ND Swimming and Diving: Irish come in second in relay meet
Eric Prister | Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Irish divers Caleb Dunnichay and Eric Lex were able to sweep the men’s diving portion of the Dennis Stark Relays Friday, helping the Irish men to a second place finish in their first meet of the season. The Irish women also finished second at the meet.
A senior and junior respectively, Dunnichay and Lex totaled 555.02 points in the 1-meter diving relay and 253 points in the 3-meter synchronized diving competition, one of only two first place finishes Notre Dame had in the meet.
“[The divers] help us a lot,” Irish men’s coach Tim Welch said. “If swimming were football, divers would be like ‘special teams’ – almost always a big factor in the outcome.”
Despite only one first place finish in the swimming events, the men’s team was able to record three second place finishes and five third place finishes, finishing outside of the top three only once, a consistency which helped them earn the silver medal.
“The meet was a solid start,” Welsh said. “ItÂ shows us where we are now. What counts is how much we improve from here.”
In a meet with only relay events, the Irish men’s 400-meter freestyle relay team gave the Irish their only first-place finish on the swimming side of the meet, finishing just over nine seconds ahead of Oakland University, the second-place finisher. Posting a time of 3:10.03, seniors John Lytle and Andrew Hoffman, along with juniors Thomas Van Volkenburg and Steven Brus made up the relay team that gave Notre Dame the gold.
Michigan, which won the men’s meet handily, posted a better time than Notre Dame in the 400-meter freestyle, but was disqualified in the race. The Wolverines won eight out of the 10 swimming matches in the meet, in their first appearance in a meet at Notre Dame.
“We were pleased to welcome them here,” Welch said. “Historically they are very fast. No surprises there.”
On the women’s side, Notre Dame also finished second to the Wolverines. The Irish won the 200 medley relay in 1:44.67 for a meet record and swept the 1-meter Diving Relay and 3-meter Synchronized Diving events.
The Irish women faced Michigan in a dual meet the next day, and fell again by the score of 165-133.
Oakland, who finished third at the Dennis Stark Relays in the men’s competition, actually scored more points on the swimming side of the meet than the Irish. The Irish men will face Oakland in their second match of the year, which will take place on Oct. 23 in the Rolfs Aquatic Center.
“They scored more swimming points and we scored more diving points, so expect a good meet,” Welch said. “We will need a whole team effort, seniors through freshmen, for that meet.”