Oct. 10, 2014
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – University of Notre Dame head coach Matt Tallman chalked up his first official “W” in the record books Friday, as the Irish men’s swimming and diving team won the 50th annual Dennis Stark Relay at the Rolfs Aquatic Center. The Irish won every event against Olivet Nazarene and scored 240 points between swimming and diving.
“We swam pretty well. I thought the guys stepped up very nicely. We had talked about doing things fundamentally right at this meet,” Tallman says. “Even though they are beat up from the out-of-water practices we’ve had this past month, they stepped up and the coaches definitely had some sparks of good things to see throughout the rest of the year.”
In the first event of the night, seniors Zachary Stevens and Patrick Olson teamed up with freshmen Gabe Ostler and Joseph Krause in the 200 free relay. Krause, a Michigan state record holder in the 50 free, anchored the 4-man team to a first place finish with his 20.99 split. Olson wasn’t far behind the freshman phenom with his own 20.85 split.
In one of the closer races of the evening, the Irish quartet of Michael Hudspith, Reed Fujan, John Nappi and Patrick Murphy came in first in the 800 free relay, posting a 6:53.15 mark. Hudspith got the team off to an early lead with his 1:41.32 lead leg, while Murphy wrapped things up for the Irish with his 1:44.23 split.
In the first non-traditional relay of the evening – the 400 IM Relay – another all-senior lineup featuring Stephens, Olson, Matthew DeBlasio and Miller out-swam two Tigers teams to finish in 3:28.92.
In the 300-yard stroke relays, Williamson, Ayhan and Kevin Bradley touched in first in butterfly (2:32.35), Tom Anderson, Ostler and Nappi finished the backstroke race in 2:35.79; and Michael Schiffer, Andrew Jensen and Olson clocked in at 2:55.71 in breaststroke.
In the 2×500 free relay, it was a battle of underclassmen vs. upperclassmen, as Joseph Petrone and Richard Mannix cruised to first in 9:34.17, while DeBlasio and Murphy finished second in 9:37.38.
In the 200-yard medley 4×50 relay, Ayhan, Miller, Stephens and Hughes touched the wall in 1:31.93. Hudspith, Bradley, Krause and Fujan finished the 400 free 4×100 race in 3:05.28, firmly in first.
Over on the diving boards, the two events of the night were the 1-meter relay and 3-meter synchronized diving. Senior Nick Nemetz enjoyed the sense of nostalgia, saying “It’s just a fun time, and an opportunity to do synchro with your friends. It’s the most amount of time in the season where you train without competing at all, so it’s nice to have everything we go over in practice come together in a meet.”
Nemetz and fellow senior Michael Kreft combined for a score of 268.95 in the 3-meter synchro, finishing third behind the other Irish diving duos of Ted Wagner and Peter Myers – first with 314.05 – and Joe Coumos and John Lichtenstein, second with 283.80.
“This is our last, first meet ever; it’s been a long road to get here, but this has been the first meet of the year for all four years and it’s definitely cool to finish the same as we started,” adds in Kreft when talking about the meet.
Coumos and Lichtenstein came in first in the 1-meter relay with a joint score of 672.14. In individual scoring, Coumos led the way with his 343.57 mark while Nemetz had the second-best score with his 334.50 tally.
The Irish divers are next in action October 17th, when they travel to Atlanta, Georgia for a dual diving meet with ACC foe Georgia Tech and SEC rival Auburn. The Irish team will be back on the blocks at Rolfs November 1st when they host Purdue.
Lizzie Mikes, Media Servies Coordinator