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Irish Take Aim At BIG EAST Title

Feb. 18, 2004

The University of Notre Dame men’s swimming and diving team (8-7) is looking for its first title in the 2004 BIG EAST Championships, slated for Thursday-Saturday in the Nassau County Aquatic Center in East Meadow, N.Y. The Irish have finished among the top four at the BIG EAST meet in each of the last six years, including runner-up results in 1999 and 2000.

LAST TIME IN THE POOL: Notre Dame finished its regular season with a pair of dual-meet victories to secure its seventh winning season in the last nine years. On Friday, Feb. 6, the Irish beat Cleveland State 145-96 before coming back the following day for a 183-103 victory over Oakland.

Against the Vikings, the Irish took each of the top three places in four of the first eight events and won eight races overall. Sophomore Jamie Lutkus (Granger, Ind./Penn H.S.) was dominant for the second week in a row, notching a pair of victories. He led a 1-2-3 Notre Dame finish in the 200-yard individual medley with a time of 1:53.54 and then took first in the 200 breaststroke in 2:07.40. Junior Frank Krakowski (Erie, Pa./Cathedral Preparatory School) headed up the most dominating performance of the evening for the Irish, leading a 1-2-3-4 finish in the 50 freestyle with a time of 21.27. Freshman Ted Brown (Kokomo, Ind./Western H.S.) led Notre Dame’s first 1-2-3 finish of the evening, winning the 1,000-yard freestyle in 9:26.86. Sophomore Chris Barnes (Cincinnati, Ohio/St. Xavier H.S.) posted his first career first-place finish by leading a top-three Irish sweep in the 100 freestyle with a career-best time of 47.02. Notre Dame’s lone diver, freshman Scott Coyle (Indianapolis, Ind./Hamilton Southeastern H.S.), continued his hot streak by taking first place in the three-meter competition with a score of 277.58. Senior co-captain Matt Obringer (Jacksonville, Fla./The Bolles School) continued Notre Dame’s streak of five consecutive victories to start the meet by taking first in the 200 freestyle with a time of 1:42.28. Notre Dame started the meet with a victory in the 400 medley relay in 3:26.80.

The Irish won 12 of 16 events and each of the top three spots in four of the first five individual races in beating Oakland. Coyle led the Irish as a double winner in the diving well, taking first place off both the one- and three-meter boards. His scores were 273.00 and 262.43, respectively. Sophomore Doug Bauman (Erie, Pa./Cathedral Preparatory School) led the most dominating performance for the Irish, a 1-2-3-4 finish in the 100-yard backstroke, in 51.26. Sophomore Patrick Davis (Clearwater, Fla./Jesuit H.S.) headed the first 1-2-3 Irish finish of the afternoon, winning the 1,000 free in 9:35.29. The Irish took the top three spots in the ensuing race, the 200 freestyle, as well. Brown posted his 20th dual-meet race victory of the season with a time of 1:41.35. Sophomore Patrick Heffernan (Norcross, Ga./Norcross H.S.) led a sweep of the top three positions in the 200 butterfly, winning the race in 1:53.91. Two Irish freshmen notched their first race victories: Brian Freeman (Sanger, Calif./Immanuel H.S.) took the top spot in the 200 backstroke with a time of 1:56.50, while Justin Barber (Carson City, Nev./Carson H.S.) was first in the 400 individual medley in a time of 4:09.05. Freshman Tim Kegelman (Yorktown, Va./Tabb H.S.) continued his dominance in the 100 butterfly, winning it in 49.57. Swimming in his final collegiate meet, senior J.R. Teddy (Spring, Texas/Klein H.S.) posted his 18th career dual race victory by winning the 500 free in a season-best time of 4:40.18. Notre Dame bookended the event with victories in the relays. 1:32.58 in the 200 medley, in 1:32.58 and 3:11.16 in the 400 free.

