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Irish look to reverse early season trends at home

Joe Meixell | Friday, November 14, 2003

The men’s swimming and diving team hopes to reverse its fortunes when the Irish (0-3 in dual meets) dive back in the pool this afternoon to host No. 19 Brigham Young, Iowa and Louisville at 2 p.m.

“We like to have a target out there,” head coach Tim Welsh said. “Both BYU and Iowa will present a nice [target] for us to chase.”

While Notre Dame’s dual-meet record would suggest otherwise, Welsh says the young Irish squad is the best the University has ever had.

“We know internally that this is the fastest that we’ve ever been,” Welsh said. “It’s not showing up in wins and losses because of the raised strength of schedule. Right now [the schedule] is still ahead of us.”

Last Friday, despite taking three of the top four spots in six of the eleven swimming events, Notre Dame was edged by Michigan State, 125.5-113.5.

“If you look at the results, I think what you’ll see is depth,” Welsh said. “While we don’t have that invincible man, the team as a whole is moving forward.”

On Dec. 4, the Irish host the three-day Notre Dame Invitational, a key event for the young team.

“The Invitational is like a final exam for us,” Welsh said. “The objective of the fall is to qualify the team for the Big East Championships in February, and we want to come out of [the Invitational] with all of our qualifying times met.”

The women’s squad, conversely, looks to continue its upswing when the Irish (2-1 in dual meets) welcome Louisville and Bowling Green at 6 p.m. this evening.

“Both teams have some good kids, but I don’t think that they’re deep enough to challenge us,” head coach Bailey Weathers said. “As long as we beat their top kids, the meet should take care of itself.”

While the Irish don’t have any particular goals for the contest, Weathers said he hopes to use the meet as an opportunity to gain additional practice and experience.

“There really isn’t any one thing that we are working on,” Weathers said. “I just want to get the kids some more races before we leave for Texas next week.”

Notre Dame took 12 of 16 events in thrashing Big East rival Pittsburgh 184-116 last Friday.

Overall, despite a rash of sickness this past week, Weathers said he is pleased with the team’s progress on the young season.

“We were [on track] before all the illness,” Weathers said. “We’ll have to see how that plays out, but I think we’re where we need to be at this point.”

Next Friday, the Irish hit the road to compete in the 3-day Texas A&M Invitational.