March 26, 2005
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – Sophomore Tim Kegelman (Yorktown, Va./Tabb H.S.) concluded his season on Saturday morning, placing 37th in the 200-yard butterfly in preliminaries of the 2005 NCAA Division I Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships at the University of Minnesota Aquatics Center. Kegelman, the first Notre Dame men’s swimmer ever to take part in the NCAAs, registered his top placing of the meet.
Kegelman, who was seeded 24th with a University-record of 1:47.53, turned in a time of 1:52.78. He went out in 24.80, his fourth-fastest opening 50 of the season. Kegelman then split 28.00 in his second leg for a halfway time of 52.80 (third-best of 2004-05). The second half of the race saw him slow down, splitting 29.03 and 30.95 in the final two legs.
The top 16 qualifiers in prelims of the 37-swimmer field earned spots in the evening finals, with Georgia’s Jonathan Schmidt snagging the final position with a time of 1:46.24. Kentucky’s Daniel Cruz and Davis Tarwater of Michigan tied for the top qualifying time, both breaking the pool record with a mark of 1:43.30.
Kegelman previously finished 39th in the 200 individual medley and was disqualified in the 100 fly. He was the second NCAA qualifier in program history, after diver Bob Ebel, who took 77th in three-meter springboard action in 1975.
Saturday marked the conclusion of the 2004-05 season for the Irish. The campaign was the most successful in the 47-year history of the varsity program. Notre Dame went 10-2 in dual meets, losing only to #14 Northwestern and #22 Brigham Young and upsetting #17 Pittsburgh in November for the program’s first-ever win against a ranked foe. The Irish, who had never previously been nationally ranked, finished 21st in the College Swimming Coaches Association of America National Dual Meet Poll. Notre Dame then claimed its first-ever BIG EAST Conference championship with a meet-record 902 points that was 275 ahead of eight-time defending champion Pittsburgh. Kegelman capped it off with his historic swims at the NCAAs. Other highlights were first-place finishes in both the Dennis Stark Relays and Notre Dame Invitational, as well as a midseason training and competition trip to Ireland. The Irish will lose four seniors to graduation, but will return their top competitor in 16 of 18 individual events.