IRISH IN THE BIG EAST CHAMPIONSHIPS: Notre Dame will compete in the BIG EAST Championships for the ninth consecutive season since joining the league in 1995-96. The Irish finished seventh in their first two years in the meet, but have been in the top four each year since then, highlighted by runner-up finishes in 1999 and 2000. Notre Dame was fourth in 1998 and in each of the last three meets.

In 2003, Pittsburgh won its seventh consecutive BIG EAST title, finishing with 708 points. Virginia Tech was second with 555 points, edging Rutgers (538.5), while Notre Dame was fourth with 462.5 points. Among the standouts back for this year’s meet are 2003 Most Outstanding Swimmer Kevin Furlong of Virginia Tech and ’03 Most Outstanding Diver Miguel Velazquez of Miami.

The Irish were in action against a trio of BIG EAST Conference foes this season. Notre Dame beat Villanova 282-51 (10th in ’03 BIG EAST Championships) in dual-meet action and lost 228-123 to Pittsburgh, currently ranked 16th in the CSCAA national dual-meet rankings. West Virginia (6th in ’03) competed in the Notre Dame Invitational, taking third with 1,092 points, behind Notre Dame (2,259.5 points) and #22 Harvard (1,549.5).

Notre Dame has posted five event victories in the BIG EAST Championships, with all of them coming in the years the Irish finished second, 1999 and 2000. Jonathan Pierce won the 1650 freestyle in both of those meets (15:35.65 in ’99; 15:33.16 in ’00), while Ray Fitzpatrick took first in the 200 free in 2000 (1:38.36). In ’99, Dan Szilier was first in the 200 breaststroke (2:00.09), and the 400 free relay team of Vince Kuna, Robert Fetter, Steele Whowell, and Fitzpatrick did the same (3:01.38). In addition, Notre Dame has had 15 runner-up finishes, including one by current sophomore Jamie Lutkus (Granger, Ind./Penn H.S.) in the 400 individual medley last year (3:54.38).

A total of 22 different Irish student-athletes have earned all-BIG EAST honors (awarded to top-three finishers in every event) in the eight years of membership in the conference. Four current Notre Dame competitors gained all-BIG EAST accolades last season: Lutkus, as well as Doug Bauman (Erie, Pa./Cathedral Preparatory School), Frank Krakowski (Erie, Pa./Cathedral Preparatory School), and Tim Randolph (Crown Point, Ind./Merrillville H.S.), who were members of the third-place 200 medley relay team (1:30.58).

A number of other current Irish competitors have top-six finishes in the BIG EAST Championships on their resume. Senior co-captain Matt Obringer (Jacksonville, Fla./The Bolles School) was fifth in the 200 free (2:38.49) and sixth in the 500 free (4:27.57) last season, while Lutkus was fifth in the 200 IM (1:51.15), sophomore Patrick Davis (Clearwater, Fla./Jesuit H.S.) took sixth in the 1650 free (15:47.71), and Bauman was sixth in the 100 back (50.29). In addition, Bauman, Krakowski, and Randolph were on the fourth-place 400 medley relay (3:19.45), while Randolph, Krakowski, and Obringer were on the fourth-place quartet in the 200 free (1:22.02) and the fifth-place 400 free (3:01.91). Obringer, senior J.R. Teddy (Spring, Texas/Klein H.S.), and sophomores Patrick O’Berry (Alpharett, Ga./Milton H.S.) and Bryan Guarnier (Queensbury, N.Y./Glen Falls H.S.) were sixth in the 800 free (6:46.46).

Notre Dame brings 24 of its 29 student-athletes to the BIG EAST Championships. In order to gain entrance to the conference meet, one must achieve an “A” qualifying time in at least one event. Once in the field, a student-athlete may participate in up to two additional events in which he has achieved a “B” qualifying time. In relay competition, each team with at least four qualifiers is eligible to enter one team in every race that can consist of any quartet.

On the current BIG EAST top times list, Notre Dame has at least one participant in the top 10 in every swimming event and features multiple student-athletes among the top 10 in 10 of 13 individual swimming events. The Irish are among the top four in all five relays.

