Jan. 18, 1997

Notre Dame Men’s Swimming Wins Two While Women Drop Two

CLEVELAND, Ohio and CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Notre Dame’s men’s swimming and diving team rallied for a 121-120 win over Cleveland State and routed Niagara 146-89 Saturday at Cleveland State. The women’s team saw its five dual-meet winning streak ended as the Irish fell to Illinois 193-107 and Indiana 154.5-145.5 in a tri-meet at Illinois.

The Irish trailed for most of the meet against the Vikings and headed into the final event, the 400 freestyle relay, behind by a score of 116-108. The relay team of Vince Kuna, Ry Beville, Ray Fitzpatrick and Robert Fetter took first while the team of Brian Najarian, Vince Doyle, John Kennedy and Rich Murphy placed third to give Notre Dame 13 points to 4 for Cleveland State and the dramatic 121-120 win.

Despite winning just five of the 13 events against Cleveland State, Notre Dame used its balance and depth to squeak out the win.

“We could only have won this with our team balance and that is what we used,” said Notre Dame head coach Tim Welsh. “We hung in there when we fell behind and were able to pull it out in the end. After the win over Bowling Green on Friday, it feels good to finish the weekend 3-0.”

The only other winners for the Irish were Fitzpatrick in the 200 freestyle, Beville in the 200 butterfly, Chris Fugate in the 200 backstroke and Herb Huesman in the one-meter diving. Sophomore Mike Donovan and freshman Kevin McCluskey gave Notre Dame keys points in the 200 backstroke and 200 breaststroke in the win for the Irish who are now 5-3 after entering the weekend 2-3.

On the women’s side, Notre Dame lost its first dual meet since the start of the season as Illinois and Indiana handed the Irish just their second and third losses of the season. Senior All-American Erin Brooks paced Notre Dame with two second-place finishes in the 100 and 200 backstroke. Linda Gallo was second in the 100 freestyle and third in both the 500 and 200 freestyle. Liz Barger added a second place finish in the 100 butterfly while divers Rhiana Saunders and Gina Ketelhohn were second in the one and three-meter diving events.

The women’s team returns home on Sunday, Jan. 19, and will play host No. 10 Minnesota at 1:00 p.m. at Rolfs Aquatic Center. The men return to the pool at Buffalo State on Jan. 31.