ND tops Spartans on the road
Mike Ginocchio | Monday, November 17, 2014
Despite getting off to a slow start on the road this season, the Irish rebounded quickly, cruising to a 171-127 victory over Michigan State on Friday in East Lansing, Michigan.
The victory puts Notre Dame at 3-2 on the season in dual meets.
For Notre Dame, it was business as usual out on the blocks, Irish coach Matt Tallman said.
“We just raced pretty well,” Tallman said. “A lot of guys, once we got into the meet, just pushed through. It wasn’t an easy week of practice, and getting off the bus expecting to swim fast isn’t the easiest thing either. Early going, it looked like Michigan State was ready to go and interested in maybe shocking us a little bit, and the guys bounced back.”
In addition to strong showings from the upperclassmen, the Irish also continued to receive impressive results from their freshmen. Benjamin Jany came in third during the 1,000-yard freestyle with a time of 9:36.87. Robert Whitacre gave a strong performance in the 100-yard backstroke, placing third with a time of 51.68. Joseph Krause capped things off for the class of 2018, notching a fourth-place finish in the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 47.12, and fifth place in the 50-yard freestyle.
Tallman said he was happy with how the younger swimmers have stepped into Div. I competition with little growing pains, as well as the effort they have put in.
“The guys just keep showing improvement,” Tallman said. “And the work they’re doing in all aspects of the program in the water and in the weight room are really paying off.
“Like I keep on saying, we just gotta do the little things right and that’s gonna make the biggest difference. Turns, breakouts off of the walls, putting your head down to finish … things like that.”
This is the last meet the Irish take part in for several weeks, before they travel to Iowa City, Iowa on Dec. 5 for the annual Hawkeye Invitational. Last season, the Irish won the meet with 1,228.5 points, the second highest team score in meet history.
For now, Tallman said he sees the victory over the Spartans as an important step in Notre Dame’s attempt to defend its meet title and continued success for the rest of the season.
“Leaving [East Lansing, Michigan] with a win is always good,” Tallman said. “We had some guys step up and race well, and had some good times and certainly showed signs of good things to come.”
The Irish return to competition on Dec. 5, when they head to the Hawkeye Invitational. The meet is scheduled to begin that Friday, and will continue throughout the weekend.