Three Notre Dame student-athletes – Bauman, junior David Moisan (Fisherville, Ky./Louisville Male H.S.), and freshman Tim Kegelman (Yorktown, Va./Tabb H.S.) – rank second in the conference in an event. Bauman’s Unversity record time of 1:48.98 in the 200 backstroke is behind only Pittsburgh freshman Jeff Leath’s 1:48.08. Moisan set a meet and pool record of 3:57.62 in the 400 IM in the Notre Dame Invitational, which has been bettered only by Pittsburgh senior Eric Limkemann (3:54.99), the ’02 champion in the race. Kegelman’s 49.19 in the 100 fly has been beaten only by Connecticut’s Dustin Rogers, who went 48.69.

Notre Dame also has a quartet of third-best times in the individual events. Bauman holds the spot with a 50.33 in the 100 backstroke, joining sophomore Tyler Grenda (Hockessin, Del./Salesianum H.S.) in the 200 breaststroke (2:03.83), Lutkus in the 200 IM (1:52.23), and freshman Chris Zeches (Tucson, Ariz./Salpointe Catholic H.S.) in the 1,650 freestyle (15:48.77).

Notre Dame’s depth is most apparent in the two individual medleys, the 200 backstroke, and the 1650 free, as the Irish have at least three of the top eight swimmers in the conference in each competition. In the 200 IM, four of the league’s top seven are Notre Dame student-athletes; Lutkus (3rd, 1:52.23) is followed by senior co-captain Josh Dermott (El Dorado Hills, Calif./Rio Americano H.S.) at fifth (1:52.48), Moisan in sixth (1:52.49), and freshman Alan Carter (Bethel Park, Pa./Bethel Park H.S.) in seventh (1:52.52). The Irish also have six of the top 13 in that event.

The Irish are third in the 800 free and 200 medley relays and fourth in each of the other three.

IRISH BIG EAST LINEUP: Listed below are the probable events for the 24 Notre Dame student-athletes competing in the BIG EAST Championships. Each competitor can swim in only three individual races. The Irish also will field relay teams in the 200 free, 400 free, 800 free, 200 medley, and 400 medley, though the combinations for those are as yet undetermined.

* Justin Barber – 500 free, 1650 free, 400 IM

* Doug Bauman – 100 back, 200 back

* Matt Bertke – 200 free, 500 free, 1650 free

* Ted Brown – 200 free, 500 free, 1650 free, 400 IM

* Alan Carter – 100 back, 200 back, 200 IM

* Louis Cavadini – 50 free, 100 free, 100 fly

* Brian Coughlan – 100 fly, 200 fly

* Scott Coyle – 1-meter diving, 3-meter diving

* Patrick Davis – 500 free, 1650 free, 400 IM

* Josh Dermott – 100 breast, 200 breast, 200 IM

* Nick Fanslau – 100 breast, 200 breast, 200 IM

* Brian Freeman – 200 free, 200 back, 200 IM

* Tyler Grenda – 100 breast, 200 breast

* Patrick Heffernan – 200 fly, 200 IM 400 IM

* Tim Kegelman – 100 fly, 200 fly, 200 IM

* Frank Krakowski – 50 free, 100 free, 100 fly

* Jamie Lutkus – 200 breast, 200 IM, 400 IM

* David Moisan – 200 breast, 200 IM, 400 IM

* Patrick O’Berry – 200 free, 500 free, 200 fly

* Matt Obringer – 100 free, 200 free, 500 free

* Drew Pittman – 50 free, 100 free, 100 breast

* Tim Randolph – 50 free, 100 free, 100 breast

* Steve Shomberger – 100 back, 200 back, 100 fly

* Chris Zeches – 500 free, 1650 free, 200 back

WINNING WAYS: Notre Dame finished its dual-meet season with an 8-7 record. It was the seventh winning record – and eighth non-losing season – in the last nine years. It also marked the 28th winning season in 46 years of varsity competition.

STRONG FINISH: Standing 1-5 in dual meets midway through November, the Irish proceeded to turn their season around, taking first place in the Notre Dame Invitational (710 points ahead of #22 Harvard) and then posting a 7-2 record in 2004 to finish the year 8-7.

