Dec. 21, 2003
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – After an outstanding first semester of competition, the University of Notre Dame men’s swimming and diving team will take some time off for the holidays before heading to Mission Viejo, Calif. for a training and competition trip Dec. 29-Jan. 10. At the midway point in the season, the Irish have set two University records, appear among the nation’s 50 quickest in eight events, and have multiple student-athletes in the top 16 in the BIG EAST in all 14 swimming categories. In addition, Notre Dame’s current group is quickly establishing itself as the fastest in school history, dominating the all-time top 10 lists in virtually every event.
The Irish will have over a month off from competition before their scheduled meet on Friday, Jan. 9. In the final event of the first semester, they put together a dominating performance in finishing first in the Notre Dame Invitational for the third straight year and the sixth time in the last nine. Finishing second, 710 points behind, was Harvard, who was the top team receiving votes in the national rankings earlier this fall.
In addition to winning seven events in their home meet, the Irish also set a pair of University records, completing a semester that saw a plethora of performances among the best in school history. On Friday, Dec. 5, the quartet of senior co-captain Matt Obringer (Jacksonville, Fla./The Bolles School), junior Matt Bertke (Edgewood, Ky./Covington Catholic H.S.), and freshmen Brian Freeman (Sanger, Calif./Immanuel H.S.) and Ted Brown (Kokomo, Ind./Western H.S.) outdistanced the field by five seconds in winning the 800-yard freestyle relay in 6:45.44. The time was .19 seconds quicker than the previous Irish record, which had stood for 12 and a half years (since March 8, 1991), longer than any other mark still on the books heading into this fall.
The following morning, sophomore Doug Bauman (Erie, Pa./Cathedral Preparatory School) posted the top qualifying time in the 200-yard backstroke, finishing in 1:48.98 and breaking the previous Notre Dame record of 1:49.30, set by David Horak at the 2002 BIG EAST meet. In the evening session, Bauman went 1:49.49, posting the third-best time in school history. He now holds five of the best 10 Irish times ever in the event and his record ranks 47th in the nation this season. Bauman also is tops on the team in the 100 backstroke, with his time of 50.33 ranking third among all BIG EAST swimmers. He has five of the top eight Irish times ever in that event, including second-, third-, and fourth-best marks, having twice come within 0.1 seconds of Horak’s school record of 50.23. Bauman, who was part of two recordsetting teams a season ago, has again also been important in the success of Notre Dame’s relays (see later in this release).
In addition to the records, this year’s team features at least three of the fastest Irish swimmers of all time in each of the 14 races. In three events — the 500 freestyle, the 200 butterfly, and the 200 individual medley — half of the top 10 quickest in the Notre Dame annals are on the 2003-04 team. Listed below are other impressive notes about this squad’s dominance of the record books.
* Six of the top 10 times posted by Irish student-athletes in the 50 freestyle are by active swimmers. The two fastest competitors in school history are currently active, while the school recordholder ranks third on this year’s team.
* Three of the top six Irish swimmers of all-time in the 100 freestyle are active.
* Two of the top five Irish swimmers of all-time in the 200 freestyle are active.
* Five of the top seven Irish swimmers of all-time in the 500 freestyle are active.
* Four of the top seven Irish swimmers of all-time in the 1,000 freestyle are active.
* Four of the top eight Irish swimmers of all-time in the 1,650 freestyle are active.
* Three of the top five Irish swimmers of all-time in the 100 backstroke are active.
* Seven of the top 10 times posted by Irish student-athletes in the 200 backstroke are by active swimmers. Three of the top four swimmers and four of the top six all-time in the event are active.
* Three of the top eight Irish swimmers of all-time in the 100 breaststroke are active.
* Four of the top nine Irish swimmers of all-time in the 200 breaststroke are active.
* Each of the top nine times in the 100 butterfly are by current Irish swimmers. The two fastest competitors in school history are currently active.
* Five of the top 12 Irish swimmers of all-time in the 200 butterfly are active.
