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ND Men’s Swimming: No. 21 Irish look to bounce back on road trip

Anne Loughery | Friday, January 28, 2005

True, last weekend’s loss to No. 14 Northwestern may have left Notre Dame a little rattled.

But more than anything, it increased their resolve to prove just how much potential they possess.

“We were a little bit out of racing practice,” Irish coach Tim Welsh said. “It took us some time to get back in the competitive spirit. But now we know what we need to do to win this weekend, and we’re ready to win.”

Although the No. 21 Irish (6-2) enjoyed their share of success last weekend, the team also took a number of lessons away from the competition. Junior Tim Randolph emphasized what a crucial role intensity plays in winning a race.

“When you race, you just have to know that you can’t give up one inch to the competition, no matter how long the race is or who you’re going up against,” Randolph said.

Notre Dame will take that hardnosed attitude on the road this weekend, facing Cleveland State (7-2) and Canisius (0-8) today at 4:30 p.m. and St. Bonaventure (6-3) Saturday at 12 p.m.

Last weekend, host Notre Dame fell to Northwestern (4-4) in a 163.5-134.5 decision. Although the Wildcats broke four pool records, they were unable to secure the win until the last event.

Notre Dame defeated the Wildcats 28-8 in the two diving events. Sophomore Scott Coyle bested

Northwestern junior Mike Oxman off of both boards, giving the Irish valuable points they needed in the fiercely contested meet.

The Irish also took at least two of the three top places in 10 of the 14 individual events. Sophomore Tim Kegelman, who ranks fifth in Division I this season in the 100-yard fly, garnered the only two swimming victories for the Irish with a time of 1 minute, 52.28 seconds in the 200-yard fly and 49.28 in the 100-yard fly.

Cleveland State will also bring a talent-laden team to the pool today. The Vikings are on a six-meet winning streak and led by senior diver Thatcher Carr, senior butterflyer Thatcher Carr and junior backstroker Pieter Pelser.

Carr, who qualified for the NCAA Championships in 2001 and 2002 while at Navy, has already gained recognition this year for breaking the 1-meter dual record in his first meet with the Vikings with a score of 349.40 points.

Ranked No. 50 in the 100-yard butterfly and No. 89 in the 200-yard butterfly, the senior looks to be one of Kegelman’s greatest challenges. Teammate Pelser has broken school records in both the 100- and 200-yard backstroke this season and is tied for 38th in the nation in the 100 and 44th in the 200. Notre Dame’s other competition today will come from the Golden Griffins of Canisius, who are looking for their first win in more than two seasons after nearly beating Iona in December 128-70.

St. Bonaventure will prove to be Notre Dame’s biggest threat this weekend. The Bonnies are ranked first in their conference and 50th in the nation, boasting national rankings in the 400 free (44th), 800 free (45th) and 400 medley (48th).

The team is led by junior Adrian Blaszczak, who is ranked 71st in the 100 breaststroke and 72nd in the 200 breaststroke.

While their competitors’ rankings and accolades may be intimidating to some, the Irish are taking it all in stride.

“We know what we need to do this weekend,” Welsh said. “Winning those meets is achievable, but we have to do more than just show up-we have to race.

“Talk is cheap.”

200 breaststroke.

While their competitors’ rankings and accolades may be intimidating to some, the Irish are taking it all in stride.

“We know what we need to do this weekend,” Welsh said. “Winning those meets is achievable, but we have to do more than just show up-we have to race. Talk is cheap.”