NOTRE DAME, Ind, October 4. THE University of Notre Dame men's swimming &diving team opened its season in style Friday, setting eight meet records en route to a first-place finish in the Dennis Stark Relays in the Rolfs Aquatic Center. The Irish won 10 of 11 events to finish with 200 points, bettering second-place Wisconsin-Milwaukee, who finished with 156 points.
In all, 19 different Notre Dame swimmers contributed to at least one meet record. A pair of Irish freshmen led the way, helping to set meet records in each of the three events in which they participated. Local product Louis Cavadini (South Bend, Ind./Riley H.S.) was impressive in his first collegiate meet, swimming anchor in the 200-yard freestyle relay and also competing in the 400 butterfly relay and the 400-yard freestyle relay.
Alan Carter (Bethel Park, Pa./Bethel Park H.S.) followed Cavadini into the pool in the 400 freestyle, while anchoring the 400-yard medley relay and the 400 backstroke relay in their meet-record performances.
The Irish started the season by breaking meet records in each of the first four races. In the initial event, Notre Dame's team of Cavadini, juniors Frank Krakowski (Erie, Pa./Cathedral Preparatory School) and Drew Pittman (Williamsburg, Va./Lafayette H.S.), and sophomore Tim Randolph (Crown Point, Ind./Merrillville H.S.) broke the oldest meet record still on the books, finishing the 200-yard freestyle relay in 1:25.55, bettering the previous mark of 1:25.63 by a TCU team in 1988. The Irish beat the next-quickest team, Wisconsin-Milwaukee, by nearly six seconds.
In the 400-yard medley relay, Carter followed sophomore Doug Bauman (Erie, Pa./Cathedral Preparatory School) and freshmen Nick Fanslau (Lansdale, Pa./North Penn H.S.) and Tim Kegelman (Yorktown, Va./Tabb H.S.). The Irish quartet finished in 3:29.84, more than nine seconds ahead of the second-place UW-Milwaukee squad and almost four seconds better than the previous meet record.
The Irish won the 800-yard freestyle relay by just under 30 seconds and set a meet record with a time of 7:05.76. Senior co-captain Matt Obringer (Jacksonville, Fla./The Bolles School) anchored the relay, which also featured sophomore Patrick O'Berry (Alpharetta, Ga./Milton H.S.) and freshmen Ted Brown (Kokomo, Ind./Western H.S.) and Brian Freeman (Sanger, Calif./Immanuel H.S.).
The streak of meet-record performances reached four when the group of senior co-captain Josh Dermott (El Dorado Hills, Calif./Rio Americano H.S.), junior David Moisan (Fisherville, Ky./Louisville Male H.S.), sophomore Jamie Lutkus (Granger, Ind./Penn H.S.), and freshman Justin Barber (Carson City, Nev./Carson H.S.) finished the 400 medley relay 12 seconds ahead of the field, in 3:40.39. The time nipped the previous meet record by .27 seconds, breaking the then-oldest meet best, which was set by the Irish in 1991.
Notre Dame won its fifth consecutive race in the 500-yard crescendo relay, but barely missed the meet record.
Krakowski, Kegelman, Cavadini, and sophomore Patrick Heffernan (Norcross, Ga./Norcross H.S.) won the 400 butterfly by over 15 seconds, in 3:26.70, for another meet record. The time was more than six seconds quicker than any team had ever previously gone in the Dennis Stark Relays.
The 400-yard backstroke relay team lopped off nearly five seconds from the previous meet record, finishing in 3:29.41. The team of Bauman, Freeman, Carter, and sophomore Steve Shomberger (Spotsylvania, Va./Courtland H.S.) bettered the field by more than 20 seconds.
After winning by 19 seconds, but not setting a meet record in the 400 breaststroke, the Irish tandem of Brown and sophomore Patrick Davis (Clearwater, Fla./Jesuit H.S.) combined to shave seven seconds off the meet record in the 1,000-yard freestyle, finishing in 9:22.96.
The Irish had their top team disqualified in the 200 medley relay, but rebounded to set another meet record in the final event, the 400-yard freestyle relay. Cavadini, Carter, Fanslau, and Obringer combined for a time of 3:09.34 in the event.
Notre Dame will return to action October 21 at North Carolina for a 3:00 p.m. (EDT) meet. The Irish will next swim in the Rolfs Aquatic Center on November 14 in a triangular meet with BYU, Iowa, and Louisville.