Dec. 16, 2010
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Head coach Tim Welsh recently announced the signing of 12 student-athletes to continue their academic and athletic careers at the University of Notre Dame beginning in the fall of 2011. Nine swimmers and three divers provide the make-up for an Irish program that has set the benchmark for top performances at the BIG EAST Conference meet for the last several years.
“We could not be happier with the group of student-athletes set to join our program for next season,” Welsh said. “We know that their performances at the high school and club levels will parlay into a very successful collegiate career, and we’re very excited to get them into our pool.”
“We have been very excited about the present and future of Notre Dame men’s swimming and diving throughout this fall season,” associate head coach Matt Tallman added. “We have competed very well and at a faster level than in the past, and our recruiting went as well we could have hoped. We have a tremendous group joining us next fall that should help us move forward as a program on the national level.”
A number of signees are nationally ranked according to CollegeSwimming.com to add to the growing number of accolades for the largest incoming class Notre Dame has fielded in recent history.
Matthew DeBlasio Free / Back / Fly / IM 6-2 / 190 Dix Hills, N.Y.
The DeBlasio File: Two-time All-American in the 200 IM … New York State Public High School Champion in the 200 IM as a junior … named to the all-state team as a freshman, sophomore and junior in the 200 IM and 100 back … six-year varsity swimmer at Half Hollow Hills East (N.Y.) … hold school records in the 100 back and 200 IM … swam at the 2010 National Select Camp in Colorado Springs, Colo. … U.S. Nationals qualifier … two-time team captain and MVP … consistently ranked in the top 10 by USA Swimming in his respective age group … qualified for Senior Nationals … member of the National Honor Society … born November 18, 1993, in Mineola, N.Y. … youngest of three children … son of Vicki and Marc DeBlasio … full name is Matthew Michael DeBlasio.
Irish Staff on DeBlasio: “Matthew will be one of the younger members of the class. With that, we anticipate that he has a lot of improving to do before he arrives on campus, which is exciting for both him and us. He is very versatile with a real strength in the IM and backstroke events. He has a very bright future here at Notre Dame.”
Top Times (yards): 100 free (46.25), 200 free (1:40.61), 500 free (4:30.61), 100 back (49.84), 200 back (1:47.64), 100 fly (51.01), 200 fly (1:50.95), 200 IM (1:52.29), 400 IM (3:54.45)
Top Times (LCM): 100 back (58.52), 200 back (2:05.58), 200 IM (2:08.03), 400 IM (4:37.12)
CollegeSwimming.com Ranking: 62
Kevin Hughes Free 6-1 / 180 Rye, N.Y.
The Hughes File: Three-time letterwinner under head coach Carle Fierro at Rye (N.Y.) … All-American as a sophomore as part of the school’s 400 free relay squad … named to the all-state team in his sophomore and junior seasons … competes with the Hydroquatics Swim Team on the club level … summer National and Junior National qualifier …competed in 10K Open Water Nationals … member of the 2010-11 National Youth Team … scholastic All-American … born September 23, 1993, in White Plains, N.Y. … full name is Kevin John Hughes … son of Lisa and John Hughes … youngest of three children … sister, Katie (Maryland), and brother, Michael (Boston College), both swim at the collegiate level.
Irish Staff on Hughes: “Kevin left campus earlier this fall with a true love for Notre Dame. He is very talented in the distance events and will help add much needed depth at a fast level, particularly in the 1,650. As a member of the National Youth Team with plenty of experience in big meets, we have high hopes for his success.”
Top Times (yards): 200 free (1:42.35), 500 free (4:30.22), 1,000 free (9:28.53), 1,650 free (15:34.23), 100 back (52.85)
Top Times (LCM): 200 free (1:54.73), 400 free (4:01.92), 800 free (8:27.50), 1500 free (15:58.59)
CollegeSwimming.com Ranking: 145
Brennan Jacobsen Free / Fly 6-2 180 Whittier, Calif.
The Jacobsen File: Earned three varsity letters while swimming as a prep at Sonora (Calif.) … two-time All-American … finished first at 2010 CIF meet in the 500 free (4:24.82) … placed first at the 2010 CIF Masters meet in the 200 free (1:40.12) … consolation finalist at 2010 Long Course Junior Nationals in the 400 free (3:58.28) and 1,500 free (15:47.84) … 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials qualifier … born July 12, 1992 … son of Patty and Todd Jacobsen … oldest of three children
Irish Staff on Jacobsen: “Brennan grew up as a fan of Notre Dame and is a great young man. He will join the program with multiple qualifying times for the Olympic Trials, which is no easy task. He is big and strong and will make an immediate impact in the distance events.”
