NOTRE DAME, Ind., Nov. 8. THE University of Notre Dame men's swimming and diving team must have been itching to get back in the pool after almost two weeks off from competition. The Irish were fast all evening, overwhelming Michigan State in a 140.5 – 102.5 dual meet victory and improving their record to 2-1 on the season.
Notre Dame's last dual meet came at Air Force way back on Oct. 18. The lay-off ended up as a positive step for the team, as head coach Tim Welsh saw his squad take control of the meet with the first relay and never look back.
The 400 medley relay team of Doug Bauman, Jason Fitzpatrick, Frank Krakowski and Tim Randolph out-touched MSU with a 3:28.01 effort to win the first event. The Irish took the lead in the fly, bolstered by a great effort from Krakowski. Freshman Randolph made sure the lead held, keeping the same distance he was handed by his teammate for the final leg of the race.
Michigan State came back to place first in the 1,000 freestyle, but the Notre Dame distance depth came through with Patrick Davis in second, Matt Bertke in third and J.R. Teddy in fourth.
Next up was the 200 freestyle and junior Matt Obringer kept the Irish momentum alive with a first-place 1:42.45 effort. Notre Dame ended up in the winner's circle once again in the 50 freestyle, as Krakowski posted a 21.49 effort to take first place, followed by Randolph in 21.66.
The Irish hits kept coming, as hometown freshman Jamie Lutkus easily won the 400 IM (4:04.37), besting his nearest competitor by more than three seconds.
In the diving tank, Joe Miller provided another shot in the arm with a victory off the three-meter board and a 281.17 score.
If the Irish meet victory was in any doubt, the 200 butterfly put all the Notre Dame fan's fears to rest. Freshman Patrick Heffernan led a stellar team effort, as he took first in 1:54.72 followed by teammates J.R Teddy (1:54.92), Lucas Wymore (1:55.76) and Patrick O'Berry (1:56.97).
With the victory in hand, the Irish did not rest on their laurels. Randolph jumped back in the pool for another victory and rookie Doug Bauman continued his great early-season efforts with a win in the 200 backstroke (1:54.01).
The following Irish swimmers ended up reaching BIG EAST automatic qualifying times in the meet tonight: Obringer – 200 Free, Lutkus – 400 IM, Heffernan – 200 fly, Teddy – 200 fly, Randolph – 100 free, Bauman – 200 back, Grenda – 200 breast, J. Miller – Three-meter diving.
Notre Dame will hope to carry over its momentum from the victory into next weekend's tough road trip to TCU (Friday, Nov. 15, and Saturday, Nov. 16). The Irish will be back home on Nov. 22 to face Purdue.
The Notre Dame women's team scored a lopsided victory over the Spartans of Michigan State, 181-119. The Irish are now 2-1-1 on the season.
The 200 medley relay team of Danielle Hulick, Laurie Musgrave, Christel Bouvron and Katie Eckholt got the Irish off on the right foot with a 1:47.40 victory. Lisa Garcia came back in the third event of the evening and grabbed another win for her team in the 1,000 freestyle (10:16.99).
The victory string continued in the 200 freestyle, as sophomore Katie Eckholt placed first in 1:54.31.
Michigan State broke through for its first event win in the 100 backstroke, but Laurie Musgrave came right back to win the 100 breast in 1:05.73.
Two Notre Dame rookies swam well in the next event, taking first and second place. Bouvron touched first in 2:04.92, while Annie Mantey was right behind in 2:09.90.
Meghan Perry-Eaton continued to pace the Irish diving effort, taking first off the one-meter board with 291.59 points.
After the diving break, Heidi Hendrick kept the pressure on the visitors with a win the 100 freestyle (52.51).
With the dual meet in hand, Georgia Healey won the 200 breast (2:22.59), Lisa Garcia touched first in the 500 freestyle (5:03.99), Lisa D'Olier placed first in the 100 fly (58.07) and Marie Labosky took home a victory in the 200 IM (2:06.67).