Feb. 18, 2009
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – With three events in the books after one day of action at the 2009 BIG EAST Swimming and Diving Championships, Notre Dame finds itself in a familiar position as the team seeks its third title in four tries. The Irish lead the field with 137 points behind a record-breaking performance in the 800 Free Relay and a second-place finish off the 1-meter board by Michael Bulfin.
Close behind Notre Dame in the standings are Pittsburgh (133) and Louisville (83) among the 12-team field.
“This was a great session for us,” Irish head coach Tim Welsh said. “The divers came through with outstanding performances among a great field. Our 800 Free Relay team was magnificent. They were faster than last year’s NCAA qualifying time. The 200 Medley Relay team rounded out a very strong first day for us. But we have to keep this up for seven sessions in a row.”
The meet continues Thursday at 10 a.m. (ET). Live stats and video coverage can be accessed at UND.com. For up-to-the-minute results and scores, sign up for IRISH ALERTS text messaging services at UND.com.
800 Free Relay: The Irish were nearly deadlocked with Louisville after the first swimmers exited the water … Danny Lutkus muscled his way past the field in the second leg to give Notre Dame a comfortable lead … Steven Brus and MacKenzie LeBlanc cleaned up the leftovers to help the tandem finish in 6:27.19 … the season-best time was a school and BIG EAST record.
200 Medley Relay: Another meet record was broken in the night’s final race, this time by Louisville (1:25.85) … the Cardinals never trailed the entire race … Cincinnati was the runner-up, finishing in 1:28.91 … Jeff Wood, Joseph Raycroft, Andrew Hoffman and Joshua Nosal finished sixth in 1:30.25.
1-meter Diving: The competition was heated in both the preliminary and final rounds, as the top two finishers went head-to-head down to the final dive … in the end, Pittsburgh’s Alex Volovetski (373.15) edged Michael Bulfin (367.60) for the title … but Notre Dame placed divers in four of the top five scoring positions … Caleb Dunnichay (329.35) earned an all-BIG EAST honor in his first conference action with the Irish … Wes Villaflor (323.75) and Eric Lex (319.90) rounded out the top five.