The Observer is a Student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame & Saint Mary's. Learn more about us.



Men’s Swimming: Irish prepare for tough Invitational

Maija Gustin | Friday, December 3, 2010

The Irish begin a string of four away meets this weekend when they travel to the Hawkeye Invitational at Iowa.

The three-day event, which will see the Irish (3-2) face host Iowa (3-1), Denver (3-1), South Dakota State (3-1), Green Bay (5-1) and Milwaukee (6-3), begins today with preliminary races at 10 a.m. The final races are set to begin at 4 p.m. Sunday. The Notre Dame divers will also compete against No. 8 Ohio State.

This will be Notre Dame’s first trip to the annual invitational, held in Iowa’s brand new pool.

“There will be wonderful conditions,” Irish coach Tim Welsh said. “We’re eager to race in their new pool.”

The Irish have not previously raced against many of the teams at the invitational, but Welsh said there will be a number of tight races.

“It’s a very good field,” Welsh said. “We want to be in a very good field so that we’re challenged.”

Iowa should be one of the team’s toughest competitors despite the fact the Hawkeyes fell to No. 13 Minnesota in their last meet. The team, however, has had nearly a month to recover and train since that loss.

“We’d like to see how fast we can race against them,” Welsh said.

Welsh and his team have taken the recent Thanksgiving break to train hard and rest up for the meet. The team worked on strengthening its training base in the days before Thanksgiving and went “back to hard work, back to basics.”

“We want high speed stuff in practice that approaches race pace,” Welsh said. “Traditionally, the weekend after Thanksgiving break is a good weekend for us to race. They are fresher and more energetic.”

The Irish go into the Iowa Invitational after defeating Utah, 184-116, Nov. 12. The Irish then head to San Juan, Puerto Rico, for winter training in late December. They begin 2011 by traveling first to Northwestern Jan. 12, Cleveland State Jan. 14 and Michigan State Jan. 21.

The Irish don’t return to the Rolfs Aquatic Center until the Shamrock Invitational at the end of January, their last meet before the Big East championships.