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Men’s Swimming

Tallman leads ND to NCAA Berth

| Friday, May 15, 2015

For the first time in 30 years, Notre Dame was led by someone other than head coach Tim Welsh in 2015. Matt Tallman, a longtime assistant, took over the helm after Welsh decided to retire following Notre Dame’s 2013-2014 campaign.

Notre Dame’s first season under Tallman certainly was eventful. The Irish went 6-6 in their dual meets, including a 5-3 record at home. The wins for the Irish in the dual meet season included victories over Cleveland State, Incarnate Word, Missouri State, Michigan State, Pittsburgh and Olivet Nazarene.

Notre Dame senior Jonathon Williamson competes in the backstroke during a meet against Cleveland State on Feb. 7 at Rolf’s Aquatic Center.Caitlyn Jordan | The Observer

Notre Dame senior Jonathon Williamson competes in the backstroke during a meet against Cleveland State on Feb. 7 at Rolf’s Aquatic Center.

“This first year was certainly different for everyone,” Tallman said. “I think we all learned a lot about our abilities, expectations and long-term goals. The program is heading in a great direction.”

In the conference championships, the Irish took fifth place, one spot ahead of their placement in their inaugural ACC season. On top of their improved finish, the Irish broke three school records over the course of the four-day event that was held in Atlanta.

“Improving on our team finish at the ACC meet was an important moment this season,” Tallman said. “[Sophomore] Tommy Anderson’s 400[-yard individual medley] at the Last Chance Meet was a great individual swim for the program. Establishing seven new university records after a season of setting 18 was also a sign that our student-athletes continue to improve each year they are here.”

Three weeks after the ACC championships, Notre Dame concluded its season in Iowa City, Iowa, at the NCAA championships.

Throughout the three-day event, the Irish earned a collective eight points and ended the championships in 32nd place in the team standings.  The Irish broke school records in the 200-yard individual medley, 100-yard and 200-yard breaststroke and 200-yard backstroke at the meet.

“I thought our efforts at the NCAA meet were tremendous,” said Tallman. “I was very proud of the swims we had in Iowa.”

Highlighting the class of Irish graduates was senior Zachary Stevens, who finished his college career by breaking three school records; the 100 and 200 breast and the 200 IM.

Additionally, Stephens became the first Irish swimmer to score in more than one event at the NCAA championships.

“The senior class was the fastest recruiting class we had before their arrival and will graduate having accomplished the most as a class while on campus,” Tallman said. “We wish them all the best of luck in their futures, and I am sure they will make Notre Dame proud.”

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