Top Times (yards): 200 free (1:40.10), 500 free (4:24.46), 1,000 free (9:14.27), 1,650 free (15:27.25), 200 fly (1:51.15), 400 IM (4:00.74)
Top Times (LCM): 200 free (1:53.74), 400 free (3:58.28), 800 free (8:17.00), 1,500 free (15:47.84), 200 fly (2:04.53)
CollegeSwimming.com Ranking: 54
Michael Kreft Diving 5-9 170 Solon, Ohio
The Kreft File: Two-time All-American … Ohio’s 2010 state champion after placing second in 2009 … seventh at the state meet in 2008 … dove for four years under Marc Cahalane at Solon (Ohio) … set the 11-dive pool (534.05) and school record at Solon … also holds pool records at Lakewood and Strongsville … three-time team MVP … three-time all-conference, all-city and all-state selection … two-time Cleveland Plain Dealer Player of the Week … three time NOC Scholar Athlete Award recipient … currently holds a national ranking … captain of the diving squad at Solon … dives for American Flyers Diving on the club level … plays the guitar, mandolin, and electric violin … born December 19, 1992, in Cleveland, Ohio … oldest of three children … son of Kan and John Kreft.
Irish Staff on Kreft: “Michael is a strong and talented diver who will add to our team’s depth. He’ll help out the team in both dual meets and at the BIG EAST Championships.”
Jimmy McEldrew Free / Back / IM 5-11 / 160 Northwales, Pa.
The McEldrew File: All-American in the 500 free (4:31.36) as a junior … four-year letterwinner and two-time captain for Richard Shoulberg at Germantown Academy (Pa.) … three-time all-conference performer … qualified for three events at the Grand Prix Meet in 2010 … U.S. Nationals qualifier … member of the Community Service Organization … born June 3, 1993, in Philadelphia, Pa. … one of four children …son of Debbie and Jim McEldrew … sisters Kelly (Georgetown) and Caitlin (Oberlin) both ran track and cross country at the collegiate level.
Irish Staff on McEldrew: “Jimmy comes from a great club program at Germantown Academy. He excels in the backstroke and IM events and is a U.S. National qualifier that we are looking forward to coaching.”
Top Times (yards): 500 free (4:31.93), 100 back (52.94), 200 back (1:49.64), 200 IM (1:52.21), 400 IM (4:02.43)
Top Times (LCM): 400 free (4:06.26), 800 free (8:30.01), 200 back (2:06.14), 200 IM (2:07.96), 400 IM (4:31.36)
CollegeSwimming.com Ranking: 134
Cameron Miller Breast / IM 6-1 190 Michigan City, Ind.
The Miller File: Five-time All-American … held a national ranking since his freshman season … finished in the top four in the Indiana state meet in the 100 breast and 200 IM as a junior … four-time letterwinner and four-time captain at Michigan City (Ind.) … currently holds 11 high school records and one sectional record … competed in Barcelona, Spain, as a member of the National Youth Team … 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials qualifier … member of the National Honor Society, Spanish National Honor Society, student council, science club, math team and the choral club as well as serving as the vice president of the Spanish club … born January 28, 1993, in Las Vegas, N.V. … full name is Cameron Michael Miller … son of Nancy and Michael Miller … oldest of five children.
Irish Staff on Miller: “Cameron is a relatively local prospect who also competed with the the National Youth Team. He is a big, strong swimmer, but has a limited training background in terms of practices and yardage. For him to have already achieved Olympic Trial times is a tremendous achievement, and he should improve significantly when he is able to train with the other breaststrokers in our program.”
Top Times (yards): 100 breast (55.59), 200 breast (2:03.54), 200 IM (1:51.67)
Top Times (LCM): 100 breast (1:03.55), 200 breast (2:19.21), 200 IM (2:10.33)
CollegeSwimming.com Ranking: 33
John Nappi Free / IM 6-0 165 Pittsburgh, Pa.
The Nappi File: Prepped at Mt. Lebanon (Pa.) while earning three varsity letters with the swim team … nine-time All-American … short course nationals qualifier … holds school records in the 200 IM, 500 free and 200/400 free relays … WPIAL champion in the 200 IM as a junior … placed second in the state in the 500 free … three-time team MVP and team captain … three times named to the all-conference, all-city and all-state squads … member of National Honor Society and student-athlete council … born September 24, 1993 … son of Kathy and Frank Nappi … full name is John Francis Nappi … sister, Mary, swims at Wooster.
Irish Staff on Nappi: “John is a very versatile freestyler who also has very good IM results. He can do everything from swimming a 50 on a relay while going the distance in the 1,000 and 1,650 events. He has been very well coached throughout his career and has done a great job preparing for a collegiate career. We are looking forward to John helping the program in many ways.”
Top Times (yards): 100 free (46.26), 200 free (1:42.02), 500 free (4:29.37), 1,000 free (9:26.26), 1,650 free (15:57.41), 100 back (52.60), 100 fly (52.62), 200 IM (1:51.47), 400 IM (4:02.94)
Top Times (LCM): 800 free (8:31.68), 200 IM (2:11.74), 400 IM (4:39.08)
CollegeSwimming.com Ranking: 149
Nick Nemetz Diving 5-10 145 Ann Arbor, Mich.
The Nemetz File: Three-time All-American diver … collected all-state, all-city and all-conferecne accolades each of his four years at Ann Arbor Pioneer (Mich.) … won state title as a sophomore and placed third as a junior … earned four varsity letters … competed at the 2010 Junior Nationals … team captain as a senior … holds the pool record at Sayne High School … member of the National Honor Society and the Community Volunteer Club … born December 4, 1992, in Ann Arbor, Mich. … has a twin sister, Margaret … son of Theresa and Ed Nemetz.
