Men’s Swimming and Diving: Postseason training begins
Megan Golden | Wednesday, February 1, 2012
After falling to Iowa in the Shamrock Invitational last weekend, the Irish find themselves with less than two weeks to prepare for the Big East Swimming Championships.
With the regular season in the books, Notre Dame junior and co-captain Chris Johnson said he is excited to see the team’s 16 freshmen train for the postseason.
“Going through these next few weeks with no meets, it’s important for guys to focus on being ready come game time,” Johnson said. “Some of the new guys haven’t done this type of taper before, so it’s important for all the older guys to let them know how things work and how they should be feeling in the water.”
No. 12 Louisville, the defending conference champion, is the lone Big East squad ranked in the top 25. The last time Notre Dame faced off with the Cardinals, the Irish fell 191-109 at Ralph Wright Natatorium on Nov. 12.
With Louisville leading a talented Big East conference, Johnson said Notre Dame is taking advantage of its time off to prepare for a challenging field of swimmers at the championship event.
“Competition this year in the Big East is tougher than ever,” Johnson said. “Louisville is returning nearly everyone from their champion team last year, and they’ve added a fast freshman class. West Virginia isn’t nearly as close, but they always do well.”
The title meet will be held at Trees Pool in Pittsburgh, a location Notre Dame has already captured a win at this year. The Irish topped the Panthers 193-107 on Oct. 28, earning three victories from freshmen swimmers Michael Kreft and Cameron Miller.
Irish sophomore Frank Dyer, who has secured a spot in the championships, also had a standout performance at Pittsburgh, earning gold in the 200-yard freestyle.
With underclassmen like Kreft, Miller and Dyer stepping up throughout the season, Johnson said he has high expectations for the Irish in spite of their youth.
“I do think this freshman class is going to have a huge impact in Pittsburgh,” he said. “With all of the depth and experience we have from the upperclassmen, the freshmen just add to that. “
Johnson added Notre Dame understands the need for intense practices approaching the championship meet and is mentally prepared for the big meet.
“I know we’re all excited and ready to get there and race,” Johnson said.
The Irish will travel to Pittsburgh for the Big East Swimming Championships, which take place from Feb. 15 to Feb 18.
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