Jan. 24, 2014
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The University of Notre Dame men’s swimming and diving team earned four event victories and added eight runner-up finishes to keep pace with No. 7 Louisville, but it was the Cardinals who ultimately came away as meet victors, defeating the Irish 186-114 Friday at the Ralph Wright Natatorium.
The meeting was the first between the schools outside of BIG EAST Conference competition since the 2004-05 season (a 242-117 Notre Dame win on Nov. 20, 2004). Louisville will join the Irish in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) beginning with the 2014-15 season.
Junior All-American John Williamson turned in his third-fastest 200 butterfly time of the season for the first Notre Dame win of the day, logging an NCAA B-cut swim of 1:47.62. Williamson has posted six of the top 10 Irish times in the 200 fly this season. He added a runner-up result in the 100 fly, tapping in at 49.14 behind teammate Frank Dyer.
Dyer, a senior two-time All-American, earned the second Irish (4-5-1) win of the meet with his 100 fly time of 49.03. Dyer also chipped in a pair of third-place finishes in the 50 (20.43) and 100 (45.46) freestyle distances.
Junior Nick Nemetz added another Irish gold performance with a cumulative score of 349.35 points in the 3-meter dive. Freshman Joe Coumos (336.15) was the next Notre Dame finisher in third place.
Junior All-American Zach Stephens was the only swimmer to break the 1:50 benchmark in the 200 IM, clocking a time of 1:49.26 for the fourth Notre Dame win of the day. The winning effort was the sixth sub-1:50 swim in the distance for Stephens this season.
Stephens also chipped in a pair of runner-up performances in both the 100 and 200 breaststroke. Stephens touched the wall in 55.35 during the 100 breast, his third-fastest outing in the distance in 2013-14, for an NCAA B-cut and second-place points. He replicated the feat later in the 200 breast, touching the wall in a B-cut readout of 1:59.08.
Junior All-American Kevin Hughes contributed a top Notre Dame effort of 1:40.12 in the 200 freestyle to place second. Hughes paced four Irish competitors that included freshmen Reed Fujan (1:41.75, sixth place), Trent Jackson (1:43.27 seventh place) and Joe Petrone (1:44.53, exhibition).
Hughes later added a time of 4:34.54 in the 500 freestyle to score his second individual silver finish of the meet. Petrone (4:36.62) was the next Irish swimmer in the top five in fourth place.
Sophomore Bogac Ayhan nearly claimed victory in the 100 backstroke, clocking the 10th sub-50.00 Notre Dame swim in the event this season with a runner-up effort of 49.99. Ayhan broke the 50-second mark for the fourth time this year to score second-place points for the Irish.
Junior Michael Kreft scored 299.77 points in the 1-meter dive to place second and lead Notre Dame in the event. Coumos (297.00 points) finished third, followed by Nemetz (295.57, fourth) and freshman James Lichtenstein (293.02 fifth).
The Notre Dame `A’ entry of Ayhan, junior Cameron Miller, Dyer and Stephens claimed runner-up honors to open the meet in the 200 medley relay, posting a time of 1:29.89.
Notre Dame returns to the Rolfs Aquatic Center for the annual Shamrock Invitational on Jan. 31-Feb. 1. The Irish will honor seniors Colin Babcock, Joshua Choi, Frank Dyer and Bertie Nel prior to the second session of racing on Feb. 1.
NOTRE DAME RUNNER-UP FINISHES/NCAA B-CUTS
200 Medley Relay (1:29.89): Bogac Ayhan / Cameron Miller / Frank Dyer / Zach Stephens
200 Freestyle (1:40.12): Kevin Hughes
100 Backstroke (49.99): Bogac Ayhan
100 Breaststroke (55.35): Zach Stephens (NCAA B-cut)
100 Breaststroke (Third Place) (55.36): Colin Babcock (NCAA B-cut)
1-Meter Dive (299.77): Michael Kreft
200 Breaststroke (1:59.08): Zach Stephens (NCAA B-cut)
500 Free (4:34.54): Kevin Hughes
100 Butterfly (49.14): John Williamson
— Tony Jones, Media Relations Assistant