Feb. 19, 2004
EAST MEADOW, N.Y. – The University of Notre Dame men’s swimming and diving team held the lead in the BIG EAST Championships after three events before finishing the first day of competition in third place with 169.5 points. Seven-time defending champion Pittsburgh leads the meet with 234 points, while Virginia Tech is second with 191.5. The Irish finished the day having broken three school records, as the 200 free relay team and freshman Ted Brown (Kokomo, Ind./Western H.S.) – in the 500 free – set school records in the evening session after rookie Tim Kegelman (Yorktown, Va./Tabb H.S.) broke the Irish all-time mark in the 200 IM in the morning.
Notre Dame opened the meet finishing fourth with a school-record time of 1:21.30 in the 200 freestyle relay by sophomore Tim Randolph (Crown Point, Ind./Merrillville H.S.), junior Frank Krakowski (Erie, Pa./Cathedral Preparatory School), and freshmen Kegelman and Louis Cavadini (South Bend, Ind./Riley H.S.). The previous mark was 1:22.02, set by Randolph, Krakowski, Jason Fitzpatrick, and Matt Obringer (Jacksonville, Fla./The Bolles School) in last year’s BIG EAST meet.
Brown cut 2.03 seconds off his season best to better the previous Notre Dame record – 4:27.39 by Jonathan Pierce (’02) in the 2001 BIG EAST Championships – by 1.56 seconds, finishing third in 4:25.83. His time was good enough for an NCAA “B” cut, meaning he will be considered for a berth in next month’s NCAA Championships.
Notre Dame’s depth in the 500 freestyle and 200 individual medley were keys to the Irish grabbing the early lead. Behind Brown in the 500 was senior co-captain Matt Obringer, who posted his fourth consecutive top-eight finish and third straight sixth-place result with a time of 4:30.28. Sophomore Patrick Davis (Clearwater, Fla./Jesuit H.S.) turned in a career-best performance, winning the consolation final to finish ninth in 4:28.89. Junior Matt Bertke (Edgewood, Ky./Covington Catholic H.S.) earned one point by finishing 16th in 4:36.63, helping stake the Irish to a 69-61 lead over Pittsburgh following the race.
The 200 IM saw three Notre Dame swimmers among the top seven finishers, led by Kegelman, who was third in 1:50.45. It was the second time on Thursday he posted a time better than the previous school record, as the Irish freshman became the first Notre Dame swimmer ever to break the 1:50.00 mark with a 1:49.68 in the morning. Right behind Kegelman was sophomore Jamie Lutkus (Granger, Ind./Penn H.S.), who took fourth in a career-best 1:50.85 that stands as the fourth-quickest time in school history. Lutkus finished fifth in the 2003 BIG EAST meet.
In the consolation final, junior David Moisan (Fisherville, Ky./Louisville Male H.S.) was fourth to finish 12th overall with a time of 1:52.19, while freshman Alan Carter (Bethel Park, Pa./Bethel Park H.S.) finished 14th in 1:53.42. The 200 IM gave Notre Dame a total of 119.5 points after three events, while Virginia Tech was second with 105.5, and Pittsburgh had 98.
Freshman Scott Coyle (Indianapolis, Ind./Hamilton Southeastern H.S.), Notre Dame’s lone diver, gave his team a boost with a fourth-place finish off the three-meter board with a season-best total of 459.35. He was seventh in the preliminaries.
Notre Dame just missed another school record by .21 seconds in the 400 medley relay. Sophomore Doug Bauman (Erie, Pa./Cathedral Preparatory School), Randolph, Kegelman, and Krakowski finished fourth in 3:19.66
In the 50 free, Randolph and Krakowski tied for 14th with identical 20.92 times.
The BIG EAST Championships will continue Friday and Saturday.