NOTRE DAME, Indiana — On Senior Day, the No. 18 Notre Dame women closed out the Shamrock Invitational with a win over RV Akron, 260-109, led by a program record performance from Kelly Straub and pool records from Bayley Stewart and Coleen Gillilan.
Straub set a new pool record for the 1-meter (six dives), scoring a 340.35, which broke the previous record that stood since 2012. Stewart clocked a 1:53.46 in the 200 Back for her pool record, and Gillilan broke her own pool record in the 200 Fly, posting a 1:55.37. On the meet, the Irish women and men combined for seven pool records.
“Before the event today, I challenged Kelly to get that record, more or less just to see how she would react,” head dive coach Mark Bradshaw shared. “That’s one thing she needs to work on is her ability to raise her game a notch in the contest. She did that, obviously, very, very well. From that standpoint, it was great to see. I know it means a lot to her to have that recognition.”
“It’s surreal,” Straub expressed after breaking the record. “All my hard work is finally blossoming into something that I’ve wanted for such a long time. […] The work that I put in, practice in and out of the pool, the weightlifting program, paid off. I have so much respect for my coach. I owe everything to him. He has really helped me blossom into who I am today. My teammates really pushed me. I owe it to them.”
The Irish totaled 10 B-Cut times on the day, bringing the women’s meet total to 12. Overall, Notre Dame’s men and women combined for 22 NCAA B-Cut times over the course of the Shamrock Invitational.
“Bailey Stewart probably punched her ticket to NCAAs, and Coleen probably did the same on the Fly,” head swim coach Mike Litzinger said. “It’s our next wave of leadership as our seniors finish their last home meet off in style. I’m really pleased with how they’ve led, and now we’re starting to see the second wave of kids come through and excel at a high level. That’s really good for our future and the NCAA championships, and we’re proud to know that.”
To start off the morning, the Irish team of Carly Quast, Ellie Jew, Cailey Grunhard and Coleen Gillilan brought home first in the 200 Medley Relay with a 1:39.27. Gillilan got right back in the pool in the next event, winning the 100 Fly with a B-Cut 52.47, as Cailey Grunhard placed third, also notching a B-Cut time (53.36).
Luciana Thomas posted her second win of the weekend, this one coming in the 400 IM with a B-Cut 4:13.25. Freshman Kallie Chelsvig took home the win in the 200 Free from Lane 8, clocking a 1:49.49. She was closely followed by Skylar Fore, who posted a 1:49.52.
Gillilan posted her second individual win of the day, third of the meet, in the 100 Breast with a B-Cut 1:01.40. Bayley Stewart closed out individual events for the morning with a B-Cut 53.35 in the 100 Back, good for first.
In the 800 Free Relay, the team of Thomas, Fore, Madeline LaPorte and Chelsvig placed second, turning in a 7:24.80.
LaPorte kicked off the evening session with a B-Cut 16:25.48 in the 1650 Free, good for first place. Stewart turned in a 1:53.46 in the 200 Back, earning her a NCAA B-Cut and setting a new pool record.
Akron’s Sarah Watson won the 100 Free, followed closely by Fore (49.99) and Rachel Wittmer (50.44). The Zips also won the 200 Breast, as Andrea Fischer clocked a 2:12.33 for first. Notre Dame’s Elizabeth Fry posted a 2:15.54 for second, and Sarah Nicholls touched the wall in 2:15.85 for third.
Gillilan’s pool record came in the 200 Fly, with a B-Cut 1:55.37, as Luciana Thomas (1:57.04) and Megan Deuel (1:58.76) finished second and third, also notching B-Cut times.
In the diving well, Straub’s 340.35 on the 1-meter broke a program and pool record previously held by Jenny Chiang from 2012 (338.25). Straub’s score also cleared the Zone A designation by more than 45 points. Annie Wiese placed second, also notching a Zone A score of 295.58.
“Annie has been consistent all year,” Bradshaw noted. “I know within 10 points what she’s going to do in every contest. She’s not diving at her absolute best right now, but she’s not too far off. We’re looking at the next month, and she’s going to be right there.”
Finishing out the night, Notre Dame’s Wittmer, Fore, Quast and Gillilan won the 400 Free Relay with a 3:19.51.
No. 18/18 Notre Dame will head to West Virginia next week for a dual meet Jan. 29-30.