EVANSTON, Ill., Jan. 24. THE University of Notre Dame men's swimming
and diving team (5-7) led at various points throughout the meet — a
first for an Irish team taking on a top-15 foe — but eventually fell
just shy of pulling off an upset, losing 155-133 at #15 Northwestern
Saturday afternoon in the Norris Aquatics Center.
The depth of the Irish allowed them to take two of the top three spots in 10 of 12 individual swimming races. Notre Dame will return to action on
Saturday, Jan. 31 vs. St. Bonaventure at Noon (EST) in the Rolfs
"This was a great meet for us," Irish head coach Tim Welsh said. "We were a little short of the power we needed to get the job done, but we're getting to where we want to be. We're not there, but we can see it from where we are."
The results of most of Saturday's events were similar. Northwestern won 13 of the 16 competitions, but the Irish took at least three of the top five spots in 13 of the 14 swimming events. In six of them, Notre Dame finished second, third, and fourth.
Freshman Ted Brown (Kokomo, Ind./Western H.S.) broke through for a victory in the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 1:41.53. Senior co-captain Matt Obringer (Jacksonville, Fla./The Bolles School) took second in 1:41.53, while freshman Brian Freeman (Sanger, Calif./Immanuel H.S.) was fourth with a time of 1:44.02.
Freshman Louis Cavadini (South Bend, Ind./Riley H.S.) was the other Irish winner in the swimming races, taking the 100 freestyle in 46.96. His classmate, Tim Randolph (Crown Point, Ind./Merrillville H.S.), was third in 47.92, while sophomore Chris Barnes (Cincinnati, Ohio/St. Xavier H.S.) finished fifth in 48.10.
Notre Dame's lone diver, freshman Scott Coyle (Indianapolis, Ind./Hamilton Southeastern H.S.), captured his second first-place finish of the season, winning the one-meter competition with a season-high score of 276.38.
In two races, the 1650 free and the 200 butterfly, Northwestern took the top spot, but Notre Dame finished second, third, fourth, and fifth. In the former, sophomore Patrick Davis (Clearwater, Fla./Jesuit H.S.) cut nearly nine seconds off his previous season-best mark and led Irish swimmers in 15:49.71. Finishing behind him was freshman Justin Barber (Carson City,
Nev./Carson H.S.), who had his quickest time of the season, 16:16.61.
Rookie Chris Zeches (Tucson, Ariz./Salpointe Catholic H.S.) was fourth in 16:21.68, while senior J.R. Teddy (Spring, Texas/Klein H.S.) finished fifth with a time of 16:34.62.
In the 200 fly, freshman Tim Kegelman (Yorktown, Va./Tabb H.S.) was second in 1:54.72, just outtouching senior teammate Brian Coughlan (Moraga, Calif./Campolindo H.S), who finished in 1:54.78. Sophomore Patrick Heffernan (Norcross, Ga./Norcross H.S.) was fourth in 1:55.61, while classmate Patrick O'Berry (Alpharetta, Ga./Milton H.S.) took fifth in 1:57.62.
Four more events saw the Wildcats finish first, but the Irish take each of the next three positions. In the 100 breaststroke, Randolph was second in 58.13, while sophomore Tyler Grenda (Hockessin, Del./Salesianum H.S.) was next with a time of 59.07, and senior co-captain Josh Dermott (El Dorado Hills, Calif./Rio Americano H.S.) took fifth in 59.70.
Grenda led the effort in the 200 breaststroke, with a runner-up time of 2:07.32. Sophomore Jamie Lutkus (Granger, Ind./Penn H.S.) was third in 2:08.91, while junior David Moisan (Fisherville, Ky./Louisville Male H.S.) finished fourth with a time of 2:09.12.
Sophomore Steve Shomberger (Spotsylvania, Va./Courtland H.S.) led the Irish in the 200 backstroke, finishing in second with a time of 1:54.86, while Freeman was third in 1:55.93, and freshman Alan Carter (Bethel Park, Pa./Bethel Park H.S.) was next in 1:57.08.
Kegelman also finished second in the 100 fly with a time of 50.71. He was closely followed by school recordholder Frank Krakowski (Erie, Pa./Cathedral Preparatory School), who ended with a time of 50.91. Coughlan was fourth in 52.73.
Cavadini, Brown, and Coyle all posted runner-up finishes in addition to their victories. In the 50 free, Cavadini was second in 21.28, while Krakowski followed in 21.40 and junior Drew Pittman (Williamsburg, Va./Lafayette H.S.) was fifth in 22.27.
Brown was second in the 500 free with a time of 4:35.04, while Davis was fourth (4:38.82) and Obringer copped a point for the Irish in fifth (4:44.80).
Coyle's 255.23 points in the three-meter diving competition were good enough for second-place honors.
Carter led the Irish in the 100 back, with a time of 52.37 that placed him second, while Shomberger was third in 53.15, and Moisan took fifth in 57.50.
The Irish took second in both relays, but also captured third place in the 400 free. In that event, Krakowski, Randolph, Cavadini, and Obringer combined for a time of 3:08.12 to be the top-finishing Notre Dame squad, while Pittman, Brown, Fanslau, and Bertke were next in 3:12.78. Carter, Randolph, Kegelman, and Krakowski were second in the 400 medley in 3:28.72.
The only event in which Northwestern took each of the top two places was the 200 individual medley. Kegelman was the quickest Irish finisher, taking third in 1:54.60, while Lutkus was fourth in 1:56.34.
Since a 710-point victory over Harvard in the Notre Dame Invitational in December, the Irish have won four of six dual meets, all of them coming on the road. The defeats came in the home pools of #15 Northwestern and #17 Pittsburgh.
"We've been on the road since Dec. 30, and it was a pretty good road tour for us," said Welsh.
The Irish have three remaining meets, all at home, before the Feb. 19-21 BIG EAST Championships. After the meet with the Bonnies, Notre Dame plays host to Cleveland State on Feb. 6 and Oakland the following day.