The Irish finished second Friday evening at the Dennis Stark Relays held at the Rolfs Aquatic Center.

Notre Dame Earns Silver At Dennis Stark Relays

Oct. 9, 2009

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NOTRE DAME, Ind. – In its first meet of the 2009-10 season, the Notre Dame men’s swimming and diving team finished second among five teams at the Dennis Stark Relays held Friday evening at the Rolfs Aquatic Center.

Michigan won each of the swimming events while the Irish swept the diving portion of the evening. Caleb Dunnichay and Eric Lex earned wins off the board in the 3-meter Synchronized (253.00) and 1-meter Diving Relay (555.05).

Notre Dame totaled 162 points as Michigan accumulated a final count of 194. Oakland (136) finished third ahead of Valparaiso (92) and Cleveland State (82).

“This was a solid start for us as we wanted to see where we were as a team,” Irish head coach Tim Welsh said. “We were competitive in the way we raced and we can see how our training has helped us. But we were a bit off our game and this meet gave us the opportunity to compete. Now we’re already looking ahead to racing yet again.”

The Irish will get that next chance to race Oct. 23 (Friday) during a home meet versus Oakland. The action begins at 6:00 p.m. (ET) with lives stats available at For up-to-the-minute results, sign up for IRISH ALERTS text-messaging services at

200 Freestyle Relay: Michigan’s Chris Brady sprang out to an early lead emerging ahead of the field … the nearby Irish failed to close the distance on their opponents as Michigan claimed first in a meet record time of 1:22.49 … Notre Dame was disqualified.

400 Medley Relay: Michigan’s Alon Mandel and Oakland’s Anders Jensen started the battle for gold early … respective teammates Jon Hiett and Ben Vavra kept the struggle going during the breaststroke … Michigan’s Evan Gregg opened up the field during the freestyle leg and slammed the wall to finish the relay in a meet record time of 3:24.04 … Notre Dame was third in 3:32.97 behind the efforts of Kevin Rahill, Joseph Raycroft, Thomas Van Volkenburg and Patrick Lloyd.

800 Free Relay: Michigan’s Charlie Houchin struck first, followed closely by his teammate Ryan Feely downstream … Wolverine ownership of the field continued as Oakland’s Joe Rodgers laid claim to the third position … the Wolverines clinched top honors in a record time of 6:48.14 … Notre Dame earned the bronze in 7:18.41.

400 Individual Medley Relay: Tyler Clary broke open the lead for the Wolverines with a split of 51.41 … teammates Andre Shultz and Gregg continued to bring the heat as the Irish entered a race for second place with the alternate Michigan squad … the first-place Michigan relay claimed a record in 3:27.84 as the Irish held off their counterparts in 3:38.98 for second … that quartet included John Lytle, Andrew Hoffman, Van Volkenburg and Peter Koppel.

400 Butterfly Relay: Wolverine swimmer Sean Fletcher stretched out to the lead as Notre Dame’s John McGinley and Oakland’s Jensen feuded for the silver spot … Michigan held their top position as the Irish continued their fight against the Golden Grizzlies … the final leg started with Oakland’s Eddie Toro at a slight advantage over Notre Dame’s Steven Brus, whoe made a last attempt at the runner-up spot … victory was locked in by the Wolverines with a time of 3:22.68 followed by Oakland in 3:31.80 … Notre Dame finished in 3:32.90.

400 Backstroke Relay: Andre Schultz secured the lead for Michigan with a split of 50.28 followed by Oakland’s Jensen … the field remained static throughout the race with Michigan taking the top accolade and a meet record in 3:19.41 … the Irish tandem of Marshall Sherman, Kevin Rahill, Jonathan Whitcomb and Petar Petrovic placed third in 3:32.18.

400 Breaststroke Relay: The Golden Grizzlies came out fighting as Scott Yarbrough streamed to an advantage … contention progressed as Michigan’s Joe Rodgers popped out front in the third leg … Raycroft surged into the battle for second place, eventually overtaking Oakland’s Maison DeJonge … the Wolverines punched in at 3:58.72 followed by the Irish with a 4:02.43.

1,000 Freestyle Relay: Halfway through the first leg Wolverine swimmer Ryan Feely had seized a five-yard lead over Brus … Feely opened the lead as Oakland’s Mike Templeton kept Ryan Belecanech in sight in the second half of the race … Cleveland State’s Graham Thoresen moved into the silver spot near the end of the race … Michigan claimed first in 9:16.39 while the Vikings followed in 9:27.09 … Notre Dame was third in 9:42.36.

200 Medley Relay: Michigan stormed ahead early with Oakland in second … David Anderson made a late surge to give Notre Dame a second-place finish in 1:38.14 … Michigan took top honors in a record time of 1:31.91.

400 Freestyle Relay: Lytle pounded the water while staying with his Wolverine opponent, Tyler Clary … Michigan barely pulled away and as the race wrapped up, Oakland’s Michellangelo Marica and Cleveland State’s Thoresen engaged in a final battle that ended with Oakland coming out on top … Michigan broke the meet record for the event in 3:05.32 and Notre Dame cruised to second in 3:10.03.

1-meter Diving Relay: Lex and Dunnichay totaled 555.05 points for the win.

3-meter Synchronized Diving: Lex and Dunnichay duplicated their feat with 253.00 points.