senior Zachary Stephens hopes to finish strong in one of his last collegiate meets this week at ACC Championships.

Irish Look For BIG EAST Repeat In Indianapolis

Feb. 26, 2013

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The University of Notre Dame men’s swimming and diving team looks to defend its crown at the 2013 BIG EAST Conference Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships Feb. 27-March 2 at the Indiana University Natatorium in Indianapolis. The Irish claimed the fifth conference championship in program history last season.

“We are back in Indianapolis this year for the BIG EAST Championships, swimming at a great facility,” Notre Dame head coach Tim Welsh says. “It’s been a highly contested meet every year, so we expect that to be the same this year. “

The Irish edged perennial contender Louisville for the 2012 title at Trees Pool in Pittsburgh, Pa., outscoring the runner-up Cardinals 887-859.5.

“We did get by Louisville last year, and I am sure they really would like to reclaim the title,” Welsh says. “We’re thinking it’s going to be `game on’ all the way.

“In the long run, what we are going to want to do is not only swim well at the BIG EAST meet, but also advance people to the NCAA Championships.”

Notre Dame returns both of the top individual award winners from last season’s conference championship meet, 2012 BIG EAST Men’s Most Outstanding Swimmer Bill Bass and 2012 Men’s Most Outstanding Diver Nick Nemetz. Bass, the active Notre Dame leader with 13 career all-BIG EAST citations, was a double-winner at the Trees Pool last season, claiming gold medals in the 100 fly (47.03) and 200 IM (1:44.81). Nemetz won both the 1 (322.30 points) and 3-meter (325.15 points) events as a freshman to sweep the non-platform diving portion of the 2012 meet.

Junior Frank Dyer will look for another strong finish at the BIG EAST meet to set the stage for the NCAA Championships March 28-30 at the IU Natatorium. Dyer, the first swimmer in program history to earn All-America status after a fourth-place 200 free swim at the 2012 NCAAs, has 12 career all-BIG EAST citations. Dyer is the top seed in the 500 free (4:20.63), and ranks second in the 200 free (1:36.27) and third in the 100 (44.06) and 50 (19.99) free events entering the conference meet.

Fellow junior Bertie Nel swam the league’s top qualifying time this season in the 200 back (1:45.99), and is the number one seed in the distance. Nel narrowly missed all-BIG EAST honors last season with a fourth-place effort (1:46.50) in the 200 back.

Sophomore Zach Stephens is the number two conference seed in both the 200 breast (1:58.26) and the 200 IM (1:48.02). Stephens picked up all-BIG EAST third team honors in the 200 breast at the 2012 conference meet.

Fans can follow the BIG EAST Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships through the league’s Championship Central Page. Live stats, live video, ticket information and a schedule of events are readily available at the page.

Notre Dame BIG EAST Times This Season (Top Three)

Frank Dyer
50 Free – 19.99 (3rd)
100 Free – 44.06 (3rd)
200 Free – 1:36.27 (2nd)
500 Free – 4:20.63 (1st)

Zach Stephens
200 Breast – 1:58.26 (2nd)
200 IM – 1:48.02 (2nd)

Bertie Nel
100 Back – 48.61 (2nd)
200 Back – 1:45.99 (1st)

John Williamson
200 Fly – 1:46.90 (2nd)

Colin Babcock
200 IM – 1:48.16 (3rd)
400 IM – 3:55.72 (3rd)

Chris Johnson
100 Breast – 54.17 (3rd)

Kevin Hughes
1650 Free – 15:38.60 (3rd)

800 Free Relay
`A’ squad (Dyer, McGinley, Hudspith, Bass) – 6:30.72 (2nd)

200 Free Relay
`A’ squad (Dyer, Overholt, Stephens, Bass) – 1:19.56 (2nd)

400 Medley Relay
`A’ squad (Nel, Miller, Dyer, McGinley) – 3:18.99 (2nd)

400 Free Relay
`A’ squad (Dyer, Overholt, McGinley, Bass) – 2:58.12 (2nd)