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ND Swimming: Recruits remain in the family

Joe Meixell | Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Three years in a row, the Notre Dame swimming and diving team has landed its best recruiting class in school history. Last year, however, was slightly easier for head recruiter Matt Tallman. Of the eight new freshmen this year, three – Bill Bauman, David Cavadini and Danny Lutkus – join older brothers already swimming for the Irish.

Having experience with the three families helped Tallman with his decision-making,

“Just knowing who they were, they stood above a pack of kids who were at a similar level,” Tallman said.

“We went after them since we knew their background and how their brothers had improved.”

Looking at the track record of Doug Bauman, Jamie Lutkus –both seniors – and junior Louis Cavadini, it is no mystery why Tallman was interested in their younger brothers. Doug Bauman and Jamie Lutkus both own school records in the 100 backstroke and 400 individual medley (IM), respectively.

Louis Cavadini also has been a part of three record-setting relay teams while swimming for the Irish.

This type of performance is almost expected of the Cavadini name by now.

Louis and David Cavadini fall in the middle of seven children, and all their older siblings have attended Notre Dame. Katie Cavadini, who graduated in 2003, swam for four years and captained the team during her senior year.

For David Cavadini, it was not a difficult decision to continue his family’s tradition under the Dome.

“We have always been really family oriented, so this has just been taking the next step in following along,” he said.

The Lutkus and Bauman families have also been drawn together around the swimming pool.

Countless weekend meets and early morning practices have allowed the brothers to bond and help one another.

“I’ve swum with my brother my whole life.” Danny Lutkus said. “It’s nice to have him there, to have family on the team.”

The freshmen all felt that having an older brother to show them the ropes has helped a lot in their transition to the collegiate lifestyle and competition. They have responded by stepping up late in the season.

In last weekend’s meet with Cleveland State all three placed, Bill Bauman in the 200 backstroke, Danny Lutkus in both the 500 and 1000 freestyle, and David Cavadini finished fourth in the 200 fly.

“In the summer, I had a lot of questions about school and practice and how to succeed here and having Doug around helped me a lot,” Bauman said.

The friendly advice has also trickled down to help the remainder of the freshman on the team who benefited from their classmates’ knowledge.

The close family atmosphere has helped develop strong team chemistry amongst all swimmers this year and is one of the keys to their success so far.