NOTRE DAME, Ind. December 17. NOTRE DAME men’s swimming and diving head coach Tim Welsh has announced the signing of four student-athletes to national letters-of-intent. Tyler Angelo, Mackenzie LeBlanc, John Lytle and Robert Navarre will join the Fighting Irish for the 2006-07 season. Angelo (200-meter breast) and LeBlanc (200-meter fly) have both posted Olympic Trial standards.
Tyler Angelo hails from Walnut Creek, California and swims breaststroke and butterfly events. He posted an Olympic Trials qualifying time of 2:20.53 in the 200-meter breast at the 2005 U.S. Junior Championships. At the same meet, he clocked a 100-meter breast time of 1:06.22. Angelo was Rookie of the Year and two-time team MVP for his club team, the Orinda Aquatics. He was also tabbed as the 2004 Age Group Swimmer of the Year for Pacific. His father, Tom, was a two-time All-American and two-time NCAA Champion in water polo at Stanford from 1975-78.
“In addition to his speed, Tyler brings a great deal of energy, enthusiasm and spirit to our team,” says Welsh. “We see Tyler as a great team player with excellent leadership potential.”
Mackenzie LeBlanc will come to Notre Dame from Plano, Texas, where he competes at Plano East Senior High School and with the City of Plano Swimmers club team. LeBlanc specializes in the 200-fly, 400-IM and 500-free. He swam an Olympic Trials cut in the 200-meter fly with a time of 2:03.80 at the 2005 US ConocoPhillips Nationals. He posted a U.S. Nationals cut in the 200-yard fly with a time of 1:49.52 at the 2005 GU Speedo Championships. In the same meet he clocked a 100-yard fly time of 51.05 and a 200-back time of 1:52.40.
LeBlanc has been tabbed an All-American in the 500-free and the 200-IM along with being named an Academic All-American. He holds Plano East Senior High School records in the 200-IM and as part of the 200-medley and the 200-free relays. His sister, Kayli, is currently a junior on the Centenary College swim team.
“Mac LeBlanc can swim almost every event and swim it fast,” states Welsh. “His butterfly, backstroke, freestyle and individual medley events can all contribute to the program immediately and the fact that he has already qualified for the 2008 Olympic Trials will help raise our team level of performance to the elite national level we are seeking.”
John Lytle is a native of Clearfield, Pa. and he swims the 50, 100 and 200-free events along with the 100-back. He was the 2005 PIAA state champion in the 100-yard freestyle (46.15) and runner-up in the 50-yard free (21.28) in addition to garnering NISCA All-American distinction in the 50 and 100-free and was honorable mention in the 200-free. He owns a personal-best 50-free time of 21.27. Additionally, he was the 2005 YMCA state champion in the 200-free and runner-up in the 100-free.
“Already a state champion, John Lytle brings the sprint speed to our program that will help not only our individual events, but also our relay events,” says Welsh. “He is talented and fast, and can fill a big role in our sprinting program.”
Robert Navarre hails from Glenview, Ill. and attends Loyola Academy. He competes with the Scout Aquatics club team in Lake Forest, Ill. Navarre swims the 50 and 100-free events along with the 100-fly and swims on relays. As a junior, he finished second in the state of Illinois in the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 20.73. That year he also finished third in the 100-yard free in a time of 46.24. Navarre clocked a 100-yard fly time of 52.17 at the 2005 Speedo Championships.
Navarre’s great-grandfather, grandfather and father are all Notre Dame graduates, while his sister is currently a junior at the University.
“Bobby Navarre may be the fastest sprinter to come out of high school and into Notre Dame in the history of our team,” comments Welsh. “With more points available in the sprint freestyle events in meets than in any other event, a sprinter with Bobby’s speed can be a real boost to our program."