Sept. 9, 2008
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Notre Dame head coach Tim Welsh has released the men’s swimming and diving schedule for the 2008-09 campaign. The slate includes five road trips and six home meets with the BIG EAST Conference Championships taking place Feb. 18-21 in Indianapolis. Of the 42 teams that scored points at the 2008 NCAA Championships, nine appear on this season’s schedule including BIG EAST opponents West Virginia, Louisville and Pittsburgh.
“Once again we’ve put together an extremely strong schedule which gets tougher and tougher year after year,” Welsh said. “This one is as hard as we’ve ever had. All the challenges we want will be offered to us throughout the season.”
After hosting the 44th edition of the Dennis Stark Relays (Oct. 3) Notre Dame will travel to USC for the first time in program history. The first meeting between the two programs came in 2007 at Notre Dame on the eve of a football matchup that featured the Irish and the Trojans.
Conference foe Pittsburgh (Oct. 31) and in-state rival Purdue (Nov. 8) will visit the Rolfs Aquatic Center before the Irish travel to Cleveland State for a tri-meet with the Vikings and Miami (Ohio) on Nov. 15.
Notre Dame travels to nationally-ranked Ohio State on Nov. 21 then returns to Columbus two weeks later for the Ohio State Invitational, a meet that Welsh calls the focal point of the team’s fall session.
On the way back to campus after a winter training trip in Puerto Rico the Irish will stop in Louisville (Jan. 10) to battle the Cardinals. A long standing series with Northwestern continues with the 24th dual meet between the two programs on Jan. 16 at Notre Dame followed one day later with a trip to Oakland.
The Irish play host to West Virginia, Denver and Michigan State on Jan. 23-24 with three sessions of wall-to-wall competition at the Shamrock Invitational.
The NCAA Zone Diving competition will be held in Minneapolis on March 13-14 and the NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships are set for March 26-28 in College Station, Texas.
“Although it’s never a given that you can get out of the Zone Diving meet, Michael Bulfin has done it twice already and hopefully he’ll have some company with him this season,” Welsh said. “After a great summer of training we’re looking forward to having some of the guys parlay their improvements into invitations to the NCAAs. We’re beyond the hopeful stage and into the expectation stage.”