Oct. 18, 2007
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The University of Notre Dame men’s and women’s swimming and diving programs are set for a showdown with Southern California Friday at the Rolfs Aquatic Center. It is the first dual meet of the season for the Irish, with both the men’s and women’s teams coming off wins in the Dennis Stark Relays held two weeks prior.
In fact, it is the first-ever dual meet between Notre Dame and Southern California. Both teams are nationally ranked entering Friday’s meet, as the Notre Dame men are 22nd with USC seven spots ahead at No. 15. On the women’s side, USC is 13th and the Irish are 17th according to the College Swimming Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) preseason poll.
The Fighting Irish men’s team won ten of the Dennis Stark Relays’ 13 events, as the crew managed to shatter three meet records. Sophomore John Lytle (Clearfield, Pa./Clearfield Area), sophomore Andrew Hoffman (Ft. Wayne, Ind./Homestead), junior Danny Lutkus (Granger, Ind./Penn), and senior Rob Seery (Garden City, N.Y./Garden City) teamed for a first-place finish in the 300 Free Relay (2:16.83) for a new meet all-time best. In besting the competition in the 1-meter diving relay (600.75) and 3-meter synchronized event (251.50), senior Sam Stoner (Valparaiso, Ind./Valparaiso) and junior Michael Bulfin (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla./St. Thomas Aquinas) eclipsed the event’s previous top scores to etch their names in the records books.
ND’s women scored 226 of 822 points at the Dennis Stark Relays, taking first place by 60 points. Five teams from nearby universities joined the women in the waters of Notre Dame. The Irish were challenged mostly by Illinois State and Ball State, and consequently, the two latter teams finished in a tie for second with 166 points. Oakland finished fourth (142), Valparaiso placed fifth (104), and Marquette was sixth (18).
The Women of Troy return 10 swimmers and divers with NCAA Championships experience: seniors Emily Goetsch, Whitney Hentzen, Brittany Allen and diver Kim Popp, juniors Rebecca Soni, Kristen Lahey, Rachael Waller, Missy McIntyre and Katy Houston and sophomore Whitney Stephenson.
The USC men’s team is led by junior Vanni Mangoni, who earned All-America honors in the 400 Individual Medley last season. The squad also welcomes back three Pacific-10 Conference finalists. Second-year head coach David Solo, was a member of the men’s USA Olympic staff in 2004 and part of the USA World Championship staff in 2005. Trojan assistant Staciana (Stitts) Winfield was an Olympic gold medalist in 2000.
Friday’s meet is slated to start at 5 p.m. (ET).