Jan. 24, 2009
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Three more wins were added to the 2008-09 win total for the Notre Dame men’s swimming and diving team on Saturday as the Irish swept the Shamrock Invitational at the Rolfs Aquatic Center. Notre Dame (6-6) picked up victories in four events over the final two sessions to secure the victories over Denver (190-180), Michigan State (232-138) and West Virginia (243-127).
“The meet tonight was extremely good for the team,” Irish head coach Tim Welsh said. “What we’ve been looking for all season is a meet where we could take a giant step and these three sessions have helped us do that. We talked during today’s break about how the meet would come down to the last relay, so we prepared for that. But it only got that far, because everybody stepped up big time, which made this a giant step for our team.
“And in terms of preparation, we told the team that we couldn’t imagine a better preparation for a conference championship than to have a three-session meet over every event in the conference championship come down to the last event. So we think win, win, win all the way along. Congrats to the guys, they really raced well.”
Notre Dame will now join St. Mary’s and Olivet at the Rofls Aquatic Center on Feb. 7 for a friendly swim before heading to Indianapolis to defend its title at the BIG EAST Conference Championships.
200 Medley Relay: The first tandem to touch for the Irish was that of Bill Bauman, Brian Maloy, MacKenzie LeBlanc and John Lytle … they were fourth in 1:34.16. 400 Individual Medley: Denver’s Clayton Myers jumped to the early lead heading into the backstroke and eventually crept ahead of West Virginia’s Michael Walker to win the race in 3:56.03, setting a Rolfs Aquatic Center record with the effort … Michael Sullivan was third in 4:01.41.
100 Fly: Heading into the last 50, Denver’s Garth Summers nosed ahead with West Virginia’s Pablo Marmolejo in close pursuit … Summers drove forward continuing to add to his lead and seized the win in 48.59 … Conor Evans checked in with a 49.98, good for fourth.
200 Free: John Lytle broke loose late and took second in 1:40.80 … Blake Worsely of Denver was first with an NCAA B-cut time of 1:35.98.
100 Back: The race for the gold was tight with strong underwater work coming from several athletes … the final lap came down to Jeff Wood and Daniel Vollmer of Denver fighting for top honors … Wood edged out Vollmer for the win in a time of 50.94.
800 Free Relay: Notre Dame and Denver were in a dead lock after the first leg of the race … the two leaders started to break away as the third swimmers hit the water vying for some extra ground … the Irish came through in second behind LeBlanc, Lytle, Andrew Hoffman and Wood in 6:49.57.
3-meter Diving: The event was dominated by Notre Dame, with five Irish divers taking the top six positions … Michael Bulfin (385.50) and Eric Lex (356.35) topped the pack … Nathan Geary (323.35) was fourth in front of Caleb Dunnichay (318.80) and Wesley Villaflor (306.60).
1,650 Free: After the first 1,000 yards, the clear leaders of the event were Andrew Deters and Myers of Denver … the two men continued their battle through the end of the race as they entered the final 100 yards even with one another … the gun blasted as Deters surged to a minute advantage … Deters performed some strong underwater work off of the final wall and blasted down the final stretch to edge out Myers … his winning time came in 15:33.94.
200 Back: Sullivan dominated the race from the outside … he shot to the finish in a winning time of 1:48.05.
100 Free: Worsley got out to an early start trailed closely by Lytle … the two continued to stream ahead of the field … Worsley hit the wall first with a 44.51 and Lytle was second with a 45.28.
200 Breast: The early lead went to Rave who showed speed out of the first lap … heading into the final 50 yards, Michigan State’s Puskaric gained the lead off the pullout … Nicholas Brunger of Denver then made a run at Rave’s second-place position … the two men were in a heated race until the very end with the finish separated by a hundredth of a second … Puskaric claimed first in 2:02.06 while Rave followed with a 2:02.85 and out-touching Brunger (2:02.86).
200 Fly: Summers gained a small lead over West Virginia’s Marmolejo in the third lap … however, Marmolejo was not to be counted out … coming out of the final turn, Marmolejo seized the lead and finished first in 1:47.43, breaking Tim Kegelman’s 2004 pool record … Summers took second with a 1:47.78 … LeBlanc was third in 1:48.67.
400 Free Relay: This was one of the most emotional and energetic events of the night … Lytle broke out into clean water giving the Irish an early advantage … Notre Dame held the lead through the second leg still followed closely by Michigan State … Wood charged ahead off of the last wall to cap off the top honors in 3:02.86.