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Men’s Swimming: ND earns All-America honors

Megan Finneran | Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Part of a record nine-man Notre Dame contingent, six Irish swimmers earned All-America honors and the team finished tied for 36th place with seven points as a team at the NCAA championships in Indianapolis, which were held March 28 to March 30.

“Overall, the guys are happy,” senior Chris Johnson said. “We swam faster in the morning than we did at Big East, so that indicated great things.”

Senior Bill Bass and junior Frank Dyer returned to the NCAA championships after competing last year. Joining them for the Irish were seniors Johnson and John McGinley, sophomores Kevin Hughes, Cameron Miller, Zach Stephens and John Williamson, and freshman Bogac Ayhan. The squad also qualified in the 200-, 400- and 800-yard freestyle relay events, along with the 200- and 400-yard medley relays.

The seven points earned by Notre Dame marked the second highest point total in University history. The Irish earned All-America honors in three events, marking the first time in program history the team has earned more than one such honor.

On the second night of competition, the 800-yard freestyle relay team of Dyer, Hughes, McGinley and Bass placed 16th in 6:25.32, earning them an All-America honor.

During the third and final day of competition, Williamson finished 13th in the 200-yard butterfly in 1:44.18, and Stephens took 16th in the 200-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:56.43. These finishes earned both swimmers All-America honors, and they became only the third and fourth individual swimmers in program history to do so.

While Irish swimmers advanced to the finals in three events, the nine Irish competitors performed well in multiple preliminary events.

Dyer competed in the 100-yard freestyle, 200-yard freestyle and 500-yard freestyle. Johnson swam in the 100-yard breaststroke and 200-yard breaststroke. Miller and Stephens swam in the 200-yard individual medley, 100-yard breaststroke and 200-yard breaststroke. Williamson participated in the 500-yard freestyle, 100-yard butterfly and 200-yard butterfly.

“NCAAs is just super fast and not many of us made it back for finals,” Johnson said. “[Finals] are the next step. [The Irish] are going to be great in the ACC, with a new place and new teams, but they can still get in and dominate.”

Contact Megan Finneran at mfinnera@nd.edu