Feb. 20, 2002
2002 BIG EAST Championship *Nassau County Aquatics Center * Uniondale, N.Y.
Thursday, Feb. 21 – Saturday, Feb. 23
Irish head to BIG EAST Championship looking for top-five finish:
The University of Notre Dame men’s swimming and diving team will compete in its seventh BIG EAST Championship meet this weekend at the Nassau County Aquatics Center in Uniondale, N.Y.
The Irish will be looking for their fifth top-five finish in the last five years at the meet and feature some of the top-ranked swimmers and divers in the conference heading into the competition.
Here is a look back at the history of the Notre Dame men’s team in the BIG EAST meet:
Year Place Total Pts. Site
2001 fourth 385.50 Uniondale, N.Y.
2000 second 501.00 Uniondale, N.Y.
1999 second 565.00 Uniondale, N.Y.
1998 fourth 376.00 Pittsburgh, Pa.
1997 seventh 299.50 Piscataway, N.J.
1996 seventh 262.00 Pittsburgh, Pa.
Six Notre Dame swimmers have earned individual titles at the BIG EAST meet. Current senior Jonathan Pierce is the only two-time winner for the Irish, capturing first in the 1650 freestyle in 1999 and 2000. Ray Fitzpatrick won the 200 freestyle in 2000, Dan Szilier took first in the 200 breaststroke in 1999, and the 400 freestyle relay team of Vince Kuna, Rob Fetter, Steele Whowell and Ray Fitzpatrick finished first in 1999.
Notre Dame recently completed the 2001-02 dual meet season with a 12-3 record, the most wins the team has posted since 1990-91 (13-3).
Irish boast experience and success at BIG EAST meet:
The 2001-02 Irish roster features a number of swimmers and divers that have enjoyed success at the conference level. Two-time BIG EAST Champion Jonathan Pierce will lead the Irish distance group into this weekend’s competition. Pierce won the 1650 freestyle in 1999 and 2001 and finished fourth a year ago. He also has a second-place finish in the 500 freestyle to his credit in 2000 and he finished third in the 500 in 2001.
Junior diver Andy Maggio finished second in one-meter diving last year (302.70 pts.) and took third place in the three-meter event. Maggio finished fifth in the three-meter and sixth in the one-meter in 2000.
Junior Jason Fitzpatrick has a top-five finish on his resume, taking third in the 200 breaststroke in 2001.
Where the Irish stand entering this weekend’s meet:
The BIG EAST Conference has released the psych sheet for this weekend’s meet. Here is a breakdown of where the Irish stand entering the competition.
200 Freestyle Relay: A key goal throughout the season has been improving the success of the Irish relay teams. The Irish will find out if that goal has been achieved this weekend. The 200 freestyle relay team of Austin Anderson, Frank Krakowski, Dean Wolf and Drew Pittman enters the BIG EAST meet ranked fifth with a time of 1:24.47.
500 Freestyle: Jonathan Pierce should be one of the favorites in this race. He enters the competition ranked fourth (4:32.99) behind Eric Limkemann and Max Von Bodungen from Pittsburgh and Michael Szapiel from St. John’s. Pierce is not the lone Irish threat in the 500. Matt Bertke is sixth, J.R. Teddy is seventh and Matt Obringer is eighth on the psych sheet. The Irish are poised to score some valuable team points in the 500 freestyle.
200 Individual Medley: David Moisan carries the Irish hopes in the 200 IM. He enters the competition ranked 11th (1:54.26) and will be competing in his first conference meet this weekend. Josh Dermott (19th) and Jason Fitzpatrick (32nd) have also qualified for the 200 IM field.
50 Freestyle: Freshman Frank Krakowski has brought the Irish team some competitive speed in the 50 freestyle this season. He enters the BIG EAST meet ranked 14th (21.19) and will be joined in the field by Adam Cahill (22nd), Dean Wolf (24th), Austin Anderson (28th) and Drew Pittman (36th).
One-Meter Diving: The Irish diving group has been among the best in the conference over the last two seasons and enter this weekend’s championship meet with the ability to dominate both boards. In the one-meter competition, Andy Maggio is ranked first (383.85 pts.), followed by Joe Miller in third and Tong Xie in sixth.
400 Medley Relay: Another relay that has improved for the Irish this season. The team of David Horak, Mike Koss, Frank Krakowski and Drew Pittman swam 3:24.36 at the Notre Dame Invitational and enters the BIG EAST meet ranked fifth.
200 Medley Relay: Notre Dame boasts one of the best relays in the conference this season in the 200 medley event. Dean Wolf, Jason Fitzpatrick, David Horak and Frank Krakowski swam 1:32.47, just .34 seconds off Pittsburgh’s leading time entering the BIG EAST meet. Virginia Tech is currently ranked second, .03 seconds ahead of the Irish. This team definitely has their sights set on a conference title.
