Oct. 2, 2014
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The University of Notre Dame women’s swimming and diving team opens its 2014-15 season with a dual meet against Michigan State at 5 p.m. Friday at Rolfs Aquatic Center.
It was an off season for change for the Irish, as they enter the competition led by interim head coach Tim Welsh, who stepped in for former head coach Brian Barnes Sept. 3.
Welsh, who last coached the Irish women during the first 10 years (1985-1995) of his original stint at Notre Dame (1985-2014), noted that his athletes have trained extraordinarily well during the offseason and are thrilled to begin competition. The veteran coach also has a specific set of expectations for his team.
“What we’ve talked about is competing well and being tough competitors,” Welsh says. “We want to be focused, we want to be disciplined, we want to be intense in our races and we want to be great competitors.”
Welsh also explains that Friday’s meet will serve as an indicator of where his squad needs improvement.
“At the end of the day, we’re going to draw a line under it and say, ‘here’s where we are,'” Welsh says. “What do we need to do to get better?”
Senior Emma Reaney leads the charge for the Irish after a 2013-14 season saw the Lawrence, Kansas native earn three top–10 finishes at the NCAA Championships, highlighted by a national championship in the 200-yard breaststroke (2:04.06). She also claimed third in the 100-yard breaststroke (57.79) and seventh in the 200-yard IM (1:56.15) to garner All-America honors in all three events.
In addition to Reaney, senior Bridget Casey, the school record holder in the 200-yard fly (1:56.52), is back along with four other NCAA qualifiers – seniors Courtney Whyte and Susanne Bessire and sophomores Katie Miller and Catherine Mulquin.
Friday’s meet marks the beginning of a journey back to the NCAA Championships – the team placed into a tie for 16th a season ago – for the Irish.
Welsh certainly didn’t downplay the significance of his team coming together as one against the Spartans and head coach Matt Gianiodis.
“They’re looking forward to a chance to be a unified group with a common mission,” Welsh says. “They want to take steps as a team.”
Notre Dame last swam against Michigan State in 2011-12, as the Irish bested the Spartans, 218-82, Jan. 21, 2012 by winning all 16 events.
Admission to the meet is free. Fans that can’t make the meet can follow along through live stats. A link is available on UND.com. Meet Mobile will also be up and running for fans to follow during the meet.
Friday’s Schedule of Events
1. 200 Medley Relay
2. 1,000 Free
3. 200 Free
4. 100 Back
5. 100 Breast
6. 200 Fly
7. 50 Free
8. 1-M Diving
9. 100 Free
10. 200 Back
11. 200 Breast
12. 500 Free
13. 100 Fly
14. 3-M Diving
15. 200 IM
16. 400 Free Relay
OFF THE BLOCKS
Reaney Named To The FINA Swimming World Championships (25m)
Senior All-American Emma Reaney will continue to hone her international swimming skills in early December, as the Lawrence, Kansas native has been named to the Team USA roster for the FINA Swimming World Championships (25m) that are set for December 3-7 in Doha, Qatar.
The 2014 national champion in the 200-yard breaststroke will swim the 50- and 100-meter breaststroke events at the short course meet.
The 12th FINA Swimming World Championships (25m) will be contested over five days at the Hamad Aquatic Center in Doha. Forty-six events (34 individual and 12 relays) are slated for the competition program, and a total of 138 medals will be up for grabs. Complete event information can be found at FINA.org.
Whyte Spends Part Of Summer In Costa Rica
Coming off her first appearance at the NCAA Championships in 2014, senior Courtney Whyte spent part of her summer in Costa Rica helping others at a physical therapy clinic. Check out her story here: http://www.und.com/sports/w-swim/spec-rel/100114aaa.html
Von Gunten Tabbed As New Assistant Coach
After a year as the team’s operations intern, Ryan Von Gunten was named the program’s assistant coach in late September by interim head coach Tim Welsh. Read more about his background in swimming here: http://www.und.com/sports/w-swim/spec-rel/092514aaa.html
Welsh Returns To Pool Deck As Interim Head Coach
Just a couple of months after retiring as Notre Dame’s men’s swimming & diving head coach after 29 years, Tim Welsh is back in action under the Golden Dome as the interim women’s swimming & diving head coach for the 2014-15 season. Check out why Welsh came back and his coaching resume here: http://www.und.com/sports/w-swim/spec-rel/090314aab.html
Reaney Named To the U.S. National Team For Second Time
Senior Emma Reaney was named to the U.S. National Team for the second time in early September after a solid showing at the Phillips 66 National Championships in mid-August. Find out more info here: http://www.und.com/sports/w-swim/spec-rel/090314aaa.html