Notre Dame Fighting Irish - Official Athletics Website

Notre Dame Swim & Dive Announces Signees

NOTRE DAME, Ind. — The University of Notre Dame Swim & Dive Team announced the commitment of 19 student-athletes to continue their academic and athletic careers with the Irish. The newest Irish hail from 13 states and consist of Olympic team and trial qualifiers, state champions and record-holders. All will begin in the fall semester of 2020.

Notre Dame head coach Mike Litzinger and head diving coach Caiming Xie shared their thoughts on the newest Irish below.

Maria Baric

Hometown: Cary, N.C.

High School: Green Hope (Cary, N.C.)

Club Team: Triangle Aquatic Center Titans

Best Times: 50 Free: 22.99, 100 Breast: 1:01.84, 200 Free Relay: 1:34.33

  • High school All-American for three seasons
  • Green Hope Team Captain and Team MVP as a freshman and junior

Litzinger’s scout: “Maria has speed and talent that can lend itself to a great collegiate career. I am excited to see her development as she grows in our program.”


Sarah Bender

Hometown: Glen Allen, Va.

High School: Douglas S. Freeman (Henrico, Va.)

Club Team: NOVA of Virginia Aquatics

Best Times: 50 free: 23:70, 100 free: 51.36, 200 free: 1:50.08, 200 back: 1:59.16, 100 breast: 1:03.09 (1:12.60 LCM), 200 breast: 2:14.12 (2:34.19 LCM), 200 IM: 2:01.50 (2.18.41 LCM), 400 IM: 4:16.80 (4:54.98 LCM)

  • VHSL All-State in the 100 and 200 freestyle as a junior
  • USA Swimming Scholastic All-American as a sophomore and junior
  • School record-holder in the 100 Free and 200 IM

Litzinger’s scout: “Sarah is a very talented all-around athlete. She is very gutsy and team-driven. Her Notre Dame roots are strong, and I know that she will give a great effort every time she hits the water for us.”


Oliver Bernasek

Hometown: McLean, VA

High School: Gonzaga College High School

Club Team: Machine Aquatics

Best Times: :50.52 100 Fly 1:50.66 200 Fly

  • 200 IM champion at the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference Championships
  • Raced to a second-place finish in the 100 Fly at the Washington Metros Prep League Championships

Litzinger’s scout: “Ollie comes from a great club team background and has really come on over the past year. He will certainly add depth in our Middle Distance/Stroke areas.”


Sophia Bradac

Hometown: Denver, Colo.

High School: Regis Jesuit (Aurora, Colo.)

Club Team: University of Denver Hilltoppers

Best Times: 100 Breast: 1:02.23, 100 LC Breast: 1:10.49 (Olympic Trial Cut), 200 Medley Relay, 1:43.12, 400 Freestyle Relay, 3:27.29

  • Four-time All American
  • Posted an Olympic Trial Cut in the breaststroke and participated in the 2019 Summer Jr. Nationals
  • Holds the school record in the 100 Breast

Litzinger’s scout: “Sophia is an emerging talent and had a breakthrough swim this summer making her Olympic Trial Cut in the breaststroke. She is very well-coached and will enter the college swimming scene ready to compete.”


Kallie Chelsvig

Hometown: Nashville, Tenn.

High School: Ensworth (Nashville, Tenn.)

Club Team: Ensworth Aquatic Club

Best Times: 200 Free: 1:47.17, 100 Back: 54.24, 200 Back: 1:58.35, 100 Fly: 55.01, 50 Free: 23.30, 100 Free: 49.80, 500 Free: 4:51.78, 100 IM: 1:02.33, 200 Fly: 2:05.02

  • Three-year All-American
  • Named to the all-state team for 100 free, 200 free and 100 back
  • Was the first student at Ensworth High School to win a state championship in a sport

Litzinger’s scout: “Kallie has a very versatile slate of events. She brings great promise in the Middle Distance Free. She can sprint and also swim great backstroke. We are thrilled she is joining us.”


Tyler Christianson

Hometown: Easton, Md.

High School: Saints Peter and Paul (Easton, Md.)

Club Team: Naval Academy Aquatic Club, Republic1

Best Times: 200 IM: 1:46.56, 400 IM: 3:46.90, 100 LC Breast: 1:03.58, 200 LC Breast: 2:15.79, 200 LC IM: 2:03.16, 400 LC IM: 4:25.44

  • National Catholic Champion and USA Swimming Scholastic All-American
  • Maryland LSC Champion, State MIAA B Champion and LSC Outstanding Swimmer
  • Member of the Republic of Panama Olympic Team

Litzinger’s scout: “Tyler is a high-level competitor that will come in and make an immediate impact on our program. Ranked No. 15 in the Class of 2020, Tyler has had some major breakthroughs this Fall. He will be representing Panama this summer at the Tokyo Olympic Games, and we are excited to have him on board.”