Irish Staff on Nemetz: “Nick is a very accomplished diver, and we liked what we’ve seen from him these last few years. He will certainly add a lot of skill to our roster and we look forward to him having a great career here.”
Patrick Olson Free / Breast / Fly / IM 6-2 179 Marlton, N.J.
The Olson File: Two-time All-American … four-time letterwinner at St. Joseph Prep (Pa.) … qualified for the final heat in both the 200 and 400 IM at the 2010 Summer Junior Nationals … U.S. Nationals qualifier … twice named to the all-Catholic League squad … also lettered in lacrosse and football … born April 27, 1993, in Camden, N.J. … full name is Patrick James Olson … son of Catherine and John Olson … mother swam at Villanova … oldest of three children.
Irish Staff on Olson: “It is great to have Patrick join the Notre Dame family. We are very familiar with the type of training he does under coach John Carroll and the Jersey Wahoos, which has provided a steady pipeline of student-athletes for our program. Patrick has had a lot of success in the breast and IM events and has big goals for his senior season. He will help to strengthen our already deep breaststroke events.”
Top Times (yards): 200 free (1:41.80), 500 free (4:41.01), 100 breast (57.79), 200 breast (2:07.48), 100 fly (52.52), 200 fly (1:54.52), 200 IM (1:51.65), 400 IM (3:58.47)
Top times (LCM): 200 breast (2:22.21), 200 IM (2:06.68), 400 IM (4:31.67)
CollegeSwimming.com Ranking: 125
Zachary Stephens Breast 5-11 / 150 Bloomsburg, Pa.
The Stephens File: All-American as a sophomore and junior in the 100 and 200 breaststroke … PIAA state champion record holder in the 100 breast (56.43) … Pennsylvania District IV record holder in the 200 IM (1:52.53) and 100 breast (57.04) … four-time letterwinner and two-time captain for Mark Barnes at Bloomsburg Area (Pa.) … qualified for short court nationals … currently holds six school records … went undefeated in his freshman, sophomore and junior years, while being a regional champion over that same period … also lettered in tennis and track … member of the National Honor Society … born November 18, 1992, in Bloomsburg, Pa. … full name is Zachary John Stephens … son of Ann and John Stephens … youngest of four children … sister, Jessica, swam for Notre Dame … brother, Matthew, ran cross country at Princeton … brother, Justin, swims at Villanova.
Irish Staff on Stephens: “We were thrilled to get the call from Zachary when he committed to our program. He comes from a great family with three older siblings who competed at the Division I level. He is a very solid breaststroker from Pennsylvania, which is always a strong swimming state.”
Top Times (yards): 100 breast (56.43), 200 breast (2:03.88), 200 IM (1:52.19), 400 IM (4:02.37)
CollegeSwimming.com Ranking: 117
Ted Wagner Diving 5-10 150 Naperville, Ill.
The Wagner File: Four-time letterwinner at Neuqua (Ill.) while also earning NISCA All-American honors in 2010 … holds school’s 11-dive record … placed in the top 12 at the Illinois state meet as a sophomore and seventh as a junior … two-time conference champion … team captain as a senior … Indian Prairie Scholar and member of National Society of High School Scholars … born November 6, 1992, in Madison, Wisc. … son of Carolyn and John Wagner … oldest of three children … cousin, Andy Bonk, was a fencer at Notre Dame.
Irish Staff on Wagner: “Ted is a very experienced diver and we believe that his best performances are still ahead of him. He has shown that he can compete and succeed at a high level and we expect him to do no different here at Notre Dame.”
John Williamson Free / Fly 6-1 180 Bloomington, Ill.
The Williamson File: Earned four varsity letters while swimming as a prep at University (Ill.) … six-time All-American … fastest Illinois 16-year old ever in the 100 fly (LCM/SCY) and 200 fly (SCY) … second at the 2010 Illinois state meet in the 200 free (1:39.21) and 100 fly (49.49) … competed at the 2009 state meet in the 100 fly, 200 free, 200 medley relay and 400 free relay … finished seventh that season in the 100 fly … U.S. Nationals qualifier … holds school and area records in the 100 fly, 100 free, 200 free, 200 medley relay, and 400 free relay … member of the 2010 NCSA Junior National Team … born July 1, 1993, in Lexington, Ill. … son of Laura and Bill Williamson … one of five children.
Irish Staff on Williamson: “John is one of the top recruits this year from Illinois. He is a strong freestyle and butterfly swimmer and a U.S. National qualifier. He has set very high goals for his future and we are certainly looking forward to helping him achieve them.”
Top Times (yards): 50 free (21.24), 100 free (46.16), 200 free (1:39.21), 500 free (4:29.49), 100 fly (49.49), 200 fly (1:47.79)
Top Times (LCM): 200 Free (1:55.94), 100 fly (57.48), 200 fly (2:05.00)
CollegeSwimming.com Ranking: 76