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ND Swimming and Diving: Irish see positives in performance at Purdue

Henry Hilliard | Monday, November 4, 2013

The No. 22 Irish took to the water on Friday seeking to end a decade of road losses Purdue in the Boilermaker Aquatic Center. Notre Dame (1-3) was unable to translate solid times into scoreboard success, falling to the Boilermakers (1-0) 208-98.
“If you don’t look at the score, I think we swam very well against a very tough Purdue team,” Irish coach Tim Welsh said. “We had a lot of top times. In swimming there are two kinds of excellence: excellence of time and excellence of place. On Friday we definitely had an excellence of time.”
Notre Dame started the meet with a disqualification in the 200-yard medley relay. The Irish would have finished first and put Notre Dame in an early hole from which the team would never recover.
“That disqualification really took the air out of our tires right from the start, especially because we would have won. But I am really not discouraged from Friday. Everything is a work in progress and this team is progressively getting better each week,” Welsh said.
Friday’s dual meet was not without its share of individual success for the Irish. Senior Frank Dyer took first in the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 1:38.64, and junior Mike Nappi won the 1,650 yard-freestyle, clocking in at 15:48.15. Dyer, an All-American, nearly added another first-place finish for the Irish, finishing a mere .10 behind Purdue freshman Filip Bujoczek in the 500-yard freestyle.
The team was hoping to build off its success after spending the fall break training in Colorado. Culminating with a 134-128 victory against Air Force on Oct. 25, the week afforded the Irish the unique opportunity to train at high altitudes.
“Overall, that was a grand experience, really positive all the way around,” Welsh said. “I think we will continue to reap the benefits of that conditioning for the rest of the season.”
On the diving boards, freshman Joseph Coumos continued his early-season success, finishing second in both the 1-meter and 3-meter boards. In only his second meet of his collegiate career, Cuomos nearly took first for the Irish in the 1-meter board, finishing with a score of 363.60 points, right behind Boilermaker Layne Rogers’ winning mark of 365.55 points.
The Irish will continue their campaign this weekend at the Trees Pool in Pittsburgh, where they will open ACC competition in a tri-meet against Pittsburgh and Virginia Tech. The meet will mark the third consecutive weekend in which the Irish have been on the road. Notre Dame will finally return to the Rolfs Aquatic Center for their first home meet in more that a month on Nov. 15, when it takes on Michigan State.
“Our schedule is a really challenging one,” Welsh said. “Every week has a tough opponent. Next weekend, we are on the road again, facing a much improved Pittsburgh and a Virginia Tech team that is one of the strongest in the ACC,” Welsh said.
Contact Henry Hilliard at rhillia1@nd.edu