Aug. 22, 2001

The University of Notre Dame men’s swimming and diving team finished second in the nation in team grade point average during the 2001 spring semester, continuing the Irish team tradition of being among the top academic teams in the nation. Notre Dame’s 3.32 team average ranked second on the College Swimming Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) list, just behind fellow BIG EAST Conference member Georgetown with 3.44.

The second-place finish by head coach Tim Welsh’s team marked the fifth consecutive semester that the Irish have been in the top 10 nationally, and the fourth time the team has been ranked in the top two spots in the CSCAA ranking. Notre Dame was first in 1999 spring semester (3.352), second in the 1999 fall semester, seventh in the 2000 spring semester and second in the 2001 fall semester.

Freestyle specialist Jonathan Pierce (Newburgh, Ind.) also was recognized by the CSCAA as an honorable mention all-academic selection. Pierce set a school record in the 500 freestyle at the 2001 BIG EAST Championship this past season and finished in the top five in two events at the meet. The Irish senior is the first Notre Dame swimmer to win two consecutive BIG EAST titles after capturing the 1,650 freestyle in 1999 and 2000.

To earn all-academic honors as a team, the entire squad must average at least a 2.8 GPA on a 4.0 scale. In all, 31 Division I teams met the criteria for the 2001 spring semester.

The 2001 spring semester top 10:

1. Georgetown, 3.44

2. Notre Dame, 3.32

3. Dartmouth, 3.2936

4. Saint Peter’s, 3.29

5. Princeton, 3.28

6. Boston College, 3.23 7. Denver, 3.21

8. Providence, 3.182

9. North Carolina, 3.1656

10. South Carolina, 3.118