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Tim Welsh Excited About Incoming Men's Swimming And Diving Freshman Class

May 6, 2002

The University of Notre Dame men’s swimming and diving team recently completed its 2002-03 freshman class by announcing the additional signings of six incoming student-athletes. Chris Barnes (Cincinnati, Ohio), Patrick Davis (Clearwater, Fla.), Tyler Grenda (Hockessin, Del.), Bryan Guarnier (Queensbury, N.Y.), Patrick O’Berry (Alpharetta, Ga.) and Tim Randolph (Crown Point, Ind.) will join Patrick Heffernan (Norcross, Ga.), Jamie Lutkus (Granger, Ind.) and Stephen Shomberger (Spotsylvania, Va.) in making up the Class of 2006.

“This is the first full class we have been able to recruit with scholarship assistance,” Irish head coach Tim Welsh says.

“The (scholarship assistance) has allowed us to help people come to Notre Dame who we would not have been able to help in the past and that has made a huge difference.

“We are counting on this class to help us in our objectives of advancing in the BIG EAST Championship and becoming a national-level program. This class also is very strong academically and follows our composite dream of building strong athletes, strong students and strong human beings.”

Chris Barnes will graduate from St. Xavier High School in May, a school that already has a rich tradition in Notre Dame swimming and diving.

“St. Xavier students do well at Notre Dame and do well on our team,” Welsh says (current Irish diver Andy Maggio is a graduate of St. Xavier and an elected team captain for the 2002-03 season).

“Chris is a spirited athlete who has improved dramatically over the last two years. Given the history of his high school program and the history of his personal success, we are excited that he is coming to Notre Dame.”

Jesuit High School graduate Patrick Davis doesn’t only bring fast distance freestyle times to the Irish squad, his academic reputation fits in perfectly with a team that has been recognized by the College Swimming Coaches Association of America for academic excellence over the past four years.

“Patrick is a Notre Dame Scholar and comes to us as a person with extremely high scholar-athlete credentials. He also walks right into a need that we have for distance freestylers. In Jonathan Pierce, we graduate our lead distance freestyler and the door is open for a freshman. We hope that Patrick can walk right in and take over.”

Adding depth to the breaststroke group will be Tyler Grenda from Salesianum High School in Delaware.

“Tyler is primarily a breaststroker. His rate of improvement has been dramatic in the last couple of years. His day in, day out, in-season breaststroke times will make a strong contribution to our dual meet schedule and we are looking forward to his championship times as well.”

Bryan Guarnier, a product of Glen Falls High School in New York, will bring a measure of versatility to the Irish roster.

“Bryan’s strength for us at this point is going to be his versatility. We are thin in the 200 freestyle, which is one of his primary events, and although his class is deep in the butterfly events, we are not deep in the fly until this class arrives on campus. The fact he can swim all of the middle distance events, and any length above that, is a strong help to our program.”

There are three Patricks in the Class of 2006, and two of them hail from the Atlanta, Ga., area. Patrick Davis and Patrick Heffernan join Patrick O’Berry to give the Irish team a distinctive Irish feel. O’Berry is out of Milton High School in Georgia and was recently named the Male Athlete of the Year after posting the highest GPA of all varsity lettermen at his school.

“Patrick (O’Berry) is both a butterfly and distance freestyle specialist. As such, he can fill both areas of need in our program. We have been thin in our butterfly events and we graduate our distance freestyler (Jonathan Pierce), so Patrick has the ability to come in and contribute in both those events.”

Tim Randolph will combine with Jaime Lutkus to give the incoming freshman class a distinctive Northern Indiana flavor. Randolph hails from Crown Point, Ind., and will immediately play a factor in the sprint lane for the Irish.

“There are two things especially exciting about Tim,” Welsh says.

“First, he is a bonafide sprinter, which are probably the thinnest events for us and have the most points available at championship time. Any bonafide sprinter is good, but Tim is more than that because he is versatile across a lot of strokes and is the fastest sprinter in Northern Indiana. It is important to us that he is close to home and we are very excited that he is going to sprint for us.”