* Six of the top 12 Irish swimmers of all-time in the 200 IM are active.
* Three of the top five Irish swimmers of all-time in the 400 IM are active. The school recordholder ranks third on this year’s team.
Notre Dame is very well represented among the fastest swimmers in the BIG EAST Conference midway through the year. The Irish have multiple student-athletes among the top eight in seven of the 13 swimming events. Notre Dame has three of the top eight in a trio of races and boasts half of the top eight in the 200 IM. In only one event, the 100 freestyle, do the Irish not have anyone among the top eight. But in that event, Notre Dame has four of the next eight.
In addition to having multiple swimmers in the top 16 of every swimming event, the Irish have three or more in all but two competitions and five or more in four events. Among the highlights of the BIG EAST top times, the Irish have five of the top 13 in the 200 butterfly, six of the top 12 in the 200 IM, and three of the top six in the 400 IM.
In all, Notre Dame has seen 24 of its 29 student-athletes post at least one “A” mark to already secure spots in the 2004 BIG EAST Championships. Of the remaining five swimmers, all but one have delivered at least one “B” time and three have multiple “B” marks. To qualify for the meet, a student-athlete must achieve an “A” time in at least one event. Once in the field, he may swim up to three events in which he has “A” or “B” times.
No Irish performer has been more prolific in hitting BIG EAST qualifying marks than Brown, who has posted “A” times in five different events, has a “B” time in another and ranks second in the conference in the 1,000 freestyle, which is not swum at the league meet. Brown is Notre Dame’s leading pointscorer this season, having accounted for 183 in individual events and 212.25 when relays are included. He is first or second on the team in five events and already ranks among the top five Irish swimmers of all-time in four. He is tops on the team — and fourth in the conference — in the 500 freestyle (4:31.46), while also leading the team and ranking second all-time in the 1,000. He posted the fourth-quickest time in Notre Dame history in the event, 9:28.64, on Nov. 14 in a quadrangular vs. BYU, Iowa, and Louisville. His time in the 500 is the ninth-best in Irish history, and he is the fifth-fastest swimmer in the event. Brown also ranks fifth all-time, but second on the team, in both the 200 freestyle (1:41.06) and the 400 IM (4:00.10). He is fifth in the conference in the latter and ninth in the former. He also is second on the Irish — and fourth in the BIG EAST — in the 1,650 free (15.57.19), ranking 12th all-time. Brown is 12th in Irish history in the 200 butterfly (1:53.44), as well, coming in fourth on the team and 11th in the league this fall. He also posted a “B” time in the 200 IM (1:56.00).
Sophomore Tim Randolph (Crown Point, Ind./Merrillville H.S.) is second on the Irish in points, with 170.5. He has been the top Notre Dame sprinter thus far this season. He has posted the top three marks on the team in the 50 freestyle, culminating in a 20.77 in the Notre Dame Invitational. The second-quickest Irish swimmer of all-time in the event, he now holds four of the top 10 times in history. Randolph set a career-best of 45.95 in the 100 free this fall, making him the sixth-quickest in the Irish record books. In the BIG EAST, his times rank seventh in the 50 and ninth in the 100. Randolph is third on the team and 13th in the conference in the 100 breaststroke (57.62). Randolph, a member of three recordsetting teams a season ago, has been important again to the Irish relays in 2003-04 (see later in this release).
Freshman Tim Kegelman (Yorktown, Va./Tabb H.S.) is Notre Dame’s third-highest pointscorer, with 166.5. He is among the quickest 10 in the league in three events and is tops on the Irish in both butterfly races. The second-fastest Notre Dame swimmer ever in the 100, he holds four of the top eight times in history and his top mark of 49.30 is fourth in the conference and 46th in the nation this season, including sixth among freshmen. Kegelman’s 1:52.11 mark in the 200 fly is sixth in the BIG EAST and established him as the ninth-quickest competitor in Irish history. He is 10th-fastest in the 200 IM and his time of 1:53.04 is 10th in the conference, but fifth on the team in a testament to the Notre Dame depth in the event. Kegelman also has been a key contributor on Notre Dame’s relays this season (see later in this release).
