Irish take to pool for last time before NCAAs
Benjamin Padanilam | Thursday, February 26, 2015
Notre Dame will send five swimmers into the pool at the Boiler-Make-It Last Chance meet at Purdue on Sunday.
After finishing sixth in the ACC championship this past weekend, the Irish (7-9) now shift their focus to individual events. Irish interim coach Tim Welsh said he felt the team put in a strong effort this past weekend and was proud of its performance.
“Sixth this year, sixth last year,” Welsh said. “To that extent, they held serve. I thought that they worked really hard to do this. One of the things we talked about was that because we are the Fighting Irish, they were fighting for times and fighting for place. We got better in every session, so it was a hard-fought success. I’m very proud of the work they put it and the success that they had.”
The Irish will now work to improve upon individual events before the NCAA championships. This weekend’s Boiler-Make-It Last Chance meet provided several swimmers — seniors Emma Reaney and Courtney Whyte, junior Catherine Galletti and sophomores Catherine Mulquin and Danielle Margheret — that opportunity. Welsh said he hopes for the 200-yard medley relay team to earn an NCAA ‘A’ cut at the event.
“The simple goal is always to go faster,” Welsh said. “That’s what the sport is about. What can happen if we go fast enough? If the medley relay — Emma Reaney, Cat Galletti, Courtney Whyte and Catherine Mulquin — can go fast enough to achieve an NCAA ‘A’ cut, they’ll be able to swim that relay at the NCAA championships.”
In order to prepare for the event, the emphasis in practice has changed this week. Welsh said he has had the swimmers doing relay-specific drills in hopes of refining their skills for this weekend and hopefully beyond.
“What we’ve been doing is all very specific, 200 medley relay race preparation,” Welsh said. “We did a warmup. We did some speed, some relay exchanges. Just very specific to that race.”
The team will also send Margheret to compete in the 100- and 200-yard breaststroke events. Welsh said she has been swimming well as of late, and he wants to give her the chance to continue to improve her times.
“She wants to go faster,” Welsh said. “She had a fabulous meet this past weekend. Her time drops in the two breaststroke events in the past year are wonderful. This meet is all win. It’s all to the good. So what we are trying to find out is if one more week of preparation helps her, or is last weekend as good as it gets?”
The five swimmers will take to the pool at Boilermaker Aquatic Complex in West Lafayette, Indiana, this Sunday in the day-long event.