David Stewart joins eight other swimmers from the men's team in Michigan this weekend.

Irish To Compete at Michigan First Chance Meet

Feb. 10, 2016

By Lizzie Mikes

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The University of Notre Dame swimming program will send a total of 13 swimmers to compete Saturday and Sunday at the Michigan First Chance Meet. The meet starts at 11 a.m. ET both days, and will be held in the Canham Natatorium on the campus of the University of Michigan.

“It’s a unique opportunity to compete in a championship format before the traditional college championship weekend.,” Irish head coach Mike Litzinger says. “This is going to be a great opportunity for our young people to show what they can do, and put forth a season’s worth of work on the line. I think it’s going to be an exciting opportunity, and we’re looking forward to going up and competing with a bunch of teams that are heading up to Michigan.”

On the women’s team, junior Molly Barry (free) and senior Genevieve Heidkamp (fly) will race with sophomore Mary Hinton (free/back) and freshman Rebecca Walton (free/fly).

Barry’s fastest times of the season were all recorded at the Purdue Invitational in November (100 free 53.84, 200 free 1:54.28, 500 Free 5:02.56, 1650 free 17:03.56), while Heidkamp’s fastest were all swam at the Shamrock Invitational two weeks ago (50 free 24.75, 100 free 54.53, 100 back 1:00.19, 100 fly 56.81).

Hinton’s top performances are mixed between the Purdue meet (50 free 25.26, 200 free 1:57.61, 100 back 1:00.88, 200 back 2:06.23, 200 IM 2:13.99) and the Irish home meet January 16 against Northwestern (100 free 52.54). Walton’s top times differ by meet, with her fastest 50 free (24.73) recorded early in the year against Michigan State and the remainder of her top times having been swum at Purdue (100 free 53.47, 200 free 1:54.66, 500 free 5:02.88, 1650 free 17:24.08, 100 fly 57.36, 200 fly 2:06.67).

On the men’s team, seven freshmen join sophomores Harlin Bessire (free) and Benjamin Jany (distance freestyle) – Billy Barth (free), Daniel Fujan (free), Benjamin Gorski (breast), Maciej Olszewski (IM/breast), Jack Russell (IM/breast), David Stewart (free/fly) and Zachary Stump (IM/fly/breast).

“I think to make the ACC team is difficult enough as it is, but it definitely shows that you have to be more than a one event swimmer or diver,” Litzinger comments on the Michigan swimmers not racing at the ACC Championship meets. “I think it’s a signal to those people going to this meet they need to develop in another event, and we’ve talked about that as a team; it’s not a secret. They may be very proficient and competitive in one event at the conference level in one, but for us to win a conference championship as a team we need swimmers to be able to score in three events, and broaden their repertoire of events.

“This is going to give them an opportunity to do that, in a setting where maybe at the ACC meet they would be shut out of a final swim. They’re going to be able to swim their three primary events, and see what they can do with it,” he finishes.

Full results from the Michigan meet will be available on und.com, along with coverage of the ACC Championship meets in the weeks after.

— ND —

Lizzie Mikes serves as Media Services Coordinator at the University of Notre Dame. A 2013 graduate of Johnson & Wales University, she oversees credential management and is the athletic communications director for Fighting Irish men’s and women’s swimming and diving. She has assisted with numerous NCAA postseason events hosted by Notre Dame, and is heavily involved in the day-to-day tasks of the athletic communications office.