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Men’s Swimming: Irish split against ACC opponents

Observer Staff Report | Sunday, November 10, 2013

Bolstered by six individual first-place finishes, the Irish left their first ACC competition Saturday afternoon with a split decision in a tri-meet against Pittsburgh and Virginia Tech. Notre Dame (2-4) beat the Panthers (2-2) 162-138, and fell to the Hokies (8-1) 181-119 at the Trees Pool in Pittsburgh.
Though this was Notre Dame’s first meet against ACC opponents since joining the conference last summer, such meets are not commonplace in the Irish’s schedule. Unlike most collegiate sports, scheduling for swimming and diving meets is not tied to conference affiliation until the championships at the end of the season. In fact, Notre Dame will not face another ACC member until they play Louisville on Jan. 24.
On Saturday, senior All-American Frank Dyer set the pace for the Irish, finishing first in both the 200-yard and 500-yard freestyle races, with times of 1:37.84 and 4:26.77. Dyer’s 500-yard freestyle marked a ten second improvement from his previous best time this season.
Joining Dyer’s first-place total for Notre Dame was junior Zach Stephens, also an All- American, who won the 200-yard individual breaststroke, clocking in at 2:01.14. Stephens also finished first with a season-best 1:49.36 in the 200-yard individual medley. Stephens rounded out his afternoon with a third place 20.54 in the 50-meter freestyle.
Senior Colin Babcock added another first-place finish for the Irish, setting the pace in the 100-yard breaststroke. The co-captain swam a 55.76 in the event, and complimented Stephen’s gold medal mark with a second place finish in the 200- yard individual medley.
On the diving boards, freshman Joseph Coumos continued his rookie-season success, finishing first in the 3-meter boards with a score of 345.35. Coumos also took second place in the 5-meter board. Irish junior diver Nick Nemetz finished second and fourth in the 5- meter and 3-meter, scoring 321.00 and 320.25, respectively.
The Irish will host their final home meet until January this weekend, when they will welcome Big-10 foes Michigan State for a duel meet on Friday and Wisconsin for a duel meet Saturday at the Rolfs Aquatic Center.