NOTRE DAME, Indiana — The No. 18 Irish men’s swimming and diving team got off to a hot start in Sessions I & II of the annual Shamrock Invitational Thursday. After the first day of competition, Notre Dame leads Missouri State, 203-35.
“The men are really energetic, and they appreciate being able to compete more than ever,” head swim coach Mike Litzinger said. “Our whole philosophy is that we’re going to get something out of this season. Right now, the men are on a roll, and they’re feeling really good about themselves.
“We need to keep it perspective; there’s always someone better than you out there, there’s always a challenge, but they seem to be responding very well to everything that we’re putting in.”
Notre Dame notched four pool records on Day One: Jack Hoagland’s 4:15.39 in the 500 Free; in the 200 Medley Relay, as Brendan Santana, Josh Bottelberghe, Cason Wilburn and Topher Stensby posted a 1:26.23; Charles Korndorffer in the 100 Fly (47.22); and again courtesy Hoagland, this time with a 3:43.78 in the 400 IM.
In addition, the Irish posted seven NCAA B-Cut times: Hoagland’s 500 Free (4:15.39), Sadler McKeen’s 500 Free (4:21.54), Tyler Christianson’s 200 IM (1:46.34), Korndorffer’s 100 Fly (47.22), McKeen’s 200 Free (1:35.52), Hoagland’s 400 IM (3:43.78) and Bottelberghe’s 100 Breast (53.96).
The two-day, three-session format serves as a dress rehearsal for championship season, and Litzinger noted that one of the most important parts of a championship meet is winning the recovery.
“The whole trick when you swim a championship format is not only the performance you just did, but what the future performance the next day or the next morning is going to look like,” he shared. “You have to prepare for that just as intensely as you’re prepared for the event that’s happening right now.
“That’s just good practice for the end of the year when you swim multiple times over multiple days. You need to find a routine, and once you lock that routine in, you learn how to recover: fuel properly, use all our recovery tools that we have available to us. Then, all of a sudden, you’re ready to perform at a championship level.”
To start off the morning session, the team of Stensby, Santana, Wilburn and McKeen posted a win in the 200 Free Relay with a 1:19.74. Hoagland kicked off the individual events with a pool record B-Cut 4:15.39 in the 500 Free, topping his previous pool record set this year (4:16.87), followed by McKeen (B-Cut 4:21.54) and Max Miranda (4:23.36).
In the 200 IM, freshman Christianson made his mark, winning the event with a B-Cut 1:46.34. He was followed by Andrew Winton (1:48.59) and Sean Faikish (1:48.93). In the 50 Free sprint, Stensby brought home the win with a 20.02, trailed closely by Wilburn (20.21) and Alec DeLong (20.52).
To finish out the morning session, Notre Dame’s Jack Fitzpatrick, Bottelberghe, Korndorffer and Wiburn touched the wall in 3:11.46 to win the 400 Medley Relay.
The Irish got off the blocks quickly in the evening session, noting pool records in each of the first three events. First, the 200 Medley Relay team of Santana, Bottelberghe, Wilburn and Stensby turned in a 1:26.23 for the win.
Korndorffer followed it up with a B-Cut 47.22 in the 100 Fly, a pool record, and Hoagland marked his second pool record of the day with a 3:43.78 in the 400 IM. Hoagland has now posted pool records this season in the 500 Free, 1000 Free and 400 IM, breaking some records multiple times this season. McKeen posted a win in the 200 Free with a B-Cut 1:35.52, and Bottelberghe followed with a win in the 100 Breast (B-Cut 53.96). Santana rounded out the individual events for the second session, winning the 100 Back with a 47.95.
In the diving well, Notre Dame swept the podium on the 3-meter, as Austin Flaute turned in a 379.43 for the win (Zone B qualifier), followed by Will Rains (333.45 – Zone C) and David Petrison (331.65 – Zone C).
To end the night, the team of Hoagland, Wilburn, Miranda and McKeen touched the wall in 6:28.06 in the 800 Free Relay, good for first.
The Irish return to the pool Friday morning, beginning Session III with a Senior Day recognition at 10 a.m. ET. Competition will commence at 10:15 a.m. for the final men’s session. Follow live timing and scoring on Meet Mobile or at und.com/swimmingstats.