IOWA CITY, Iowa — The Notre Dame Swim & Dive women’s team raced to a dominant win in the double-dual meet with Iowa and Illinois Saturday, while the men narrowly fell to the Hawkeyes.
- Notre Dame: 244, Illinois: 56
- Notre Dame: 209.50, Iowa: 99.50
- Notre Dame: 140.50, Iowa: 159.50
The massive win for the women came after a month of training, including a 10-day training camp last week.
“I’m very proud of our women as they came in and dominated two B1G teams with some great team swimming,” Notre Dame head coach Mike Litzinger declared. “It was an opportunity for our younger athletes to shine and they certainly took advantage of that.”
The Irish got off to a strong start, winning the women’s 200 Medley Relay with a 1:40.67 from Carly Quast, Coleen Gillilan, Cailey Grunhard and Rachel Wittmer. The Notre Dame team of Bayley Stewart, Elizabeth Fry, Erin Sheehan and Lauren Heller placed third (1:43.81).
On the men’s side, Jack Montesi, Matthew Limbacher, Zach Smith and Aaron Schultz placed second in the 200 Medley Relay with a 1:30.21.
From there, Notre Dame staked its claim on the meet, taking hold of first place in seven consecutive events. Luciana Thomas posted a 10:04.73 in the women’s 1000 Free, good for first, while Jack Hoagland notched a University of Iowa Aquatic Center pool record in the men’s 1000 Free with a 9:07.04.
Abbie Dolan won the women’s 200 Free with a 1:47.68, while Cason WIlburn turned in a 1:37.35 to finish first in the men’s 200 Free. Quast raced to first place in the women’s 100 Back with a 54.67, and Montesi posted a 49.22 to win the men’s 100 Back. Freshman Fry won the women’s 100 Breast, her first win of the season, with a 1:03.77.
“Elizabeth had been struggling with an injury all fall and is beginning to hit her stride now that she is healthy,” Litzinger noted after the meet.
In the women’s 200 Fly, Gillilan posted her 17th B-Cut time of the season with a 1:56.02, winning the event, and Wittmer sprinted to a win in the women’s 50 Free with a 23.37. Dolan posted another win, this one in the women’s 100 Free, with a 50.45.
The Irish went on another run of seven consecutive wins, beginning with Stewart’s win in the women’s 200 Back, a B-Cut time of 1:58.86. Sadler McKeen got on the board with a win in the men’s 200 Back (1:47.01), and sophomore Sammie Eyolfson followed with a win the women’s 200 Breast (2:18.02), her first individual win of the season.
“Sammie had a nice meet and is continuing on a good path,” Litzinger expressed.
Josh Bottelberghe posted a 1:59.43 in the men’s 200 Breast, good for first place, and Dolan notched another win, her third on the day, in the women’s 500 Free (4:50.85). Hoagland followed suit, winning the men’s 500 Free (4:23.53).
Gillilan continued her success with her second and third individual wins of the day, winning the women’s 100 Fly (52.33) and the women’s 200 IM (1:58.55), both B-Cut times. She has now posted 19 B-Cut times on the season. Max Miranda posted a win in the men’s 200 IM (1:50.08).
“Coleen had a very good training camp and is really dialing in her focus,” Litzinger shared. “All good things ahead.”
On the diving end, Austin Flaute posted a first-place finish in the men’s 3 meter (367.20), while Erin Isola won the women’s 3 meter (320.35).
The men’s narrow loss came as a result of Iowa’s depth, according to Litzinger.
“Jack Hoagland had a great double win. Wins by Sadler McKeen, Jack Montesi, Cason Wilburn, Austin Flaute, Max Miranda and Josh Bottelberghe helped keep it close,” Litzinger explained. “In looking ahead, our men need to ramp up their intensity and get ready for a tough Northwestern team.”
The Irish will return to Notre Dame for a three-week home slate, kicking off next weekend with a Jan. 17th matchup with Northwestern. Notre Dame will then host the Shamrock Invitational Jan. 24-25, followed by a double-dual meet with Ball State and Michigan State Feb. 1.