Peyton D’Emanuele

Hometown: Minneapolis, Minn.

High School: Southwest (Minneapolis, Minn.)

Club Team: Aquajets Swim Club, Minneapolis Otters

Best Times: 100 Fly: 54.45, 50 free: 23.97

  • High school All-American as a junior, All-State all four years
  • Holds school & district records in the 100 Fly, 50 Free & 100 Free
  • Swam in two Winter Jr. National and Summer Jr. National meets

Litzinger’s scout: “I am excited for Peyton to join our team. She has speed, great technique and, coming from the Aquajets club program, will be set up for college success. I really like the way she swims and will be looking for great things down the road for Peyton.”



Megan Deuel

Hometown: Pittsford, N.Y.

High School: Pittsford Mendon (Pittsford, N.Y.)

Club Team: PACK Swim Team of Pittsford, Victor Swim Club

Best Times: 100 Fly: 52.95, 100 Back: 53.82, 200Fly 1:55.70, 100 LC Fly: 1:01.16, 200 LC Fly: 2:12.57

  • Nine-time All-American over her three seasons
  • Thirteen-time All-State honoree
  • Set Section V and School records in multiple events and won Section V Championships in the 100 Fly, 100 Back and multiple relays.

Litzinger’s scout: “Megan has had an incredible senior season and will come to Notre Dame as an NCAA-ready athlete. She has great skill in the Fly and Back, with an ever-improving IM. She will be a factor immediately as we pursue a Top 10 National Ranking.”


Sean Faikish

Hometown: Lansdale, Pa.

High School: North Penn (Lansdale, Pa.)

Club Team: North Penn Aquatic Club

Best Times: 200 IM: 1:44.88, 100 Breast: 55.43, 100 Back: 48.10, 200 LC 2:02.37 IM, 400 LC IM 4:23.88, 200 LC Breast 2:16.28

  • North Penn MVP all four years
  • High school All-American as a freshman and sophomore
  • Holds school and district records in the 200 IM and the school record in the 100 Back

Litzinger’s scout: “Sean is an outstanding athlete and represented the USA this summer at the World Jr. Championships. He has a world-class IM and can swim a great Back/Breast combo. I am looking forward to seeing Sean compete at this level!”


Emma Gleason

Hometown: Libertyville, Ill.

High School: Libertyville

Club Team: Patriot Aquatic Club

Best Times: 200 Free: 1:51.84, 100 Free: 52.35, 100 Fly: 54.50, 200 Fly: 1:58.79, 100 LCM Fly 1:02.18. 200 LC Fly 2:16.24

  • High school All-American in the 100 Fly, also holding the Libertyville High School record in the event
  • Three-time Club State Champion in the 200 Fly
  • Sectional Champion in the 100 Fly (2017/18) and 200 Free (2018)

Litzinger’s scout: “Emma is an excellent Butterfly swimmer and has a great future in that group for us. Her desire to excel and her work ethic is a perfect match for our team.”


Rhianna Hensler

Hometown: Clarkston, Mich.

High School: Notre Dame Preparatory (Pontiac, Mich.)

Club Team: Club Wolverine

Best Times: 100 Fly :54.27, 200 Fly 2:01.47, 100 LC Fly 1:02.57

  • Four-time MHSAA State Champion. Also won NCSA Club Team Championship
  • Two-time All-American & Scholastic All-American
  • Set school records in 200 IM, 50 Free, 100 Free & 100 Fly

Litzinger’s scout: “I have been impressed with Rhianna’s development and passion to swim at a high level. She is a perfect fit for our stroke group, as she likes to work hard and loves to be challenged.”


Joe Hunt

Hometown: New Braunfels, Texas

High School: Smithson Valley (Spring Branch, Texas)

Club Team: Alamo Area Aquatic Association

Best Times:  50 Back :22.49, 100 Back :49.22

  • Helped break 20-year state record in the 200 Medley Relay and win a state championship in the 200 Free Relay
  • Four-time All-American qualifier
  • Three-time team district champion and 2018 Team Regional Champion

Litzinger’s scout: “Joe has the size and skill to be a contributor at Notre Dame in the Back and Free. He has a strong Notre Dame connection and will work to be a great teammate.”