WELSH HITS 250: Notre Dame’s triumph over St. Bonaventure on Jan. 31 was the 250th at Notre Dame for head coach Tim Welsh. In his 19 years leading the Irish, he holds a 252-140 (.643) record coaching both men’s and women’s swimming and diving. He led the Notre Dame women’s program from 1985-95, compiling a 93-50 (.642) record, and Welsh remains the winningest coach in Irish women’s swimming and diving history. Welsh has a 160-90 (.640) mark leading the Notre Dame men. He is seven victories shy of becoming the all-time winningest Irish men’s swimming and diving coach. The program’s first and only other mentor was Dennis Stark, who had a 167-137 (.549) record from 1958-85.

FLYIN’ KEGELMAN: Freshman Tim Kegelman (Yorktown, Va./Tabb H.S.) has been nearly unbeatable in his first collegiate campaign in the 100-yard butterfly. Against nine teams in dual-meet competition, he was beaten only once – by Northwestern’s Tony Swanson, an NCAA qualifier from a year ago who currently ranks as the seventh-fastest swimmer in the country in the race. Kegelman also was beaten by Fernando Alves of North Dakota and West Virginia’s Pedro Pinto in the preliminaries of the Notre Dame Invitational before finishing second to Alves in the final.

Kegelman ranks as the second-fastest swimmer in the 100 fly in school history, behind only University recordholder and current junior Frank Krakowski (Erie, Pa./Cathedral Preparatory School). Kegelman recorded six of the top 11 all-time marks in the event in Irish history this season. He has posted each of the four quickest times on the team in 2003-04 and six of the best seven. His season-best time of 49.19 in a quadrangular dual meet at Pittsburgh is the best unshaved time in the race in Notre Dame history.

Kegelman ranks 44th in the nation in the 100 fly this season, including sixth among freshmen. In the BIG EAST Conference, only Connecticut senior Dustin Rogers has posted a faster time (48.69) than Kegelman

BOOKING BROWN: Ted Brown (Kokomo, Ind./Western H.S.) will finish his freshman season having been beaten just one time in the 1,000-yard freestyle. In the first dual-meet of the season, he was second to North Carolina’s Yuri Suguiyama, who finished 13th in both the 500 and 1650 free in last year’s NCAA Championships. Since then, none of the seven teams that have competed against him have been able to beat Brown in the 1,000. Brown is the second-fastest Irish swimmer in history in the event, behind only University recordholder Jonathan Pierce (9:15.52). He has each of the top three and five of the best six times by Notre Dame competitors in the event this season.

COYLE’S CRESCENDO: Notre Dame’s lone diver, freshman Scott Coyle (Indianapolis, Ind./Hamilton Southeastern H.S.), has had his best results of the season over the last month. After not winning a competition up to that point, he has five victories in the last four dual meets. Coyle first broke through with a win off the one-meter board at #15 Northwestern, a feat he duplicated against St. Bonaventure. In the final weekend of the regular season, Coyle beat both Cleveland State and Oakland in three-meter diving, and also was first vs. the Golden Grizzlies off the lower board.

N.D. = I.M.U.: Notre Dame’s greatest asset this season, its incredible depth, is nowhere more apparent than in the 200-yard individual medley. Six of the top 13 swimmers in the BIG EAST Conference in the event this season are on the Irish roster, including four of the top seven. Leading the way is sophomore Jamie Lutkus (Granger, Ind./Penn H.S.), who is third on the league top times list at 1:52.23, while senior co-captain Josh Dermott (El Dorado Hills, Calif./Rio Americano H.S.) is fifth at 1:52.48, junior David Moisan (Fisherville, Ky./Louisville Male H.S.) is sixth at 1:52.49, and freshman Alan Carter (Bethel Park, Pa./Bethel Park H.S.) seventh at 1:52.52. Three more freshmen are also in the top 20: Tim Kegelman (Yorktown, Va./Tabb H.S.) 11th in 1:53.04, Nick Fanslau (Lansdale, Pa./North Penn H.S.) 13th in 1:53.43, and Brian Freeman (Sanger, Calif./Immanuel H.S.) 20th in 1:54.73. All of those season-best times were set in the Notre Dame Invitational, which saw the Irish take all of the top six positions in the 12-team event.