Junior Frank Krakowski (Erie, Pa./Cathedral Preparatory School) is fourth on the Irish in total points scored and second in points from individual events. The current school recordholder in the 50 freestyle and 100 butterfly, he ranks seventh in the conference and second on the team in the latter with a season-best time of 49.89. Krakowski currently holds five of the top nine times ever in the event. In addition to being third on the team in the 50 free (21.22), he is fourth on the Irish in the 100 free and 15th in the league with a 46.38. Krakowski, a member of three recordsetting teams a season ago, has been important again to the Irish relays in 2003-04 (see later in this release).
Freshman Alan Carter (Bethel Park, Pa./Bethel Park H.S.) ranks among the top five on the team in five events and ranks in the conference top 10 in three. He is second on the Irish and sixth in the BIG EAST in the 100 backstroke. His time of 50.83 established him as the fourth-quickest Notre Dame swimmer of all-time in the race. Carter is seventh in the league in both the 200 back and the 200 IM, ranking third and fourth on the team, respectively. His time of 1:50.90 in the former puts him sixth in the Irish record book, while his 1:52.52 IM mark makes him the seventh-fastest Notre Dame swimmer in that race. He also has an “A” qualifying time in the 100 freestyle (46.71) and posted a “B” in the 50 free (21.53).
Sophomore Patrick Davis (Clearwater, Fla./Jesuit H.S.) is tied for third on the team in points scored in individual events (100). He is among the top three Irish performers in the three distance freestyle races. Davis is third in the BIG EAST, but second on the Irish, in the 1,000 free (9:31.20). He has posted “A” qualifying times in the 500 free, the 1650 free, and the 400 IM (4:05.7). In the longest race, he is fifth in the conference, but third on the team, with a time of 15:58.44. He also ranks third on the team in the 500 and is 11th in the league in 4:33.49.
Freshman Chris Zeches (Tucson, Ariz./Salpointe Catholic H.S.) also has 100 points from individual events, ranking among the team’s top four in a quartet of events. His time of 15:48.77 in the 1650 free is the best for the Irish this season and is second in the BIG EAST. The mark establishes him as the sixth-quickest Notre Dame swimmer of all-time in the race. Zeches is third on the team and 13th in the conference in the 1,000 free (9:43.25) and is fourth and 16th, respectively, in the 500 free (4:36.06). Zeches also has “A” times in the two backstroke races, with his time of 52.47 in the 100 placing him 12th all-time.
Sophomore Jamie Lutkus (Granger, Ind./Penn H.S.) is fifth on the team in points from individual events and is listed among the BIG EAST’s top 10 in three races. His time of 1:52.23 in the 200 IM is the third-best in the conference this season. The school recordholder in the event, Lutkus is sixth in the league in the 400 IM, with a top time of 4:00.48, though he ranks third on the Irish. He is second on the team and ninth in the BIG EAST in the 200 breast (2:04.99), while having also posted a “B” time in the 100 breast (59.97).
Obringer is among Notre Dame’s top two in the 100, 200, and 500 freestyle. He is first in the middle race, having posted the top three Irish times in the event this season. His best of 1:40.44 is seventh in the BIG EAST. Obringer is second on the team in the other two events, coming in ninth in the 500 (4:33.12) and 13th in the 100 (46.24) among all conference swimmers. He now is part of school records in two of the three freestyle relays (see later in this release).
Junior David Moisan (Fisherville, Ky./Louisville Male H.S.) has 98 points in individual events, sixth-best on the team, and has qualified for the conference meet in five events. In the Notre Dame Invitational, he won the 400 IM in 3:57.62, setting a meet record. That time is best on the Irish this season and second in the conference and 33rd in the nation, while ranking as the fifth-best time ever by an Irish swimmer. He is the third-fastest Notre Dame competitor ever in that event and ranks sixth in the 200 IM, in which his mark of 1:52.49 is third on this year’s team and sixth in the BIG EAST. Moisan also ranks third on the Irish in the 200 breast (2:06.44) and is 12th among league swimmers. He also has “B” times in the 200 and 500 freestyle.
