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Men’s Swimming: Coach praises Lytle as ‘elite of the elite’

Chris Allen | Wednesday, February 3, 2010

If Irish head coach Tim Welsh were to build a Hall of Fame for Notre Dame swimming, he would likely start with current senior John Lytle.

“All you need to know is he’s the fastest we’ve ever had in the 50 free, 100 free, 200 free, 200 free relay, 400 free relay, 800 free relay and the 400 medley relay,” Welsh said. “He is one of the elite of the elite that Notre Dame has ever had.”

As his fourth and final season swimming for the Irish comes to a close, those around Lytle can just now start to look back at a remarkable career both in and out of the pool.

“His career’s been fabulous, and everything you see on paper he’s earned,” Welsh said. “He’s in the Academic Honors Program for athletes and he’s got the highest GPA of any of our seniors. Since he first came in as a freshman he’s been conscientious, thorough and reliable. He always tries to do the right thing.”

Lytle’s accomplishments back up his coach’s glowing words. In addition to holding a handful of school records, Lytle has also dominated in the Big East, holding a program-best four Big East titles and 16 All-Big East Honors, two numbers that may go up in the championship season in the coming months. In addition to individual success, Welsh notes Lytle’s developed ability to lead his teammates.

“He’s certainly evolved as a competitive leader,” Welsh said. “Away from the race, he leads by example. He’s acquired more of a voice as he’s gotten older. When a guy achieves such success he has a lot of credibility.”

Despite all his past success, Lytle is still looking to accomplish more this season. Lytle and his teammates remain focused on the Big East and NCAA Championships, where Welsh said he expects great things from his star senior.

“We want him to go faster,” Welsh said. “We’d love for him to represent us at the NCAAs and we know that’s in his mind as well.”

Regardless of how he performs in the NCAA Championships, Lytle will have a lot to look forward to after the season due to his hard work in the classroom, as he will begin a job at KPMG in Chicago. Swimming, however, will always be a part of his life.

“There’s no NFL for swimming,” Welsh said. “But John’s the kind of guy who will always stay in shape, that’s for sure.”