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Men’s Swimming

Irish wrap up season at NCAA championships

| Monday, March 31, 2014

Notre Dame’s season came to a close Saturday at the NCAA championships, as the Irish finished 30th out of 48 teams.

Irish senior swimmer Colin Babcock competes during the Shamrock Invitational at Rolfs Aquatic Center on Jan. 31.Zachary Llorens | The Observer

Irish senior swimmer Colin Babcock competes during the Shamrock Invitational at Rolfs Aquatic Center on Jan. 31.

Despite the low team finish, the Irish managed to compile 14 points during the championship meet, the second-most for a Notre Dame team at the NCAA finals in program history, behind only the 2012 team’s showing of 15.

The conclusion of the meet marks the conclusion of head coach Tim Welsh’s tenure with the program after a period of 29 years coaching the Irish. During Welsh’s time at Notre Dame, a total of 23 qualifiers traveled to the NCAA championships, with 20 of those bids coming since the 2011 season. In addition, Welsh has coached six Irish swimmers to All-America honors during the last four NCAA championship meets.

Notre Dame received several notable individual performances over the weekend. Irish senior Frank Dyer set a program record in the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 4:17.13 and earned All-America honors with his time in the 200-yard freestyle. Dyer finished with a time of 1:33.43 in the event and placed fifth overall at the championships. Dyer finishes his career holding the Notre Dame program records in the 50-, 100-, 200-, 500- and 1000-yard freestyle events, along with the 100-yard butterfly. He is also a member of four different record-holding relay teams.

Irish freshman Joe Coumos finished off his first collegiate season as only the third men’s diver in Notre Dame program history to qualify for the NCAA meet. Coumos finished 19th in the one-meter dive with a score of 324.10.

The Irish also received standout performances from a pair of junior All-Americans. Zach Stephens finished his season in the 200-yard breaststroke, an event in which he had previously set a new program record with a time of 1:53.34 during the ACC championship meet last month. Stephens touched the wall at the NCAA championship meet with a time of 1:55.74, good for a 26th-place finish. John Williamson put together a solid showing in his signature event, the 200-yard butterfly, with a time of 1:44.01. Williamson placed 24th in the event.

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