NOTRE DAME, Indiana — The No. 21/RV Notre Dame Swim and Dive team will host the annual Shamrock Invitational January 21-23, with the men facing Missouri State and the women facing No. 25 Akron.
Notre Dame’s final home meet of the season serves as a multi-day competition to lead into championship competition at the conference and national levels. It also marks the anniversary of the 1992 bus accident that injured multiple people and killed two Notre Dame women’s swimmers, Meghan Beeler and Colleen Hipp. Additionally, the Shamrock Invitational will include ceremonies to recognize the 11 Irish senior student-athletes on their Senior Days.
“It’s the seniors’ last meet, and it has always marked something very special for us,” head swim coach Mike Litzinger noted. “They’ve had four years of competing for Notre Dame and being able to represent the university. We’re really focused on making this a great event for our senior athletes.”
Litzinger shared that the 2020-21 season marked a distinct host of challenges, and that the senior class for the Irish was paramount in guiding Notre Dame’s squad through the obstacles.
“They have been the most resilient group of people that I’ve been around in a long time to deal with the adversity of, and the restrictions that have come with, COVID,” Litzinger attested. “From classes going online, and not having the NCAA meet last season, it takes special dedication and extra focus to make something happen out of this year.”
“That was a goal that we had, not only as a team, but as a class, is that we’re not going to waste a year,” Litzinger continued. “Even though there’s extra eligibility and all those factors present right now, this class is determined to get something out of this year and do something meaningful this year, and that’s why I’m very, very proud of them.
“Of course, their names are all over the record board. But, at the end of the day, their talent lies in keeping our program moving forward during a very difficult time.”
Team: Men vs. Missouri State, Women vs. Akron
Date: January 21-23, 2021
Location: Rolfs Aquatic Center (Notre Dame, IN)
Live timing: und.com/swimmingstats
Note: No spectators permitted due to health guidelines
Thursday, January 21
- 10 a.m. Men’s Session I
- 5 p.m. Men’s Session II
Friday, January 22
- 10 a.m. Notre Dame Men’s Senior Day Recognition
- 10:15 a.m. Men’s Session III
- 5 p.m. Women’s Session I
Saturday, January 23
- 10 a.m. Women’s Session II
- 5 p.m. Notre Dame Women’s Senior Day Recognition
- 5:15 p.m. Women’s Session III
“This is a dress rehearsal for the conference championship. I really like this format because it simulates a multi-day event format and I think that’s really important for the student-athletes, especially this time of year when the training is starting to change.
“The requirements and training are starting to change, so it’s not going to be enough to stamp one performance. You’re going to have to rely on yourself for several days of swimming. Traditionally, we have a lot of teams that like the format, because it puts everyone through the paces. You find out a lot about your team in terms of desire and being able to repeat performances.”
Each season, the Shamrock Invitational also serves as an opportunity to honor the anniversary of the 1992 bus crash that killed two members of the women’s team, Colleen Hipp and Meghan Beeler, and injured others. Since that time, the team has instituted the Beeler-Hipp Award, which annually honors a freshman student-athlete from each team at the end of the season who best exemplifies the vitality, competitiveness and love for Notre Dame that was shown by Beeler and Hipp.
“It gives us time to pause and reflect on how fortunate we are to be in an institution like Notre Dame that honors its past as well as celebrates its present,” Litzinger shared. “We’ll gather together as a team to remember our teammates. At the end of the day, it is about being a Notre Dame man and a Notre Dame woman, embracing our past and making sure that we continue some of the great traditions that we have established here.”
Scholar CSCAA All-American Team
This week, both the men’s and women’s Notre Dame squads again were named CSCAA Scholar All-American teams as a result of classroom performance for the Fall 2020 semester. The men posted an average GPA of 3.30, and the women earned an average 3.54 GPA. The Irish have earned the award for the entirety of head coach Mike Litzinger’s tenure, which spans 11 semesters.
Last Time Out
Notre Dame’s women upset No. 14 Louisville in the home dual meet, while the men fell to the No. 13 Cardinals by just four points. Coleen Gillilan, Kelly Straub and Austin Flaute all earned ACC Performer of the Week honors for their showings on the weekend.
Sophomore Gillilan led the way for Notre Dame with three individual wins, including two NCAA B-cut performances. Bayley Stewart, Jack Hoagland and Kelly Straub all notched two individual wins, and Josh Bottelberghe noted a B-cut performance. In addition, Cason Wilburn posted a Top 10 performance in program history in the 100 Free.
On the diving end, senior Straub swept the women’s diving events. Her biggest mark was made with a sky-high 325.20 on the 1-meter, earning a Zone A designation. She added a 282.30 on the 3-meter for a Zone C score and the win.