Dec. 18, 2000
Notre Dame Continues To Improve After Second Place Showing At 2000 Notre Dame Invitational: After another successful Notre Dame Invitational, the University of Notre Dame men’s swimming and diving team (3-2) will take a few weeks off from competition to prepare for the second part of the 2000-01 schedule.
Head coach Tim Welsh will take his team to Florida soon after finals for a training trip before breaking for Christmas. The Irish will swim in Brandon, Fla., on Jan. 6, in the Christmas Competition, then head to Milwaukee, Wis., for the Bill Ritter Invitational (Jan. 19-20) before returning to dual meet competition vs. Wisconsin-Milwaukee (Jan. 26) and at Ball State (Jan. 27).
Notre Dame Invitational Recap: The 1999 Notre Dame Invitational developed into a turning point for last year’s team, and might have served the same purpose for the 2000-01 Irish team.
After dropping two close meets in the early dual meet season, Notre Dame will hope to carry the momentum from a second-place finish in the ND Invitational into the remainder of the schedule. Michigan State, Western Kentucky, Denison, Columbia, Illinois-Chicago, the Air Force Academy and Wisconsin-Milwaukee made up the competition 2000 Notre Dame Invitational field. Michigan State captured the title with 1,451 points.
A number of athletes had standout performances in the Invitational, led by Ryan Verlin (Rye, NY). Verlin won two individual events, the 400 individual medley (4:00.97) and the 200 butterfly (1:50.45), as well as finishing second in the 200 individual medley (1:54.33).
Sophomore Clay Miller (Meade, Wa.) kept pace with Verlin in each event. Miller took fourth in the 200 individual medley (1:55.77), third in the 400 individual medley (4:04.81) and third in the 200 butterfly (1:53.90). To complete a dominating performance by the Irish swimmers in the individual medleys, the 200 medley relay team of Matt Hyde (Ambler, Pa.), Jason Fitzpatrick (Gilbert, Az.), David Horak (Dumfries, Va.) and Austin Anderson (Indianapolis, Ind.) took first place in 1:33.68.
The Irish also displayed their depth in the breaststroke events. Recognized as one of the strengths of the Notre Dame roster, the Irish captured five top-six finishes in the 100 and 200 breaststroke. Senior Dan Szilier (Norristown, Pa.) took second place in the 200 breast (2:03.60) and fifth in the 100 breast (57.76). Mike Koss (Aurora, Colo.) notched two top five finishes with a pair of fourth-place finishes in the 100 (57.52) and 200 (2:06.25) breaststroke.
The Notre Dame team finish also benefitted from the strong swimming of Horak. A member of the first place medley relay team, Horak also won the 100 (50.61) and 200 (1:49.90) backstroke. He wasn’t done, either. Horak finished second in the 100 butterfly (50.15).
Freshman Matt Obringer (Jacksonville, Fla.) continued his solid rookie campaign in the Invitational. Obringer finished in the top five of the 800 freestyle, the 200 freestyle and combined with Matt Grunewald (Centerville, Ohio), J.R. Teddy (Spring, Texas) and Jonathan Pierce (Newburgh, Ind.) to take second place in the 800 freestyle relay.
Pierce should enter the BIG EAST Championship (Feb. 15-17) as a favorite to capture his third BIG EAST individual title in the 1,650 freestyle. One of the top distance freestyle specialists in the nation, Pierce won the 1,650 in the Notre Dame Invitational (15:51.62) and finished fourth in the 500 freestyle (4:36.35). He also competed in the 400 individual medley, coming in at fourth place (4:05.08).
Sophomore Andy Maggio (Cincinnati, Ohio) kept his impressive string of diving performances in tact during the invitational. Maggio finished third in the three-meter competition with 449.85 points – after posting 453.30 points in the preliminaries. He moved up a spot in the one-meter event, taking second place with 309.25 points.