Notre Dame also has three of the top six BIG EAST swimmers in the 400 IM, with Rolfs Aquatic Center recordholder Moisan leading the way at second in 3:57.62, freshman Ted Brown (Kokomo, Ind./Western H.S.) fifth in 4:00.10, and school recordholder Lutkus sixth in 4:00.48. Irish competitors finished 1-2-3-4-5-7 in the race at the Notre Dame Invitational.

RECORDS MADE TO BE BROKEN: The 2003 Notre Dame Invitational saw Irish swimmers set two University records and a meet and pool record. On Friday, Dec. 5, the quartet of senior co-captain Matt Obringer (Jacksonville, Fla./The Bolles School), junior Matt Bertke (Edgewood, Ky./Covington Catholic H.S.), and freshmen Brian Freeman (Sanger, Calif./Immanuel H.S.) and Ted Brown (Kokomo, Ind./Western H.S.) outdistanced the field by five seconds in winning the 800-yard freestyle relay in 6:45.44. The time was .19 seconds quicker than the previous Irish record, which had stood for 12 and a half years (since March 8, 1991), longer than any other mark still on the books heading into this fall.

The following morning, sophomore Doug Bauman (Erie, Pa./Cathedral Preparatory School) posted the top qualifying time in the 200-yard backstroke, finishing in 1:48.98 and breaking the previous Notre Dame record of 1:49.30, set by David Horak at the 2002 BIG EAST meet. In the evening session, Bauman went 1:49.49, posting the third-best time in school history. He now holds five of the best 10 Irish times ever in the event and his record ranks 47th in the nation this season. Bauman also is tops on the team in the 100 backstroke, with his time of 50.33 ranking third among all BIG EAST swimmers. He has five of the top eight Irish times ever in that event, including second-, third-, and fourth-best marks, having twice come within 0.1 seconds of Horak’s school record of 50.23.

Junior David Moisan (Fisherville, Ky./Louisville Male H.S.) won the 400 IM in 3:57.62, setting meet and pool records. He is the only current Irish competitor and just the third overall to hold a pool or Notre Dame Invitational record. That time is best on the Irish this season and second in the conference and 34th in the nation, while ranking as the fifth-best time ever by an Irish swimmer.

IRISH IN THE COLLEGE QUICK 50: Notre Dame is represented seven times in the College Quick 50, the list of the top times in the nation this season in each event. All five Irish relay teams are listed among the nation’s top 40. The 200 free relay team of sophomore Tim Randolph (Crown Point, Ind./Merrillville H.S.), junior Frank Krakowski (Erie, Pa./Cathedral Preparatory School), and freshmen Tim Kegelman (Yorktown, Va./Tabb H.S.) and Louis Cavadini (South Bend, Ind./Riley H.S.) ranks 24th in Division I with a time of 1:22.41. In the 400 free relay, Cavadini, Randolph, Krakowski, and senior co-captain Matt Obringer (Jacksonville, Fla./The Bolles School) moved into the Quick 50 with a 3:02.90 against Oakland, ranking them 36th. The 800 free relay squad of Obringer, junior Matt Bertke (Edgewood, Ky./Covington Catholic H.S.), and freshmen Brian Freeman (Sanger, Calif./Immanuel H.S.) and Ted Brown (Kokomo, Ind./Western H.S.) that set the Irish record with a 6:45.44 is 27th in the nation. In the 200 medley relay, Notre Dame’s quartet of sophomore Doug Bauman (Erie, Pa./Cathedral Preparatory School), Randolph, Kegelman, and Krakowski rank 33rd with a time of 1:31.62. The same four are 39th in the 400 medley with a time of 3:22.71.

