Sophomore Bridget Casey won the 200 fly Sunday.

Irish Open Season With 48th Annual Dennis Stark Relays

Oct. 11, 2012

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NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The Notre Dame women’s swimming and diving team will begin the 2011-12 season Friday with the 48th edition of the Dennis Stark Relays.

The men’s and women’s squads will compete alongside Cleveland State, Illinois State, IUPUI and Oakland at the Rolfs Aquatic Center beginning at 5 p.m. (ET). Live results and free live video are available at with Ryan Camden doing the play-by-play and Notre Dame senior Andrew Bartolini providing commentary.

The meet is made up of only relays with some traditional ones like the 200-yard free relay being complimented with nontraditional ones like the 300-yard fly relay and the 300-yard back relay. On the diving side two divers will pair up for the 1-meter relay and the 3-meter synchronized relay.

“The Stark Relays are very special to this program,” said women’s head coach Brian Barnes. “This meet is all about honoring Dennis, and everything he has done for swimming and diving within this program and community.”

A 1947 graduate of Notre Dame, Stark was the head coach of the Irish men’s program from 1958-85 and ended his career with a record of 167-137, including an 11-1 mark in 1974-75. Stark, whose student-athletes included Notre Dame’s first-ever NCAA qualifiers and six All-Americans, also headed the women’s program from 1981-85, compiling a 31-14 dual-meet record during his tenure. He was the 1984 women’s coach of the year in the North Star Conference.

Stark remains heavily involved in the Special Olympics program in the Northern Indiana area. He was the aquatics venue manager for the 1987 International Summer Olympics held in South Bend and was even honored by Special Olympics advocate Eunice Kennedy Shriver for his outstanding work.

He also earned the Harvey G. Foster Award from the Notre Dame Alumni Association, and was recently presented the Russ Oliver Award honored his high ideals, dedication and service to youth athletics by the St. Joseph Valley Officials Association. The St. Joseph Valley Officials Association also awarded Stark with its Zebra Award in 2007.

Stark was selected to receive the Monogram Club’s highest honor in 2010, the Moose Krause Distinguished Service Award. The award is given annually to a member of the Notre Dame family who has gone on to accomplish great achievement, which embody the spirit of the Monogram Club and the University. The award presentation took place in conjunction with the 2010 Blue-Gold Spring Football Festival (April 16-17) in Sports Heritage Hall as part of the Monogram Club’s Annual Mass, Meeting & Dinner.

The native of Detroit, Mich., Stark and his wife, Angelina, have five children, three of which are Notre Dame graduates.

In his honor, the name of the Notre Dame Relays was officially changed to the “Dennis Stark Relays” on Nov. 22, 2003.

Stark will serve as the official starter for the meet.

Schedule of Events
200-yard Free Relay
400-yard Medley Relay
800-yard Free Relay
400-yard Individual Medley Relay
300-yard Fly Relay
300-yard Back Relay
300-yard Breast Relay
1,000-yard Free Relay
200-yard Medley Relay
400-yard Free Relay
1-meter Diving Relay
3-meter Synchronized Diving Relay