March 11, 2005
For the first time in the 47-year history of the program, the University of Notre Dame will send a men’s swimmer to the NCAA Championships, as sophomore Tim Kegelman (Yorktown, Va./Tabb H.S.) garnered the historic invitation Friday afternoon when the full field for this year’s national meet, slated for March 24-26 at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, was announced. Kegelman earned the berth due to his season-best time in the 100-yard butterfly (47.66), which was .03 seconds faster than the last qualifier. He also will swim the 200 individual medley and 200 butterfly at the meet.
Kegelman’s 100 fly time, which came in the prelims of the Notre Dame Invitational in the Rolfs Aquatic Center in December, ranked 26th among all Division I swimmers. The final qualifier in the race (28th) was Pat Cary of UC Santa Barbara, whose season-best time was 47.69.
The Notre Dame Invitational saw Kegelman break the meet, pool, and University records in both butterflys and the 200 IM, and those times remain his season bests. Because his marks in the 200 IM and 200 fly are NCAA “B” cuts, he is eligible to swim those at the NCAAs, as well. He is seeded 45th and 34th, respectively.
Notre Dame’s men’s swimming and diving program has had one previous qualifier to the NCAA Championships. In 1975, Bob Ebel earned a bid to the meet and competed in three-meter springboard diving.
Kegelman is one of 235 swimmers invited to the NCAAs, while the 35 diving spots will be filled at the end of this weekend, based on results in the NCAA Zone Diving Championships. Irish freshman Sam Stoner (Valparaiso, Ind./Valparaiso H.S.) is competing in the zone C event at Purdue University. A total of 46 schools qualified swimmers to this year’s national meet.
Last month Kegelman was the high-point scorer in the BIG EAST Championships, with 89.5 points. He claimed his first three conference titles, winning the 100 fly, 200 IM, and 400 medley relay, and also was a key reason Notre Dame captured its first-ever BIG EAST title.