July 19, 2004
The University of Notre Dame men’s swimming and diving team continued its tradition of academic excellence by posting a 3.157 team grade-point average in the spring semester to rank 12th among Division I teams and be named an Academic All-American Team by the College Swim Coaches Association of America (CSCAA). The organization also recognized three Irish swimmers – 2004 graduate Matt Obringer (Jacksonville, Fla./The Bolles School) and rising sophomores Ted Brown (Kokomo, Ind./Western H.S.) and Tim Kegelman (Yorktown, Va./Tabb H.S.) – as honorable mention Academic All-Americans.
Notre Dame’s BIG EAST Conference runner-up squad was one of 49 Division I men’s swimming and diving programs to earn the team honor. All schools with a GPA of 2.800 or higher were recognized, including seven from the BIG EAST. Other league winners were Georgetown (3.34, T-13th in BIG EAST Championships), Syracuse (3.17, 5th), Seton Hall (2.91, 9th), Pittsburgh (2.91, 1st), Connecticut (2.89, 8th), and Rutgers (2.88, 4th). The BIG EAST’s seven honorees was tops among Division I leagues and it was the only conference with multiple teams finishing among the top 13 in semester GPA, with the Hoyas (2nd), the Orange (10th), and the Irish in that elite group.
In addition, eight teams Notre Dame faced during the regular season earned the award: dual-meet opponents BYU (3.13), Wyoming (3.00), Michigan State (2.97), St. Bonaventure (2.91), Maryland (2.90), and North Carolina State (2.83), as well as Notre Dame Invitational participant Denver (3.48), and Wisconsin-Milwaukee (3.02), which came to the Rolfs Aquatic Center for both the Invitational and the Dennis Stark Relays.
For the second straight semester, the Pioneers, who finished seventh at the Notre Dame Invitational (1,743 points behind the first-place Irish), led all Division I teams with a cumulative GPA of 3.48.
Notre Dame’s 3.050 GPA in the fall of 2003 placed it 24th in Division I. The Irish were one of just 13 schools to be among the top 25 academic teams in the nation in both semesters of the 2003-04 school year.
Notre Dame has a long history of academic excellence, finishing among the nation’s top 20 in team GPA on 11 occasions since 1990. In the spring of 1999, the Irish led Division I with a 3.352 GPA.
Competitors who qualified for the NCAA Championships and had a 3.50+ GPA for the year were named Academic All-Americans, while student-athletes who had a 3.50+ and achieved at least one NCAA “B” time but did not qualify for the NCAAs were named honorable mention. The CSCAA honored 33 Academic All-Americans and 25 honorable mention selections.
Only three schools – Florida (7), Auburn (6), and Minnesota (5) – had more student-athletes than Notre Dame earn some type of Academic All-America honors from the CSCAA, while Hawaii, SMU, BYU, and Pittsburgh also had three apiece.
Obringer, a four-year monogram winner who served as a team captain as a senior, graduated cum laude from the Mendoza College of Business with a degree in accounting and a 3.471 GPA. A member of Notre Dame’s Academic Honors Program for Student-Athletes, Obringer concluded his career among the top four swimmers in Notre Dame history in each of his three main events: the 200-yard freestyle (2nd, 1:38.49), the 500 free (3rd, 4:27.57), and the 100 free (4th, 45.46). He was a member of the 800 freestyle relay team that set a school record in the 2004 BIG EAST Championships (6:42.55) after anchoring the 200 free relay quartet that broke the Irish record in ’03. Named team MVP as the squad’s high point scorer in 2002-03, Obringer won 21 dual-meet races and registered a dozen top-six finishes at the BIG EAST meet throughout his career. In 2003-04, he was fourth on the team in points scored in individual events and was the second-highest point scorer at the conference meet (49.5 points), where he helped the Irish to their best-ever point total in finishing second. Obringer was Notre Dame’s top swimmer in the 200 free in each of the last four years and also led the Irish in the 500 in his last two campaigns. For the second year in a row, he posted an NCAA “B” cut in the 200 free, this time in both the prelims and finals at the BIG EAST meet.
Brown, who posted a 3.581 GPA in the First Year of Studies program, 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.
