EAST MEADOW, NY, February 19. THREE school records, two victories, and a meet record allowed the 22nd-ranked University of Notre Dame men’s swimming and diving team to extend its lead in the BIG EAST Championships to 120.5 points on Friday evening in the Nassau County Aquatic Center.
Sophomore Tim Kegelman (Yorktown, Va./Tabb H.S.) won the 100-yard butterfly in a meet-record time of 48.06, while the 400 medley relay team became just the second Irish relay ever to claim a BIG EAST title. With just one day and six of 20 events remaining, Notre Dame has 614.5 points – already the highest-ever sum for the Irish in the meet – while eight-time defending champion Pittsburgh is second with 494.
Kegelman became the first Notre Dame student-athlete to set a BIG EAST meet record and the first to win multiple individual titles in the same year, claiming the 100 fly with the second-fastest time ever by an Irish swimmer, after he won the 200 individual medley on Thursday. He then swam the fly leg on the 400 medley relay, combining with juniors Doug Bauman (Erie, Pa./Cathedral Preparatory School) and Tim Randolph (Crown Point, Ind./Merrillville H.S.) and senior Frank Krakowski (Erie, Pa./Cathedral Preparatory School) to break the University record by more than two seconds en route to taking first place in 3:16.93. It was Notre Dame’s first relay victory in the meet since 1999. Bauman also lowered his own school record in the 100 backstroke by .03 seconds, to 50.08, and Randolph broke the 100 breaststroke record with a second-place time of 55.18.
Kegelman combined with Krakowski for Notre Dame’s second-ever 1-2 finish in the BIG EAST Championships. Krakowski, the University record holder until Kegelman surpassed him in last year’s BIG EAST meet, went 48.78 to beat third-place Chris Hagedorn of West Virginia by .14 seconds.
Prior to Friday, the only time Notre Dame had taken first in a relay at the BIG EAST Championships was in the final event of the 1999 meet, the 400 free relay. But the Irish changed that, demolishing the University record of 3:19.45 by Bauman, Jason Fitzpatrick, Krakowski, and Randolph in 2003 en route to a victory by more than one-half second over West Virginia. It was good for an NCAA “B” cut, the second for the Irish in relay events this week after they had never previously posted one. Heading into this week, just 13 schools had gone quicker in the 400 medley relay this year. The result made Kegelman the first Irish student-athlete ever to claim three BIG EAST championships.
Considered by the coaches to be one of the most difficult University records to break, the 100-yard breaststroke mark of 55.35 set by Fitzpatrick in 2003 did not survive Randolph’s Friday evening swim. He cut .85 seconds off his prelims mark and finished in 55.18 to post his first career NCAA “B” cut in the event and finish second behind West Virginia freshman Nick Delic.
Rutgers Sean Smith won the 400 IM, with Pablo Marmolejo of West Virginia was second.
In the 200 freestyle, sophomore Ted Brown (Kokomo, Ind./Western H.S.) led the Irish with a career-best time of 1:38.64. That mark stands tied for the fourth-fastest time in Irish history in the race and was good for an NCAA “B” cut.
Freshman Sam Stoner (Valparaiso, Ind./Valparaiso H.S.) led Notre Dame’s diving contingent off the three-meter board with a collegiate-best 11-dive mark of 461.90.