400 Individual Medley: If it is a long, grueling race that takes endurance, Jonathan Pierce is usually in the mix. Pierce’s 4:03.80 time is ranked sixth, while David Moisan is right behind him in seventh place. Michael Flanagan and senior Elliott Drury also will be in the 400 IM field.
100 Butterfly: Freshman Frank Krakowski dominated the 100 fly during the dual meet season this year and has his sights set on a individual title this weekend. He is ranked third in the conference, behind Jaak Savvi of St. John’s and Rob Duffy from Virginia Tech. A stellar effort from Krakowski this weekend might qualify him for the NCAA meet as well (the time for an NCAA B cut is 48.76, Krakowski’s season-best is 49.45).
David Horak might be swimming right next to Krakowski in the finals. Horak, who missed last year’s conference meet due to a bout with mononucleosis, is ranked eighth on the psych sheets.
200 Freestyle: Both Matt Obringer and Austin Anderson are hoping to advance to the finals in the 200 free this weekend. Obringer and Anderson are ranked 14th and 15th, respectively, entering the meet.
Matt Bertke and Drew Pittman also will be in the 200 free field.
100 Breaststroke: Junior Jason Fitzpatrick, who finished third in the 200 breaststroke a year ago, has dropped down to the 100 breast and posted some impressive times this season. He enters this weekend’s meet second behind Kevin Furlong from Virginia Tech. Senior Mike Koss should play a factor in the 100 breast race as well. He enters the meet ranked fifth.
100 Backstroke: Notre Dame was forced to compete in last year’s championship meet without David Horak (out with an illness). This year, Horak brings a wealth of experience and an ability to score points to the team. He enters the meet ranked third in the 100 back and will lead a talented group (Dean Wolf – ninth, Jason Colettis – 16th) into competition.
Three-Meter Diving: The Irish have the ability to dominate this diving event as well. Andy Maggio also is ranked first in three-meter diving (339.29 pts.), followed by Tong Xie in third and Joe Miller in sixth.
800 Freestyle Relay: The Irish have not competed in a lot of 800 freestyle races this season. Notre Dame’s talented group of distance freestyle swimmers should help the team contend this weekend. The Irish enter the meet ranked fifth, led by the team of J.R Teddy, Austin Anderson, Matt Obringer and Matt Bertke.
1650 Freestyle: Quite possibly the signature event for the Irish team this year, the 1650 freestyle field will feature six Notre Dame swimmers this weekend. Two-time champion Jonathan Pierce is ranked third entering the competition, followed by Matt Bertke (fifth), J.R. Teddy (eighth), Elliott Drury (11th), Michael Flanagan (20th) and Lucas Wymore (21st).
200 Backstroke: As in the 100 back, senior David Horak is the top Irish threat this weekend. His 1:51.02 time is fourth entering this weekend’s races. Freshman Dean Wolf can also contend for the title, as his 200 back time is seventh on the pysch sheets.
100 Freestyle: One of the most competitive strokes and distances in swimming, the 100 freestyle competition will feature five Irish swimmers this weekend.
Frank Krakowski (11th), Matt Obringer (20th), Drew Pittman (22nd), Austin Anderson (28th) and Adam Cahill (34th) will look to post a spectacular race this weekend and sneak into the finals.
200 Breaststroke: Jason Fitzpatrick will look to improve his third-place finish from a year ago in the 200 breaststroke. He enters this weekend’s meet ranked second behind Randy Gertenbach from Pittsburgh.
David Moisan (11th), Mike Koss (12th) and Josh Dermott (19th) also are in the 200 breast field.
200 Butterfly: J.R. Teddy has been spectacular during the dual meet season in his signature event, but he faces an uphill battle to make it to the finals this weekend. Teddy is currently 18th on the pysch sheets, but the Irish sophomore always seems to rise to the occasion when needed.
Lucas Wymore is right behind Teddy in 19th, and Brian Coughlan will also be in the field (22nd).
400 Freestyle Relay: The final event of the meet where any team’s final point total and ranking could be decided. Notre Dame enters the meet ranked fourth, as the team of Frank Krakowski, Austin Anderson, Matt Obringer and Drew Pittman swam 3:06.80 at the Notre Dame Invitational.
BIG EAST Championship preview:
The Pittsburgh men will be attempting to defend their title this weekend. The Panthers are currently 17th in the CSCAA poll and a Pitt swimmer holds the top time in 11 out of 18 BIG EAST events. Boston College, Connecticut, Miami, Georgetown and the Irish will all be in the running for the team title this weekend.
BIG EAST Championship results:
Daily recaps of Notre Dame’s progress in the 2002 BIG EAST Swimming and Diving Championship will be available on www.und.com.
The BIG EAST website (www.bigeast.org) will also provide daily recaps as well as full results of the preliminaries and finals.