The Irish lead the field through the first of four days at the BIG EAST Championships.

Notre Dame Performs In Pool, Off Board To Lead Conference Meet

Feb. 18, 2009

Complete Results

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 For up-to-the-minute results and scores, sign up for IRISH ALERTS text messaging services at

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.