The Irish got off to a winning start in 2010-11 with a victory at the Dennis Stark Relays.

Irish Start 2010-11 Season With Home Win

Oct. 8, 2010

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NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Notre Dame started the 2010-11 men’s swimming and diving season in the same fashion it has done so for many others – by winning the Dennis Stark Relays. After suffering a setback to Michigan in the 2009 edition of the event, the Irish bounced back Friday evening at Rolfs Aquatic Center to accumulate 256 points while defeating Oakland (190) and Valparaiso (120).

“This was an excellent start for the team,” Irish head coach Tim Welsh said. “The team has showed an exciting exuberance in practice and that showed itself tonight in very spirited racing. We have worked hard on some technical improvements, and we saw signs of those improvements tonight. We are energized by this performance.”

Welsh and company won nine of 12 events, with Oakland taking first in three races.

Notre Dame remains at home and battles BIG EAST Conference rival Pittsburgh Oct. 22 (Friday) at noon.

200 Free Relay: Marshall Sherman sprinted out of the gates and gained the early lead for the Irish … Frank Dyer maintained the slight lead … Kevin Rahill lengthened the margin to over a body length … Thomas Van Volkenburg anchored the relay in a blistering split of 20.80 to grab the gold in 1:24.52.

400 Medley Relay: Connor Wills took a slight lead over Oakland’s Tobias Hansen after their backstroke lengths … Oakland’s Scott Yarbrough edged ahead of Christopher JohnsonBill Bass closed the gap in the butterfly portion … Johsua Nosal touched the pad for first place in 3:26.32 to claim the second win.

800 Free Relay: Oakland’s Nick Evans and Amr el Sayed build a several body-length lead over the Irish after the first two competitors got out of the water … Bertie Nel closed the gap to just a half-body length after his leg … Oakland’s Grant Harding was able to hold off Michael Sullivan in the final 200 yards for the victory in 6:50.23 … the Irish touched the wall in 6:51.10.

400 Individual Medley Relay: Bass established an early lead for the Notre Dame squad … the race tightened in the second and third segments … Joseph Raycroft took control of the race for the Notre Dame A-quartet, who finished in 3:34.09 for another gold.

400 Butterfly Relay: Jordan Berry swam a neck-and-neck 100 yards with Oakland’s Alex Aceino … Wesley Mullins used an impressive turn to claim the lead for the Irish … Steven Brus finished off the victory, touching the pad at 3:28.31.

400 Backstroke Relay: Michael Sullivan sprinted out to gain the early lead, which was held by Nel … Sherman opened the lead for Nosal who anchored the fifth Irish victory in 3:25.50.

400 Breaststroke Relay: Johnson battled Oakland’s Scott Yarbrough and the two remained even through the first 100 yards … Raycroft and Joshua Choi built an Irish lead as Colin Babcock finished off the win, freezing the clock at 3:53.55.

1,000 Free Relay: Oakland’s duo of Amr el Sayed and Nick Evans rolled to a time of 9:21.45 … Brus and Ryan Belecanech finished second in 9:35.04.

200 Medley Relay: Wills sprinted out to an early lead for the Irish … the lead held until Oakland’s Alex Aceino swam a blistering 22.61 in the butterfly segment to give Oakland the lead … the Grizzles held on for the victory with a time of 1:34.86 … the Irish finished in second in 1:35.20.

400 Free Relay: Oakland’s Grant Harding built an early lead for the Grizzles … Van Volkenburg torched the field during his 100 yards to regain the lead for the Irish … Dyer padded the lead for the Irish before Nosal closed out the night with a time of 3:04.98.

Diving Relay: Eric Lex and Nathan Geary tag-teamed the event with 358.60 points for first place.

Combo Diving: Lex and Geary did the deed once again for a second win, this time racking up 623.05 points.