In individual events, Kegelman is 44th in the 100 butterfly with a mark of 49.19, while junior David Moisan (Fisherville, Ky./Louisville Male H.S.) is 43rd in the 400 IM with a pool-record time of 3:57.62.

HIGH SCORERS: A pair of freshman are Notre Dame’s top point scorers this season. Ted Brown (Kokomo, Ind./Western H.S.) holds a sizeable lead on all of his teammates with 423.5 points in 2003-04, including 393 in individual competition. Second is Tim Kegelman (Yorktown, Va./Tabb H.S.) with 343.75, including 237 in individual races. When adding relay points (1/4 of total earned in each race), junior Frank Krakowski (Erie, Pa./Cathedral Preparatory School) is third in total points (312), while ranking fifth in individual competition (197.5). Sophomore Jamie Lutkus (Granger, Ind./Penn H.S.) is third in individual points at 211, while sophomore Patrick Davis (Clearwater, Fla./Jesuit H.S.) is fifth with 196. Sophomore Tim Randolph (Crown Point, Ind./Merrillville H.S.) is fourth in overall points with 281 and senior co-captain Matt Obringer (Jacksonville, Fla./The Bolles School) is fifth with 251.25. In all, 21 of the 29 Irish competitors have scored at least 100 points this season.

CHALLENGING SLATE: Notre Dame has faced a total of six teams this season that are currently ranked or receiving votes in the College Swimming Coaches Association of America’s national top 25. Leading the way is defending BIG EAST champion Pittsburgh (L, 123-228) at 16th, followed by Northwestern (L, 133-155) at 18th, with BYU (L, 116-178) 20th, Harvard (2nd to ND, 2259.5-1549.5, at Notre Dame Invitational) 22nd, and North Carolina (L, 111.5-181.5) 24th. Iowa (L, 119-174) is third among teams receiving votes. Only one of Notre Dame’s losses (125.5-113.5 vs. Michigan State) this season came to a team not mentioned in the CSCAA poll. Seven teams on Notre Dame’s dual-match slate qualified student-athletes for last season’s NCAA Championships.

YOUTHFUL AIRS: This year’s Irish team has a definite youthful side to it. Of the 29 student-athletes, only eight came into 2003-04 more than one previous season of collegiate experience. There are just four members of the class of ’03 and just four juniors, while 10 sophomores and 11 freshmen fill out the roster.

IT TAKES TWO: In returning to a Notre Dame men’s swimming and diving tradition, the Irish will be led by a pair of co-captains in 2003-04 — seniors Josh Dermott (El Dorado Hills, Calif./Rio Americano H.S.) and Matt Obringer (Jacksonville, Fla./The Bolles School). After Notre Dame had tri-captains a season ago for just the second time in the 46-year history of the program, the Irish will have co-captains for the 21st time in the last 24 years.

HEAD COACH Tim Welsh: Irish head coach Tim Welsh is in his 19th season leading the Irish men’s swimming and diving program after helming both the men’s and women’s teams from 1985-94. In his career, which spans 26 previous seasons, Welsh has compiled a 374-231 (.618) overall dual-meet mark, including a 224-126 (.640) record coaching men’s swimming and diving. Last Saturday’s win over St. Bonaventure was his 250th at Notre Dame (252-140 record, .643). A former Division III National Coach of the Year, Welsh has helped his teams to a pair of national titles, as well as 24 conference championships (15 Midwestern Collegiate, 9 Middle Atlantic, 1 North Star). Prior to coming to Notre Dame, he led the Johns Hopkins men’s and women’s programs for eight years, winning back-to-back men’s Division III national titles in 1978 and ’79, being named National Coach of the Year on the latter occasion. Since coming to Notre Dame, he has coached 11 athletes who have earned berths in the NCAA Championships. His impact on the evolution of the men’s program is evidenced by the fact that all but one current University record has been set since 1999. Welsh was named the BIG EAST Coach of the Year in 1999 and has been awarded an honorary monogram for his distinguished service to the swimming programs by Notre Dame’s National Monogram Club. He currently has the second-longest tenure of any Irish coach at Notre Dame (track and field coach Joe Piane is first at 29 years). Welsh also is involved with the sport at the national and international levels, as he served on the NCAA Men’s and Women’s Swimming Committee from 1991-97 and was president of the group at one time. He also has served as the president of the BIG EAST swimming coaches, is a board member of the American Swimming Coaches Association, and will serve on the technical director’s staff for the 2005 World University Games in Turkey.

