Irish Men Set Four Pool Records At St. Bonaventure

ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. – The 21st-ranked University of Notre Dame men's swimming and diving team (9-2) set four Reilly Center Pool records en route to a 150-87 road victory against St. Bonaventure (6-4) Saturday afternoon, according to Irish reports.

The Irish, who touched the wall first in all 11 swimming events and won both diving competitions, got pool records from junior Doug Bauman (Erie, Pa./Cathedral Preparatory School) in the 200-yard backstroke (1:51.02), junior Patrick Davis (Clearwater, Fla./Jesuit H.S.) in the 500 freestyle (4:38.80), freshman Jay Vanden Berg (Holland, Mich./Southfield Christian School) in the 1,000 free (9:23.51), and the 400 medley relay team of Bauman, junior Tyler Grenda (Hockessin, Del./Salesianum H.S.), sophomore Tim Kegelman (Yorktown, Va./Tabb H.S.), and senior Frank Krakowski (Erie, Pa./Cathedral Preparatory School), who posted a time of 3:26.52.

The Irish technically registered 11 victories, as they swam as only exhibition competitors in the final two events (though still won the races) after having already clinched the team triumph. In the 11 individual events (nine swimming, two diving), the Irish have 11 different student-athletes finish first (or win the race as exhibition swimmers).

After Friday evening's meet at Cleveland State provided the two fastest unshaved 1,000 free times in Irish history – from Davis and sophomore Ted Brown (Kokomo, Ind./Western H.S.) – Vanden Berg got into the action on Saturday, winning the race by more than 20 seconds in a time that ranks as the fifth-fastest 1,000 mark in University history (second-best among unshaved swimmers). The only better times were two leadoff split times from 1,650 freestyle races at the BIG EAST Championships turned in by 2002 graduate Jonathan Pierce (9:15.52 in 2002; 9:20.99 in '00), Brown's mark from Friday, and Davis' leadoff split (9:23.23) in last year's BIG EAST meet. Vanden Berg established a collegiate best by more than three seconds over his time of 9:26.39 in the triangular meet with Pittsburgh and Michigan State in November. That time did rank as the sixth-quickest in school history prior to this weekend, but it now stands ninth. Vanden Berg, Brown, and Davis have now combined for 11 of the 14 fastest times ever for Irish swimmers in the 1,000. Fellow rookie Rob Seery (Garden City, N.Y./Garden City H.S.) was the runner-up in the event, which produced the first of a trio of 1-2-3 finishes for the Irish. He registered a time of 9:44.13, while sophomore Justin Barber (Carson City, Nev./Carson H.S.) completed the sweep with a time of 9:50.91.

The Irish "D House" – distance freestyle group – completed a dominating performance in the 500 free, which saw three different swimmers sweep the top positions. Davis won the race by nearly five seconds over senior captain Matt Bertke (Edgewood, Ky./Covington Catholic H.S.), who notched a time of 4:43.70. Sophomore sprinter Louis Cavadini (South Bend, Ind./Riley H.S.) – swimming the 500 for the first time in his collegiate career – finished third in a time of 4:47.51, which was good for a BIG EAST "B" cut, meaning he is now eligible to choose from five events when determining his program (maximum of three individual races) at next month's conference meet. Cavadini has A cuts in the 50, 100, and 200 free, as well as the 100 butterfly.

The Irish led off the meet by winning the 400 medley relay by more than six seconds to break the pool record. Notre Dame also finished third in the event, as junior Steve Shomberger (Spotsylvania, Va./Courtland H.S.), sophomore Nick Fanslau (Lansdale, Pa./North Penn H.S.), freshman Andrew MacKay (Georgetown, Cayman Islands/Cayman Prep and H.S.), and Bertke posted a time of 3:35.31.

Bauman then got in on his second pool record in the eighth event, the 200 back. He topped the field by just under four seconds and led a 1-2-3 Irish sweep. Shomberger was the runner-up with a time of 1:54.98, while sophomore Alan Carter (Bethel Park, Pa./Bethel H.S.) took third in 1:56.16.

With the Irish already leading 29-6 after two events, Notre Dame had the top two finishers in the 200 free to extend the lead to 30 points. Cavadini won the race with a time of 1:44.87, while senior David Moisan (Fisherville, Ky./Louisville Male H.S.) took second in 1:45.98.

Notre Dame also took the top two spots in the one-meter diving, with sophomore Scott Coyle (Indianapolis, Ind./Hamilton Southeastern H.S.) leading the way with a career-high score of 302.78 points. He ranks seventh among all-time Irish divers in one-meter dual-meet action. Taking second was freshman Sam Stoner (Valparaiso, Ind./Valparaiso H.S.), who had a score of 279.15. Another rookie, Steven Crowe (Brockport, N.Y./Brockport H.S.), was fourth with 231.90 points.

In the three-meter competition, Stoner took first place with 288.30 points, while freshman Chris Kane (San Antonio, Texas/Ronald Reagan H.S.) was third with a score of 247.73 and Coyle was right behind with 245.33 points.

St. Bonaventure's best chances for victories came in the sprint events, but Irish swimmers were able to outtouch the Bonnies on both occasions. Krakowski took first in the 50 free in 21.34, just .35 ahead of Patrick Doret of the Bonnies. Kegelman – swimming the event for the first time this season – finished fourth in 21.81, which was good enough for a BIG EAST "B" cut, meaning he is now qualified for six events: the 50 and 200 free, 200 breast, both butterflys, and the 200 individual medley.

The 100 free was the closest race of the meet, as junior Tim Randolph (Crown Point, Ind./Merrillville H.S.) won with a time of 47.74 that was just ahead of Doret (47.92). Brown, swimming the race for the first time in 2004-05, scored a point with a fifth-place finish in a time of 48.31.

Brown got a victory in the 200 individual medley with a time of 1:55.03. MacKay ended up third in 1:58.60, while sophomore Brian Freeman (Sanger, Calif./Immanuel H.S.) took fourth with a time of 1:59.72.

Junior Patrick Heffernan (Norcross, Ga./Norcross H.S.) won the 200 butterfly for the second day in a row, finishing nearly four seconds quicker than the rest of the field, in 1:53.51. Krakowski finished fourth in the event, which he had swum just once previously this season, with a season-best time of 1:58.45. Sophomore Chris Zeches (Tucson, Ariz./Salpointe Catholic H.S.) was fifth in 2:02.97.

Grenda and fellow junior Jamie Lutkus (Granger, Ind./Penn H.S.) outdueled a pair of Bonnies that rank among the top 100 in the nation in the 200 breaststroke. The former touched the wall first (though he was an exhibition swimmer) with a time of 2:07.11 that was more than 2.5 seconds faster than Matt Cormier of SBU, who had a time of 2:09.65. Lutkus beat Cormier by .01 seconds, with a 2:09.64 mark. St. Bonaventure's Adrian Blaszczak, who ranks 72nd in the nation, touched fourth, just .02 seconds ahead of Moisan, who had a time of 2:09.78.

In the final event of the meet, Notre Dame's quartet of Kegelman, Carter, Shomberger, and Randolph posted the best time, 3:10.42 (.06 seconds ahead of SBU), but were swimming exhibition.

Notre Dame has now won 16 consecutive dual meets against teams not carrying national rankings at the time of the meet, dating back to a 174-119 home loss to Iowa on Nov. 14, 2003.

The Irish have one dual meet remaining, as they will travel to Rochester, Mich., on Saturday, Feb. 5 to take on Oakland in a 2 p.m. (EST) meet. After that, Notre Dame will head to East Meadow, N.Y., for the BIG EAST Championships Feb. 16-19.

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