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Men’s Swimming: Notre Dame beats Mountaineers on senior day

Joe Meixell | Monday, January 28, 2008

Victory never felt so sweet for Notre Dame’s seven seniors.

Notre Dame led after the morning session and dominated the afternoon session of the Shamrock Dual Meet Invitational Saturday en route to a 214-150 victory over West Virginia on senior day for the Irish.

The seniors went out on a high note while swimming in front of a home crowd for the last time.

“Everybody likes to win,” Irish coach Tim Welsh said. “But I think probably the most important thing for us yesterday was to swim well and have fun. We like being at home.”

The Irish snagged six individual titles along with a record-breaking dive by junior Michael Bulfin in the 3-meter board. Bulfin broke the school-record with a score of 393.37.

The Irish swept the 200-yard freestyle, securing the top six spots. Sophomore John Lytle won, followed by sophomore Patrick Lloyd, senior Rob Seery, freshman Robert Kingery, freshman Steven Brus and freshman Joseph Deters won the 1,650 freestyle in 15:57.12 and took the top spot in the 500 freestyle.

Notre Dame also captured all four point-earning positions in the 200 butterfly, and it dominated the day’s relay races. Notre Dame earned the top two spots in the 800 freestyle and 400 freestyle, and the Irish won the 200 freestyle relay.

In the same diving event in which Bulfin set the school record, senior Sam Stoner came in second, followed by freshman Wesley Villaflor.

On the 1-meter diving boards, Bulfin, Stoner and senior Steven Crowe earned the top three spots, respectively.

Welsh said he was happy to defeat the Mountaineers, who won the Shamrock Invitational last year.

“[West Virginia] has a smaller roster than they did last year,” Welsh said. “Nevertheless, we wanted to see how we match up with them, and it was good to come out on top.”

The Irish are now 4-1 in the series versus the Mountaineers.

The Irish will next head to East Meadow, N.Y., on February 20-23 to compete in the Big East Conference Championship. The Irish have finished in top four of the tournament each of the past 10 years. Notre Dame won the title in the 2005-06 season before a second place finish last year.