Kegelman, who registered a 3.537 GPA in the First Year of Studies program, was voted by his teammates to be just the third freshman ever named team MVP. He was Notre Dame’s 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) to finish 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.
Prior to this season, only one Notre Dame swimmer had been named honorable mention Academic All-America by the CSCAA. Ray Fitzpatrick, a 2000 graduate who still holds the University records in both the 100- (45.07), and 200-yard freestyle (1:38.36), twice earned the accolade during his career.
Obringer, Brown, and Kegelman also headlined a contingent of 14 team members who were recently named Academic All-Stars by the BIG EAST Conference. All students who earn a varsity letter in a BIG EAST-sponsored sport and maintain a 3.00+ grade-point average for the year were eligible for the distinction.
Obringer and fellow 2004 graduates Josh Dermott (El Dorado Hills, Calif./Rio Americano H.S.) and J.R. Teddy (Spring, Texas/Klein H.S.) were all BIG EAST Academic All-Stars for the fourth consecutive year. Dermott, a co-recipient of the Notre Dame Club of St. Joseph Valley Knute Rockne Student-Athlete Award presented to the team’s top academic performer, graduated magna cum laude from the College of Arts & Letters with a degree in political science and a 3.737 cumulative GPA. Teddy graduated from the College of Arts & Letters as a preprofeesional studies (pre-med.) and psychology major with a 3.193 GPA.
Senior-to-be David Moisan (Fisherville, Ky./Louisville Male H.S.) garnered his third Academic All-Star award in as many years. He is enrolled in the Mendoza College of Business as a marketing and design double major, carrying a 3.252 GPA.
Seven Irish student-athletes – 2004 graduate Brian Coughlan (Moraga, Calif./Campolindo H.S.), rising seniors Matt Bertke (Edgewood, Ky./Covington Catholic H.S.) and Frank Krakowski (Erie, Pa./Cathedral Preparatory School), and juniors-to-be Doug Bauman (Erie, Pa./Cathedral Preparatory School), Patrick Davis (Clearwater, Fla./Jesuit H.S.), Tyler Grenda (Hockessin, Del./Salesianum H.S.), and Patrick O’Berry (Alpharetta, Ga./Milton H.S.) – were BIG EAST Academic All-Stars for the second time.
Coughlan, who graduated magna cum laude from the College of Arts & Letters with a degree in history and a 3.740 GPA, also was a recipient of the Rockne Student-Athlete Award. Bertke, a member of the Academic Honors Program, is a mechanical engineering major in the College of Engineering with a 3.172 cumulative grade-point average, while Krakowski has a 3.114 as a finance and history double major in the Mendoza College of Business.
Bauman, a business student, holds a 3.124 cumulative GPA, while Davis has a 3.698 as a computer science major in the College of Engineering. Grenda is a preprofessional studies (pre-med.) major in the College of Science with a 3.206 GPA, while O’Berry carries a 3.673 as a business student.
Brown, Kegelman, and Chris Zeches (Tucson, Ariz./Salpointe Catholic H.S.) were named BIG EAST Academic All-Stars as rookies. Zeches registered a 3.143 GPA in the First Year of Studies program.
A total of six Irish swimmers led Notre Dame’s spring 2004 academic performance by earning Dean’s List honors. Coughlan and Dermott registered GPAs of 3.632 and 3.584, respectively, to both finish their careers earning Dean’s List mention in all eight semesters. Obringer notched a 3.750 for his sixth Dean’s List honor.
Rising sophomore David Hochstetler (Bremen, Ind./Bremen Senior H.S.) led the Irish with a 4.000 GPA for his second Dean’s List accolades in as many semesters, while O’Berry was tied for the second-highest semester mark with a 3.750, which garnered his second Dean’s List mention. Davis’ 3.643 was good enough for his third time on the Dean’s List in four semesters.
The 2003-04 Irish ended the year boasting a cumulative grade-point average of 3.149, which ranked third among Notre Dame’s 13 male varsity squads.
Notre Dame went 8-7 in dual meets in 2003-04 before finishing second in the BIG EAST Championships, highlighted by nine top-three finishes and the highest point total in school history. The Irish also set University records in eight different events.