Men’s Swimming: Spartans, Cardinals come to ND
Chris Allen | Friday, January 15, 2010
Fresh off of a training trip in Puerto Rico, the Irish men will face a pair of tough tests in back-to-back home dual meets against Michigan State and the No. 16 Louisville Cardinals.
“These are two very big meets for us this weekend,” Irish coach Tim Welsh told und.com. “This closes out our dual meet season, and by swimming back-to-back on consecutive days, we’re inching closer in our preparations for the Shamrock Invitational and Big East championships. Both of the visiting teams are very competitive so we’ll want to be at our best.”
The Irish (4-2), who lost at home on Jan. 9 to Northwestern, are hoping that the back-to-back meets will give them a chance to reap the benefits of their recent training in Puerto Rico over the holidays.
“This is a toughness test for us,” Welsh said. “We want to see how well we’ve recovered from our training trip. Our team showed positive signs last week against Northwestern, but of course we would like to swim faster against Michigan State and Louisville.”
Though the back-to-back meets, which will be followed up by the Shamrock Invitational at the end of January, will certainly put a physical strain on his team, Welsh is going into the weekend with a clear plan in mind.
“As we look ahead to the conference championship, we swim seven sessions in a row at that meet and we want seven good ones,” Welsh said. “We’re trying to build into that experience of saying, be tough every time out.”
The Irish will look to ride the momentum of freshman Bill Bass and junior Steven Brus, who posted the team’s second-fastest times of the season against Northwestern in the 100-yard butterfly and the 1,000-yard freestyle respectively. Welsh, however, isn’t getting complacent, setting high goals for his swimmers.
“Our goal is to be present and contributing at the National Championships,” Welsh said.
The Irish will square off against the Spartans at 5 p.m. Friday and the Cardinals at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, both at Rolfs Aquatic Center.