Jan. 31, 2015
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The University of Notre Dame men’s swimming and diving teams earned a pair of victories Saturday at the 18th-annual Shamrock Invitational, finishing second to Big Ten foe Iowa. The Irish won 293-75 against Incarnate Word and bested Missouri State 218-150, but fell by a mere 20 points to the Hawkeyes, 195-175. The Irish move to 5-6 on the season.
“We started the weekend by putting ourselves in a position to have a hard-fought meet with a ranked opponent that we met earlier in the season, and see if we could equal our performance competitively,” Irish head coach Matt Tallman says. “We fought down to the wire coming down to the last couple of events, and I was proud of the guys and their efforts to race.
“We definitely have some work to do still though,” he continued. “We’ve got a few weeks left in this championship segment of the season, and we’ll have to perfect some things for sure to make ourselves better at Georgia Tech and Iowa.”
Georgia Tech hosts the ACC Conference Championships Feb. 25 through March 1, while Iowa is the host of the NCAA Championships March 23-29.
In the morning session, Notre Dame broke their own pool record in the 800 free relay, as the C-team lineup of Kevin Hughes, Broderick Kelley, Patrick Murphy and Michael Hudspith won the race and set the record with their 6:35.03 mark. The Irish B-team of John Nappi, Joseph Petrone, Matthew DeBlasio and Jonathan Williamson came in sixth (6:55.17), while the A-team was disqualified.
Other morning highlights for the Irish included a neck-and-neck race in the 100 breast, with Iowa’s Roman Trussov out-touching Zachary Stephens 54.4 to 54.94. Close behind were Patrick Olson (third, 55.68) and Cameron Miller (fourth, 55.77). Andrew Jensen finished 10th (58.56). In 100 back, Bogac Ayhan claimed third place (50.17) and Rob Whitacre finished sixth (50.76). Justin Plaschka finished 10th (51.86) and Gabe Ostler touched the wall in 51.19.
In diving, sophomore Joseph Coumos won the three-meter event (377.50), but it was classmate James Lichtenstein that drew the most cheers Saturday as he set a new personal best with his 326.20 score. Nick Nemetz finished second (374.15) and Ted Wagner claimed fourth (347.35). Rounding out the top five was freshman Peter Myers (346.55). Lichtenstein finished ninth and was followed by Michael Kreft (317.65).
In the evening swims, Nappi started things off strong for the Irish, breaking the pool record in the 1650 and winning the race with his 15:21.60 mark.
“John Nappi for sure knew in the mile race it was going to be his last mile in this pool – so we talked about him being capable of breaking that record, and he really put pen to paper and went after it right from the beginning. The relay was four guys who are certainly capable of doing that, and I was glad to see those guys get their names on the board,” Tallman admits.
“Tonight was a great night; I was in a really good mood, it’s senior night, and I was happy it’s been a great four years. I really wanted to culminate my four years by swimming at Rolfs, and I was lucky enough to do that,” Nappi explains. “It was pretty fun.”
In the 200 back, Whitacre had the top time of 1:51.83, good for sixth place, and was followed closely by Thomas Anderson (seventh, 1:52.37) and Ayhan (ninth, 1:52.83). In the 100 free it was the freshmen class that put on a show, with Plaschka finishing first (45.31) and Joseph Krause claiming second (45.48). Richard Mannix came in 12th (46.67), while sophomore Trent Jackson finished 14th (46.78) and Benjamin Jany came in 25th (49.52).
In 200 breast, Stephens was again out-touched by Trussov (1:59.35), with Miller finishing third (2:04.26) and Olson clinching fourth (2:06.42). In the 200 fly, the usual suspects of Williams, Bradley and DeBlasio all put in strong performances, with Williamson earning second place (1:50.07), Bradley finishing sixth (1:54.43) and DeBlasio coming in 12th (1:57.25). Reed Fujan also swam to 11th place with his 1:56.82 showing.
The Irish are next in action next Saturday, Feb. 7th, as they host Cleveland State. The meet starts at noon, with results available on meet mobile and Live Stats.
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