1997 Review

Notre Dame Relays, October 11, 1996

The Irish won 12 of 13 events and finished with a total of 226 points for first place at the Notre Dame Relays. Double winners were Ron Royer, Vince Kuna, John Saylor, Matt Rose, Rich Murphy, Ry Beville, Scott Zumbach, Brian Najarian, and Chris Fugate and Herb Huesman in three- and one-meter diving.

Western Ontario, October 25, 1996

Notre Dame opened its 1996-97 dual meet season with a 101-62 win at Western Ontario. The Irish claimed seven of nine individual events as seven different Notre Dame swimmers won events.

Ball State, November 2, 1996

The Irish dropped a tight 127-116 decision at Ball State in a meet that came down to the final race. After the Cardinals built a 22 point lead with three events to go, the Irish trimmed the lead to 109-98 when Wes Richardson, John Lubker and Robert Fetter swept the first three places in the 500-yard freestyle. Notre Dame cut the lead to 114-112 when Matt Rose won the 200-yard breaststroke with Steele Whowell and Antonio Fonseca in third and fourth for the Irish. Trailing by two points heading into the final event, Notre Dame came up short in the 400-yard freestyle relay as Ball State claimed first in the final event and hung on for the win.

at Boston College, November 8, 1996

Notre Dame won 15 of 16 events in a 234-66 win at Boston College. Nine different swimmers won individual events for the Irish. Scott Zumbach won the 100 backstroke and 200 breaststroke to lead the Irish.

at Connecticut, November 10, 1996

Notre Dame traveled to Connecticut but came away with a 168-130 loss to the Huskies. Ry Beville, Chris Fugate and Scott Zumbach were the only winners for the Irish, who lost their second dual meet of the season.

Pittsburgh, November 15, 1996

Pittsburgh defeated Notre Dame 180-115 at the Rolfs Aquatic Center as the Irish never got on track against the eventual BIG EAST champion Panthers. Matt Rose and Herb Huesman were the only winners for the Irish. Rose edged out teammate Steele Whowell for the 100 breaststroke, while Huesman claimed the one-meter diving.

Notre Dame Invitational, December 5-7, 1996

The Irish closed out the fall season by falling just short at the Notre Dame Invitational, finishing second to Connecticut, 922.5 to 921.5. The Irish led through much of the meet, with John Lubker winning the 1650 freestyle and Scott Zumbach winning the 200 butterfly, but Connecticut’s 400 freestyle relay team pulled out the win in the final race.

at Longhorn Diving, January 5-7, 1997

Herb Huesman had the highest finish for Notre Dame at the 1997 All-American Diving Championship at the University of Texas. Huesman took fifth in the three-meter competition and finished in ninth place in the one-meter diving competition. Tyler Maertz took 11th in the preliminaries of the three meter.

at Brazil Competition, January 9, 1997

Notre Dame’s training over Christmas led the team to South America. The Irish spent part of their mid-semester break training in Brazil and competed in an international meet with former Olympians from other countries that was televised nationally in Brazil. Chris Fugate won a bronze medal in the competition with a third-place finish in the 100-meter backstroke.

Bowling Green, January 17, 1997

In their first meet since the trip to South America, the Irish built a 15-2 lead and then led by as many as 75 points before coasting to 149.5-86.5 win over Bowling Green. Ron Royer and Herb Huesman were double winners for Notre Dame.

at Cleveland State/vs. Niagara, January 18, 1997

Notre Dame traveled to Cleveland for a tri meet with Niagara and Cleveland State. The Irish beat Niagara 146-89 but trailed Cleveland State 116-108 heading into the final event. Vince Kuna, Ry Beville, Ray Fitzpatrick and Robert Fetter won the 400 freestyle relay and Brian Najarian, Mike Doyle, John Kennedy and Rich Murphy took third to give Notre Dame a dramatic 121-120 win.

at Buffalo, January 31, 1997

The Irish won their fourth straight meet at Buffalo 126-115 in another back-and-forth meet that Notre Dame won on the final relay. Matt Rose and Herb Huesman were double winners.

St. Bonaventure, February 1, 1997

Notre Dame saw its four dual-meet winning streak snapped in a close 118.5-112.5 loss at St. Bonaventure. The Irish fell behind early as St. Bonaventure won the first five events to build a 59-34 lead before Notre Dame rallied. Herb Huesman won his second diving event of the meet as he took first in the three-meter event to cap the Irish rally and tie the score at 97.5 for each team. St. Bonaventure then came back to win the final two events to close out the win.

Western Kentucky, February 7, 1997

The Irish fell just short in their bid to hand Western Kentucky its first loss of the season with a 125-118 loss to the Hilltoppers. In one of the more exciting meets of the year, the Irish built a 68-44 lead before Western Kentucky won four straight events as Notre Dame would cling to a 114-112 lead before the Hilltoppers won the final event to remain unbeaten.

at Wisconsin-Milwaukee, February 8, 1997

The season-ending dual meet went Notre Dame’s way in a 162-138 win at Wisconsin-Milwaukee. The Irish won eight of the 16 events but used their depth and balance to clinch the meet and finish at 7-5, the best dual-meet record in four years since the 1992-93 team went 11-2.

at BIG EAST Championships, February 19-22, 1997

In their second appearance at the BIG EAST championships, the Irish placed seventh with 299.5 points for the second time after jumping between sixth and seventh for most of the championships. Steele Whowell was the top Irish finisher with a runner-up finish in the 100 breaststroke. Matthew Rose was fifth in the 200 breaststroke and John Lubker was fifth in the 1650 freestyle.

at Shamrock Classic, March 1-2, 1997

Notre Dame swimmers wrapped up their season with a championship-format meet. Ron Royer and Robert Fetter were winners while Ry Beville wrapped up his storied Notre Dame career by winning the 200 butterfly.

at NCAA Zone C Diving Championships, March 14-15, 1997

At the NCAA Zone C diving championships at the University of Minnesota, Herb Huesman was the top Irish finishers with his 21st-place showing in the one-meter competition.