March 24, 2012
With a thrilling fourth-place showing in the 200 free Friday evening at King County Aquatic Center, Dyer became the first All-American swimmer in program history while also earning the first swimming points ever for the Irish at the NCAA Championships.
Dyer finished the race in 1:34.00 to score 15 points for the Irish, vaulting the team into 20th place through 10 events.
“I’m really happy with my performance, and even six months ago I didn’t even think that something like this would be in the cards,” Dyer said. “When I was here at the NCAA Championships last year, I was hoping to just do my best. This time around, I knew what the competition was going to be like and it fueled me for what I needed to do.
“It’s an accomplishment for me, but more so, for the program. It shows how far our program has come and that Notre Dame is definitely on the rise.”
Dyer finished behind Texas’ Daxon Hill (1:32.51), Dimitri Colupaev (1:32.91) and Louisville’s Joao De Lucca (1:33.49). De Lucca also narrowly bested Dyer in the same event at this season’s BIG EAST Conference Championships.
“This is absolutely incredible for both Frank and Notre Dame,” Irish head coach Tim Welsh said. “His last four swims in this event have been very consistent, and his race tonight was very well paced and very well done.
“For the program, this has been a long time coming. The door is now open for us to build on this for a long time, and we hope that doors stays open indefinitely.”
Entering the NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships, Dyer was the third-fastest swimmer in the event and first among Americans.
The sophomore trailed for a bulk of his preliminary performance in the morning while storming back with a final split of 24.07 to go down as the second-seeded swimmer in the finals. Dyer won his prelim heat in 1:33.94. Among the 49 swimmers in the event, Dyer’s time was only behind Hill (1:33.43) before going on to earn the All-America accolade.
A few seasons prior to Dyer copping the honor, diver Michael Bulfin earned an honorable mention All-America citation after shelving two points with a 15th-place finish off the 3-meter board in 2008. In fact, Bulfin’s accolade was racked in the same facility that is housing this season’s NCAA Championships.
Junior Bill Bass continued his NCAA Championships debut with a 48.33 in the preliminaries of the 100 fly. Bass’ swim was good for 38th overall.
The Irish duo continues competition Saturday with live results available at UND.com. The evening session will be streamed live on ESPN3.com.