Allison Kopac

Hometown: Fairfax, Va.

High School: Riverside (Leesburg, Va.)

Club Team: Nation’s Aquatic Swim Club

Best Times: 100 free: 50.78, 200 free: 1:48.86, 500 free: 4:48.11

  • All-American in the 200 Free (2019) and 500 Free (2018-19)
  • Four-time Virginia individual state champion
  • Holds three Virginia state records – 3A 100 Free (2017), 4A 500 Free (2018) and 100 Free (2019)

Litzinger’s scout: “Allison has potential and opportunity to make an impact in the Middle Distance/Distance area of our team. She comes from a strong club background. We will look for her to come in ready to go.”


Isabelle LeBlanc 

Hometown: Southlake, TX

High School: Carroll Senior High School

Club Team: GC Divers

Best Scores: 1-M: 344.85; 3-M 352.25 (2019 USA Diving region 7)

  • All American as a sophomore
  • Awarded team Best All-Around Diver and Hardest Worker
  • Has competed in multiple national events as part of the GC Divers national team

Xie’s scout: “Isabelle will be a great addition to our program with good potential. She has full 1-meter and 3-meter college lists, good forms and comes from a strong diving club background. I am looking forward to working with her.”


Stephan Lukashev

Hometown: San Diego, CA

High School: Torrey Pines High School

Club Team: Rancho San Dieguito

Best Times: 50 Free :20.21, 100 Free :45.85, 100 Fly :47.56

  • As a junior, broke the San Diego Section boys 100 Fly record, then held by current Irish swimmer Brendan Santana
  • Participated in the 2018 and 2019 USA Speedo Junior National Championships

Litzinger’s scout: “Stephan has speed and a great butterfly. I really like his athleticism and his ability to contribute on relays. Stephan will be a welcome addition to our program.”


Michael McClamroch 

Hometown: Knoxville, Tenn.

High School: Webb School of Knoxville

Club Team: Tennessee Aquatics

Best Times: 100 Free: 47.25, 50 Free: 21.50

  • Named Team MVP as a sophomore, junior and senior
  • Received all-state honors as a junior and senior
  • Also garnered all-region honors for football and lacrosse

Litzinger’s scout: “Michael will enter our program with great potential. He has size, good speed and comes from a great club background. I am looking forward to working with him.”


Liam Smith

Hometown: Philadelphia, Pa.

High School: LaSalle College (Wyndmoor, Pa.)

Club Team: Upper Dublin Aquatic Club, Lower Moreland Swimming and Dive

Best Times:  100 Free :45.20, 200 Free 1:37.32, 500 Free 4:24.57

  • Nine-time Philly Catholic League Champion and three-time all-state
  • Seven-time NISCA All-American
  • 2019 U.S. Open, Summer Jr. Nationals and Winter Jr. Nationals qualifier

Litzinger’s scout: “Liam had a fantastic Junior National Meet in December and will come to Notre Dame ready to compete at a very high level. He has both speed and endurance, making him a factor in our Middle Distance Freestyle group.”


Luke Uttley 

Hometown: Winter Park, Fla.

High School: Trinity Preparatory School (Winter Park, Fla.)

Club Team: Trinity Prep Aquatics

Best Times: 50 Free: 20.48, 100 Free: 43.38, 200 Free: 1:37.86, 100 Fly: 48.80

  • Eleven All-American awards from 2017-19
  • Five State Championships
  • 2018 Orlando Sentinel Swimmer of the Year

Litzinger’s scout: “I am thrilled about Luke’s commitment to Notre Dame. He comes in as a speedster that will add depth to both our sprint group and relay capability. He is very strong and is not limited to short free, but can extend to the 200 and the Butterfly.”


Sydney Whiting 

Hometown: Henrico, Va.

High School: Trinity Episcopal (Richmond, Va.)

Club Team: NOVA of Virginia Aquatics

Best Times: 50 Free :23.30, 100 Free :49.93, 200 Free 1:47.43, 100 LC Free :56.43, 200 LC Free 2:02.97

  • Three-time Va. State Champion and 2019 VISAA women’s Swimmer of the Year
  • All-American (2018 & 2019) and two-year Team Captain
  • Holds school record in the 100 Free

Litzinger’s scout: “I cannot wait for Sydney to get to Notre Dame. She is improving at a fantastic rate and will certainly make her presence felt immediately. I like the fact that she has high-level ability in both short course and long course. She will have a great career in the ACC and NCAA.”