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Men’s Swimming: Irish travel to Puerto Rico for training trip

By Mike Ginocchio | Wednesday, December 11, 2013


In its final meet of the semester last weekend, Notre Dame powered its way to a win in the Hawkeye Invitational in Iowa City, Iowa, beating three other teams by earning a total score of 1228.5 points. 

The Irish (4-4) relied on several standout individual performances, including senior Frank Dyer’s time of 46.92 seconds in the 100-yard butterfly to break the school record in the event. Head coach Tim Welsh said he couldn’t be happier with the team’s performance in Iowa.

“Finishing first is icing on the cake,” Welsh said. “The cake was swimming our best. We went there with the idea of everybody swimming as fast as they ever had in their lives, and we wanted to see how fast we could go this time of year, and the results were just excellent.”

The Irish don’t swim again competitively until Jan. 11, when they face off against Northwestern. But that doesn’t mean the team will be resting on its accomplishments. From Dec. 30 to Jan. 9, the Irish will be practicing south of the border in Puerto Rico.

“Hard training,” Welsh said of the trip’s purpose. “We train twice a day; we train outdoors. We’ll train in a 50-meter pool, and along with that, we’ll continue to do our strength training and conditioning and our dry land program. It is a training trip, period. … It’s also a very nice place.”

Despite coming off a string of three consecutive meet victories, the Irish have no reason to let up now, Welsh said. 

“We can always polish up our fitness,” Welsh said. “We also want to look very specifically at what our primary events are going to be. We try not to base our success on what someone else does. If we improve based on the clock, we’ll be happy with the outcome. We also want to do as well as we can in our first ACC meet, and we want to advance as many people as we can to the NCAA Championship.”

While they’re in Puerto Rico, the team will be one of many to take part in the exhibition Copa Coqui meet.

“In good tourism fashion, it’s a bit of a spectacle compared to American meets,” Welsh said of the meet. “They have a buffet, they play music during events and in the exciting years, they have a mariachi band that will come to your team’s tent, and they’ll play a little bit. All this is just to celebrate the excitement of being together and having a swim meet.”

Despite the festive atmosphere, the team will be very focused on its main goals, Welsh said.

 “We have been here before,” he said. “We have been to this pool before. The guys are very focused about wanting to do a good job training.”

But Welsh also acknowledged the Irish would have fun on their training trip.

“But they also enjoy it when you come back from a hard practice and you walk out the door and sit on the beach,” he said. …that’s a good life.”

The Irish will return to competitive racing when they travel to the Northwestern Aquatic Center in Evanston, Ill., to face Northwestern on Jan. 11

Contact Mike Ginocchio at mginocch@nd.edu