former event in the dual-meet season.
The Blanchard Award is given by the Dolphin club to the swimmer or diver who, by performance, inspiration, and leadership, has exemplified the personal qualities of 1963-64 Irish captain Charles Blanchard. The recipient is an outstanding swimmer, able to inspire teammates, a good example through actions, one who thinks of others, one who gives a little bit more, spiritually good, clean cut in appearance, one who mixes well with the entire team, and one whose actions speak louder for him.
Dermott and Obringer, the team’s co-captains, both were recommended for their fourth monograms, while Bertke and juniors Frank Krakowski (Erie, Pa./Cathedral Preparatory School) and David Moisan (Fisherville, Ky./Louisville Male H.S.) will all gain their third. Ten swimmers – Coughlan, Davis, Heffernan, junior Drew Pittman (Williamsburg, Va./Lafayette H.S.), and sophomores Doug Bauman (Erie, Pa./Cathedral Preparatory School), Tyler Grenda (Hockessin, Del./Salesianum H.S.), Jamie Lutkus (Granger, Ind./Penn H.S.), Patrick O’Berry (Alpharetta, Ga./Milton H.S.), Tim Randolph (Crown Point, Ind./Merrillville H.S.), and Steve Shomberger (Spotsylvania, Va./Courtland H.S.) – are in line for their second monogram, while nine freshman will win their first: Brown, Coyle, Kegelman, Justin Barber (Carson City, Nev./Carson H.S.), Alan Carter (Bethel Park, Pa./Bethel Park H.S.), Louis Cavadini (South Bend, Ind./Riley H.S.), Nick Fanslau (Lansdale, Pa./North Penn H.S.), Brian Freeman (Sanger, Calif./Immanuel H.S.), and Chris Zeches (Tucson, Ariz./Salpointe Catholic H.S.).
Notre Dame registered its highest-ever point total in finishing second at the BIG EAST meet. The Irish won the Notre Dame Invitational for the third straight year and rebounded from a 1-5 start to go 8-7 in dual meets, the seventh winning record for Notre Dame in the last nine seasons. The Irish lose just four seniors from that squad and will return the team leader in 14 of 16 individual events.