NOTRE DAME, Indiana — The Notre Dame Swim and Dive Team split the dual meet with ACC rival Louisville Saturday, the first meet of 2021 for both teams. The No. RV Irish women upset No. 14 Louisville, 158-141, while the No. 21 Notre Dame men fell narrowly to the No. 13 Cardinals, 148-152.
Sophomore Coleen Gillilan led the way for Notre Dame with three individual wins, including two NCAA B-cut performances. Bayley Stewart, Jack Hoagland and Kelly Straub all notched two individual wins, and Josh Bottelberghe noted a B-cut performance. In addition, Cason Wilburn posted a Top 10 performance in program history in the 100 Free.
“When these two teams get together, there is always excitement,” head swim coach Mike Litzinger attested. “It was back and forth the whole way.”
“I am truly proud of the effort our women put in on both ends of the pool today. It was one of those meets where each performance added on to the other,” he added. “Our men swam and dove for each other today. You could feel that emotion on the pool deck. I was impressed with our fight, resilience and spirit.”
As part of the day’s meet, Notre Dame honored former head swim coach Tim Welsh, and his current fight against pancreatic cancer, by wearing purple.
“I was also happy to honor Coach Welsh with a win today,” Litzinger noted. “That in itself was very special.”
“This is a very difficult time of the year for both Louisville and Notre Dame,” he shared. “Both teams are in the heart of a heavy training training period, and competing during this period is one of the pieces of that training which will help produce some high-level results at the end of the year. I give credit to both squads today.”
HOW IT HAPPENED
The women took the pool first on Saturday, as the Cardinals placed first in the 200 Medley Relay. The Irish team of Carly Quast, Ellie Jew, Cailey Grunhard and Coleen Gillilan placed second with a 1:42.09.
From there, the Irish took hold of the individual events, kicked off by Madeline LaPorte’s 10:04.74 in the 1000 Free. Skylar Fore placed first in the 200 Free (1:51.62), as Kallie Chelsvig placed third with a 1:53.13. Bayley Stewart followed it up with a win in the 100 Back (54.75), as Quast followed closely behind, placing second with a 54.83.
Louisville claimed the top two slots in the 100 Breast, and Elizabeth Fry placed third with a 1:04.30. Coleen Gillilan notched her first win of the day, a B-Cut 1:56.62 in the 200 Fly, as Luciana Thomas placed third with a 1:59.92. The Cardinals placed first and second in the 50 Free, and Grunhard posted a 23.72 to place third.
Kelly Straub swept the diving events, first winning the 3-meter with 282.30, followed by Annie Wiese with 281.40. On the 1-meter, the Irish swept the podium, as Straub posted 325.20, Wiese placed second with 271.65 and Samantha Gillis claimed third with 254.70.
Fore claimed second place in the 100 Free (51.61), behind Louisville, and Stewart notched her second win of the day, this one in the 200 Back (1:57.43). Megan Deuel placed third in the 200 Back with a 2:03.09. Sammie Eyolfson placed second to the Cardinals’ Morgan Friesen in the 200 Breast, as Eyolfson touched the wall in 2:17.96.
In the 500 Free, Notre Dame claimed second and third with LaPorte (4:54.55) and Thomas (4:57.29). Gillian followed with her second win of the day, posting a B-cut 53.52 in the 100 Fly. Her third win came courtesy a 2:00.37 swim in the 200 IM. Stewart placed third in the 200 IM with a 2:03.46. Louisville closed out the women’s session winning the 400 Free Relay, and the Irish team of Fore, Grunhard, Quast and Chelsvig placed second (3:24.40).
Louisville claimed the 200 Medley Relay win, as Notre Dame’s Jack Fitzpatrick, Josh Bottelberghe, Charles Korndorffer and Topher Stensby placed second (1:28.80). Jack Hoagland kicked off the individual events with a win in the 1000 Free (9:09.17), as Luke Thornbrue placed second with a 9:19.39.
Sadler McKeen followed with a win in the 200 Free, posting a 1:37.34, closely followed in second place by Cason Wilburn (1:37.97). Louisville’s Mitchell Whyte won the 100 Back, as Notre Dame’s Kaden Smesko (49.02) and Fitzpatrick (49.11) claimed the other top three spots.
The Cardinals’ Evgenii Somov placed first in the 100 Breast, followed by Bottelberghe (54.13, and NCAA B-Cut) and Tyler Christianson (56.21) in second and third place. Louisville’s Nicolas Albiero touched the wall first in the 200 Fly, as Zachary Smith clocked a 1:48.07 for second and Max Miranda posted a 1:48.09 for third.
Stensby represented the Irish in the 50 Free top three, placing second with a 20.39.
On the diving end, Austin Flaute claimed the win in the 1-meter event (311.03) by almost 20 points. David Petrison placed third (279.30). In the 3-meter, Louisville’s Daniel Pinto turned in the top score. Flaute placed second with 312.45, and Petrison third with 300.60.
Wilburn won the 100 Free with a 44.02, a time which makes him the ninth-fastest performer in that event in program history, while McKeen placed third with a 45.00. Louisville claimed the win in the 200 Back, while Smesko placed second (1:47.56) and Fitzpatrick placed third (1:47.77).
Bottelberghe won the 200 Breast with a 2:00.29, and Christianson claimed third with a 2:03.40. Hoagland posted his second win of the day, touching the wall in 4:25.01 in the 500 Free. The Irish completed a clean sweep of the podium in that event, as Miranda placed second (4:27.91) and Thacher Scannell placed third (4:32.07).
Korndorffer reached the podium in the 100 Fly, placing third with a 48.42. Christianson placed second to Louisville in the 200 IM, posting a 1:50.42, and Sean Faikish came in third with a 1:50.49. Louisville won the 400 Free Relay, and Notre Dame’s Wilburn, Stensby, Hoagland and McKeen placed second (2:57.12).
Notre Dame will remain at home next weekend, as the prior meet at Cleveland State was cancelled. While a time trial may occur in place of the meet, the next official meet is the Shamrock Invitational, taking place from January 21-23 at Rolfs Aquatic Center (Notre Dame).