Freshman Louis Cavadini (South Bend, Ind./Riley H.S.) is the top first-year swimmer in the BIG EAST in the 100 freestyle with his season-best time of 46.29. It ranks third on the team and 14th overall in the conference and establishes him as the 11th-fastest Irish competitor of all-time in the event. In the 200 butterfly, Cavadini is also third on the Irish (50.54), while coming in 12th in the conference and being tied for eighth among all-time Notre Dame swimmers. He also has “B” qualifying times in the 50 free (21.62) and the 200 free (1:44.51). Cavadini additionally has been a relay contributor (see later in this release).
Sophomore Tyler Grenda (Hockessin, Del./Salesianum H.S.) is among the top 10 in the BIG EAST in both breaststroke events. His career-best time of 2:03.83 in the 200 is tops on the team and third in the conference and places him as the seventh-quickest Irish swimmer ever in the event. He is eighth all-time in the 100, ranking second on the team and ninth in the league with a time of 57.12 this season.
Senior co-captain Josh Dermott (El Dorado Hills, Calif./Rio Americano H.S.) is among the BIG EAST elite in the two breaststroke events and the 200 IM. He has Notre Dame’s top time in the 100 (56.95), which is sixth in the conference. In the individual medley, he is second on the team (1:52.48) and fifth in the BIG EAST, while his 2:06.58 time in the 200 breaststroke is fourth on the team and 13th in the league.
In addition to being on the recordsetting relay team, Freeman posted the eighth-best time in Irish annals in the 200 backstroke, a 1:50.57 that places him second on the team, sixth in the BIG EAST, and fourth among all-time Notre Dame competitors. He also has “A” times in the 200 freestyle (1:42.91) and the 200 IM (1:54.73), as well as a “B” in the 100 back (53.58).
Bertke, another member of the fastest 800 free relay team in Irish history, also has registered a trio of “A” times already this season. He is fourth on the team, but ninth in the BIG EAST in the 1,650 freestyle (16:07.72), while coming in third on the Irish and 15th in the conference in the 200 free. His career-best time of 1:42.06 places him 10th among all-time ND swimmers. He also has an “A” time in the 500 free (4:37.08).
Sophomore Bryan Guarnier (Queensbury, N.Y./Glen Falls H.S.) is second on the team and eighth in the conference in the 200 butterfly with a time of 1:52.75. He also has an “A” time in the 500 free (4:38.43) and posted a “B” mark in the 200 free (1:43.76).
Freshman Justin Barber (Carson City, Nev./Carson H.S.) also has a pair of “A” times: one in the 1,650 free and one in the 400 IM. His 16:17.01 in the former is 12th in the conference, while he ranks 15th in the latter with a 4:04.51. Barber has “B” times in the 500 free (4:41.13) and the 200 IM (1:57.28).
Sophomore Patrick Heffernan (Norcross, Ga./Norcross H.S.) also has a pair of “A” times and two “Bs”. He is 13th in the BIG EAST in the 200 fly (1:53.89) and additionally has an “A” mark in the 400 IM (4:07.34). His “B” times are in the 100 fly (52.08) and the 200 IM (1:56.91).
Sophomore Steve Shomberger (Spotsylvania, Va./Courtland H.S.) has “A” times in the two backstroke events. He is third on the team in 100 with a season-best time of 52.45 and is fourth on the Irish and 13th in the league in the 200 (1:52.59).
Freshman Nick Fanslau (Lansdale, Pa./North Penn H.S.) qualified for the BIG EAST meet at the Notre Dame Invitational. He posted a 1:53.43 in the 200 IM, which was good enough for 12th in the league, though sixth on the team. The time places him as the 12th-quickest Irish swimmer ever in the race. He has “B” times in the 50 free (21.64), 100 breast (59.05), and 200 breast (2:10.19).
