Feb. 27, 2002
2002 Shamrock Classic
Rolfs Aquatics Center
Notre Dame, Ind.
Saturday, March 2 – Sunday, March 3 * 11 a.m. and 7 p.m.
Final home meet of the 2001-02 season set for this weekend:
Fresh of its fourth-place finish at the 2002 BIG EAST Championship meet in Uniondale, N.Y., last weekend, the Notre Dame men’s swimming and diving team will compete for the final time this season in Rolfs Aquatic Center this weekend. The Irish welcome Eastern Michigan for the 2002 Shamrock Classic, a traditional late-season meet for the Notre Dame team and a last chance for the team members to post any possible NCAA qualification times.
A look back at a successful conference meet:
A casual observer might look back at the 2002 BIG EAST Championship and miss the improvement that the Notre Dame men’s team made at the conference meet. Even though the Irish matched their fourth-place finish from 2001, Notre Dame improved across the board in many events. The Irish set five school records, posted an NCAA “B” qualifying time and seven U.S. senior national qualifying times while 78% of the team ended up posting a career-best times in the meet.
The list of Irish swimmers that improved their personal bests in the meet last weekend is immense. Senior co-captain Jonathan Pierce fell short of another BIG EAST title in the 1650 freestyle, but his 15:32.37 fourth-place effort broke his own school record. Pierce also shattered the school record in the 400 individual medley, taking second at the meet in 3:56.34 – a time almost three seconds faster than the former school record. Pierce will graduate in the spring holding four school records (500, 1000 and 1650 freestyle, 400 individual medley).
Matt Obringer’s 200 freestyle effort, a career-best 1:39.25 that earned him eighth place at the BIG EAST meet, is among the top-10 all-time at Notre Dame and also is an NCAA “B” qualifying time. Obringer moved up to the 500 freestyle and posted a 4:30.41 career-best time as well. That time is currently ranked third in Notre Dame men’s swimming history.
Senior David Horak improved his own school record in the 200 backstroke. His 1:49.30 time eclipsed the 1:49.90 effort from the 2001 Notre Dame Invitational. Junior Jason Colettis was impressive in the 200 backstroke as well, swimming a personal-best 1:51.44 in the finals to finish seventh.
Three Irish swimmers finished well in the 200 breaststroke, led by junior Jason Fitzpatrick. Fitzpatrick finished fourth in the finals, but swam a 2:02.29 time in the preliminaries to post a career-best and sixth-best all-time effort. Senior co-captain Mike Koss capped his BIG EAST career with a personal-best 2:06.03 and freshman David Moisan swam a season-best 2:04.96 to finish 11th.
The 200 breaststroke was not the only event in which Moisan made his presence felt. The Irish rookie swam 3:58.86 in the 400 individual medley, placing himself sixth on the all-time list. Wrapping up his first year, Moisan would swim a season-best 1:53.34 in the 200 individual medley as well.
Another school record fell in the 100 breaststroke, where Fitzpatrick eclipsed his own record by .01 seconds. Fitzpatrick also was a member of the 400 medley relay team that swam the third-best relay time in Irish history, finishing in 3:33.23. Horak, Frank Krakowski and Drew Pittman made up the rest of the 400 medley team.
Krakowski continued his impressive rookie season improvement in the BIG EAST meet. He swam a personal best in the 50 freestyle (21.05) and his 50.27 effort in the 100 butterfly is the 10th-best all time (Krakowski also owns the school record of 49.45).
Among the other Irish racers who reached personal bests were senior Elliott Drury in the 1650 freestyle (15:56.03) and Josh Dermott in the 200 IM (1:53.40).