HEAD DIVING COACH Caiming Xie: Caiming Xie is in his ninth season as the head diving coach at Notre Dame for both the men’s and women’s teams. During his tenure, he has coached two All-Americans on the women’s side, as well as the top two men’s divers in school history: Herb Huesman and Andy Maggio, who barely missed being the first Irish male ever to qualify for the NCAA Championships, in 2002. Caiming has been named his conference’s top diving coach on three occasions, most recently in the BIG EAST in 1999. On the women’s side, Caiming was responsible for the development of Heather Mattingly and Meghan Perry-Eaton, the first two diving All-Americans in Notre Dame history. Caiming also has a great deal of international coaching experience, serving as diving coach for the Chinese Olympic and national team from 1977-90, being recognized as the Chinese National Diving Coach of the Year twice (1986 and ’87). His divers have won a number of medals in international events, including a gold in the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain by Sun Shu-Wei.

IRISH SIGN THREE FOR NEXT SEASON: Head coach Tim Welsh recently announced the signing of three incoming freshmen for the 2004-05 season. Graham Parker (Cherry Hill, N.J./Cherry Hill H.S. East), Rob Seery (Garden City, N.Y./Garden City H.S.), and Jay VandenBerg (Beverly Hills, Mich./Southfield Christian School) have signed national letters of intent to enroll at Notre Dame next year and join the Irish men’s swimming and diving team. Welsh anticipates the addition of further recruits for the class of 2008, but is unable to comment on them at this time due to NCAA regulations.

Parker is a three-time New Jersey state champion, having won titles in the 200 medley relay (2002), the 200 individual medley (’03), and the 400 freestyle relay (’03). He has earned high school All-America honors in the 100 breaststroke, 200 IM, and 200 medley relay and is a spring 2004 senior U.S. national qualifier in the 200 breaststroke with a time of 2:04.24. Seery posted the 14th-fastest time in the nation for 15- and 16-year-old boys in the 1,650 freestyle in 2003, 15:39.39. He has earned All-America honors in the 200 and 500 freestyle and qualified for the 2003 national championships in the 800 free relay. His top times in the 1,000 (9:26.26) and 1,650 freestyle (15:35.01, done after he turned 17) would rank him as the second-quickest swimmer in Notre Dame history in both events. VandenBerg boasted the 15th-fastest time in the nation for 17- and 18-year olds in the 1,650 freestyle last year, 15:32.52. He has posted senior national qualifying marks in the 800 free, 1500 free, and 1650 free. A U.S. Open qualifier in six events (400 free, 800 free, 1000 free, 1500 free, 1650 free, 400 IM), VandenBerg also holds the 16-and-under Michigan postal distance record for 3,000-yard freestyle. VandenBerg’s top 1,650 freestyle time of 15:32.52 has been bettered only once in the history of Notre Dame swimming, while his 9:21.76 mark in the 1,000 free would rank third on the all-time Irish list.

KEEPING UP WITH NOTRE DAME MEN’S SWIMMING & DIVING: For the fastest results of Notre Dame men’s swimming and diving meets, call the Notre Dame Sports Hotline at (574) 631-3000 and choose #7. The hotline provides schedule and results information for all 26 varsity sports and serves as a supplement to the meet previews and recaps provided on the official athletic website, The hotline is the first medium updated with the results of each Notre Dame men’s swimming and diving meet. In addition, media members and fans may be added to the sports information e-mail release list by contacting Bo Rottenborn at He also can provide any needed information about the Irish men’s swimming and diving program.