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Welsh hopes squad will rise to challenge

Anne Loughery | Friday, October 29, 2004

This weekend’s meets will measure more than just speed for the Irish. Notre Dame travels to Utah this weekend, first facing Utah today and No. 22 Brigham Young on Saturday in the team’s second meet of the season. Coach Tim Welsh anticipates that swimming at a higher altitude in front of a home crowd will allow Notre Dame to gauge their resilience in the face of adversity.”We’re hoping to satisfy our curiosity this weekend,” Welsh said. “We’ve been training extremely well and every thing we see is positive. We’re pretty balanced; we have some strong swimmers in each event. What we don’t know is if we’re fast enough.”Welsh emphasized that the change in altitude will likely provide one of the most demanding challenges for the Irish this weekend. Notre Dame’s opponents are used to training above sea level and coping with the effects of the thinner air.The Irish hope to match the success they enjoyed three weeks ago at the Dennis Stark Relays. Notre Dame used a mix of explosive youth and consistent veterans to win the meet 157-55 point victory in the dual meet against Evansville.Sophomores Ted Brown (400-meter individual medley, 200-meter butterfly) and Louis Cavadini (50-meter and 100-meter freestyle), senior captain Matt Bertke (200-meter freestyle), juniors Doug Bauman (200-meter backstroke), Patrick Davis (500-meter freestyle) and Tyler Grenda (200-meter breaststroke) all raced to individual victories for the Irish. The diving team showed its promise as well, led by freshman Sam Stoner’s victory on the 1-meter board and sophomore Scott Coyle’s win on the 3-meter board. Welsh praised the divers for solid performance.Both Irish swimmers and divers will encounter their share of challenges this weekend from their competitors. Utah’s 500-meter free relay, 200-meter free relay and 100-meter individual medley relay demonstrated their potential with wins at the university’s Beehive Relay. Brigham Young’s sophomore Chay Jung Jun looks to be a legitimate threat in the 100 backstroke, 100-meter freestyle and 200-meter freestyle, while senior Scott Randall looks to excel in diving. Despite the talented competition Notre Dame will face this weekend, Welsh said the Irish are focusing on their individual performances instead of their opponents.”We want to be aggressive and unified in our approach,” Welsh said.