March 12, 2006
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Notre Dame freshman Michael Bulfin (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla./St. Thomas Aquinas) has qualified for the NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships with his performance off the three-meter board at the NCAA Zone C Diving Championships over the weekend. Bulfin placed fourth in the competition on Friday afternoon and his position held up throughout the final two days of action in the Ron O’Brien Diving Well in the Bill and Mae McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion. He becomes just the third student-athlete in program history to qualify for the NCAA meet, joining diver Bob Ebel (1975) and swimmer Tim Kegelman (2005).
Bulfin totaled 311.20 points in preliminaries to place ninth overall heading into the finals of the three-meter competition on Friday. He would go on to register 323.20 points from his six dives in the finals to have a grand total of 634.40 points on the day to place fourth. He will now head to Atlanta, Georgia for the NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships, which take place March 23-25.
The fourth-place finish tied the program record for the best-ever finish at the Zone Championships off of any board and set the mark for the three-meter. Andy Maggio (2000-03) placed fourth in the one-meter competition in 2002.
The freshman also competed on Saturday at the Zone Championships and placed ninth off the one-meter board. He did not participate in Sunday’s platform competition. A total of five male divers from Zone C advanced to the NCAA Championships, with Bulfin qualifying fourth overall. Joining him was Steve LoBue from Purdue, Taylor Roberts and Ryan Fagan from Indiana and Kellen Harkness from Ohio State.
Bulfin garnered all-BIG EAST honors off the one-meter board by placing third at the conference meet last month and his coach, Caiming Xie, was named the BIG EAST Men’s Diving Coach of the Year.
In the first-ever trip for a Notre Dame male athlete to the NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships, Ebel placed 77th off the three-meter board in 1975. Last year, Kegelman qualified for the NCAA Championships and competed in the 100-yard and 200-yard butterfly along with the 200-yard IM. He placed 37th in the 200-fly and 39th in the 200-IM and was disqualified in the 100-fly.
Stay up-to-date on the Notre Dame men’s swimming and diving team by logging onto und.com or by calling the Notre Dame athletics hotline at (574) 631-3000.