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Men’s Swimming: Irish take down Northwestern, 157-143

Jonathan Warren | Tuesday, January 17, 2012

After returning from a training trip in Puerto Rico at 4 a.m. Friday morning, the Irish wasted no time getting back to business, defeating Northwestern 157-143 Saturday for the second consecutive season. The Irish (5-3) have now claimed two in a row over the Wildcats, who had previously won 10 straight beginning inw the 1990-91 season.

“That win was very important for us,” Irish coach Tim Welsh said. “They are a team we’ve competed against for a while. After how hard we trained during break, it was a validation of our training.”

Welsh said he is happy with the improvement he saw after the winter training period, especially by the divers.

“We had progress across the board and at all distances,” Welsh said. “The divers dove stronger and more consistently than they had before this season.”

The diving team swept both the 1-meter and 3-meter events. Freshman Michael Kreft won both events with scores of 322.5 and 364.43 respectively. Junior Ryan Koter and freshman Nick Nemetz followed, trading second and third places in the two events.

“It is remarkable for two freshman in Kreft and Nemetz to come in and perform that consistently,” Welsh said. “Ryan Koter is definitely someone who has improved and cleaned up all his dives in the last month.”

Adding to the victory by the divers, junior Kevin Overholt won the 50-yard freestyle, 100-yard freestyle and participated in the winning 400-yard freestyle relay.

“Kevin performed phenomenally,” Welsh said. “He has had some shoulder injury issues, but gave us his most complete meet of the year Saturday.”

Sophomore Frank Dyer continues to be a model of consistency for the Irish, taking first in the 500-yard freestyle and 200-yard freestyle, while aiding the 400-yard freestyle relay team to a win as well.

“Frank has been Mr. Consistency for us,” Welsh said. “He trains well, races well and continues to be a team player. He keeps making us proud, and we continue to have high hopes for him.”

Welsh was especially impressed by his team’s performance considering the quick turnaround the team faced coming home from Puerto Rico, where the team was training over break. The Irish took first in the eight-team Copa Coqui tournament, behind first-place finishes by Dyer (100-yard freestyle), Overholt (50-yard freestyle), freshman Cameron Miller (100-yard breaststroke) and senior Petar Petrovic (100-yard backstroke).

“We were tired when we got back,” Welsh said. “We definitely were not fully rested. It is a mark of a team that’s going to be good when they can perform well when conditions are not ideal.”

The Irish look to notch their third victory in a row when Big Ten foe Michigan State comes to Rolf’s Aquatic Center on Saturday.

Contact Jonathan Warren at jwarren3@nd.edu