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Men’s Swimming & Diving: Freshman Dyer to swim at NCAA championships

Matt Robison | Thursday, March 24, 2011

Today, freshman Frank Dyer will do something that has only been done once in the history of the program: represent the Irish in the NCAA championships. Dyer will face the best in the country in Minneapolis over the next three days as the final collegiate swimming event of the year gets underway.

Irish coach Tim Welsh is proud of Dyer’s achievement, and he believes it is a sign of things to come for Notre Dame.

“It’s an important step for us,” Welsh said. “We want to define ourselves as a national program.”

Despite two top-15 finishes in the 1-meter event at the NCAA Zone diving championships by seniors Eric Lex, the Big East diver of the year, and Wesley Villaflor and a ninth-place finish by Lex in the 3-meter event, no Irish divers earned bids to the NCAA championships.

Dyer had an outstanding freshman campaign for Notre Dame and will compete in the 100-meter, 200-meter and 500-meter freestyle events. Dyer qualified to swim the 500 with an NCAA qualifying time and earned a spot in the 100 and 200-meter events with NCAA B-cut times during the regular season.

“Frank has all the tools,” Welsh said. “He works hard. He’s a good competitor, and he’s learned a lot. He’s just done a great job here.”

At the Shamrock Invitational in Rolfs Aquatic Center, Dyer had one of his finest performances of the season. He finished the 200-meter freestyle with a time of 1:37.62 to earn a spot in that event at the championships. He then went on to win the 100-meter freestyle and led the 800-meter freestyle relay team to a victory. The 400-meter freestyle relay team, of which Dyer was a part, earned silver that day as well.

Dyer also had impressive showings in those events at the Hawkeye Invitational Dec. 3-5 in Iowa City, at Michigan State Jan. 21 and at Cleveland State Jan. 14.

Welsh hopes that Dyer’s showing means promising things for next year’s championships.

“Our hope is that [Dyer] has some teammates with him next year so that we can have a full presence at the championships,” Welsh said.

The NCAA championships get underway today and go through Saturday in Minneapolis, Minn.