Sophomore Patrick O’Berry (Alpharetta, Ga./Milton H.S.) also punched his ticket to the league meet in the final event of the fall semester. He turned in an “A” time in the 200 fly, a 1:53.23 that put him third on the team and 10th in conference this season. He has “B” times in the 200 free (1:43.64) and the 500 free (4:38.98).
Junior Drew Pittman (Williamsburg, Va./Lafayette H.S.) qualified for the BIG EAST wtiah an “A” time in the 50 free at the Notre Dame Invitational. His mark of 21.09 is second on the team this season and 16th in the conference, while placing him as the seventh-quickest sprinter in Irish history. He has “B” times in the 100 free (46.87) and the 100 breast (59.11).
Notre Dame’s lone diver, freshman Scott Coyle (Indianapolis, Ind./Hamilton Southeastern H.S.), has qualified for the BIG EAST Championships in both the one- and three-meter events. His six-dive score off the lower board of 276.67 is the 10th-best mark in the conference this season and is tops among first-year competitors. His 458.30 score in 11 dives at the Notre Dame Invitational off the three-meter board was good enough to qualify him for that event.
Seniors Brian Coughlan (Moraga, Calif./Campolindo H.S.) and J.R. Teddy (Spring, Texas/Klein H.S.), sophomore Chris Barnes (Cincinnati, Ohio/St. Xavier H.S.), and freshmen David Hochstetler (Bremen, Ind./Bremen Senior H.S.) and Brendan Whalen (Longwood, Fla./Trinity Preparatory School) will be focused in the second half of the season on qualifying for the BIG EAST meet. Teddy has “B” times in four events — the 200, 500, and 1650 free and the 200 fly — but has not broken through for an “A” thus far. Barnes has “B” marks in the 100 and 200 free, while Coughlan has posted them in the two butterfly events and Whalen managed one in the 100 breaststroke.
Notre Dame’s relays also have been impressive this season, ranking among the top 50 nationally in each race. In addition to the school-record 800 freestyle (which is third in the BIG EAST and 26th-fastest in the nation this season), the Irish posted the second-best time in school history in the 200 free, a 1:22.41 mark by Randolph, Krakowski, Kegelman, and Cavadini that is the third-quickest in the conference and 19th-best in the nation.
The 200 medley relay team of Bauman, Randolph, Kegelman, and Krakowski also ranks third in the conference and is 27th nationally with a time of 1:31.62. The same quartet posted a time of 3:22.71 in the 400 medley, which is fourth in the conference and 35th in college swimming.
Obringer, Randolph, Carter, and Fanslau went 3:05.76 in the 400 freestyle in the Notre Dame Invitational, posting the seventh-best mark in the BIG EAST this fall and the 50th-fastest in the nation.
Notre Dame lost five of six dual meets in the first half of the season, though three of their losses were to squads currently ranked among the nation’s top 25: #20 BYU, #21 North Carolina, and #22 Iowa. In another meet, the Irish won the swimming events by 14 points, but Michigan State was able to secure victory due to having a larger number of divers.
Following the training and competition trip, the Irish will take part in seven dual meets prior to the BIG EAST Championships. Notre Dame will travel to Pittsburgh, Pa. for quadrangular dual-meet action on Jan. 16 and 17. The Irish will take on seven-time defending league champion #17 Pittsburgh, as well as Villanova and Maryland. The final away dual meet of the season will take place Jan. 24, with Notre Dame at #16 Northwestern.
In a more traditional portion of the Irish schedule, the final three dual meets will be at home against St. Bonaventure (Jan. 31), Cleveland State (Feb. 6), and Oakland (Feb. 7). The BIG EAST Championships are slated for Feb. 19-21 in the Nassau County Aquatics Center in Uniondale, N.Y. The NCAA Zone C Diving Meet is scheduled for March 4-6 in Bloomington, Ind., while the NCAA Championships will be March 25-27 in the Goodwill Games Aquateic Center in East Meadow, N.Y.