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Men’s Swimming

Irish beat Michigan State, Iowa in first meet of season

| Monday, October 3, 2016

The Notre Dame men’s and women’s teams started the season off strongly with victories over Michigan State (women: 169-54, men: 159-62) and Iowa (women: 154-69, men: 151-72).

The Irish were victorious in 20 of 24 events on the day against the Spartans and Hawkeyes in a lively environment with swimming taking place outdoors in Michigan State’s 50-meter Olympic-style pool. Irish head coach Mike Litzinger said he felt his teams swam well in the season’s opening action.

“It’s a great way to start the year off,” Litzinger said. “Both groups have been working extremely hard.”

Some highlights of the day for the Irish included the 400-meter relay teams. For the women, sophomores Alic Treuth, Meaghn O’Donnell and Sofia Revilak and freshman Lauren Heller took first place with a 4:22.38 performance. On the men’s side, junior Robert Whitacre, senior Trent Jackson, sophomore Matthew Grauslys and sophomore Tabahn Afrik gave Notre Dame a victory with a 3:54.84 mark.

The Irish continued their success, winning the next five events including 800-meter freestyle wins by junior Molly Treble and junior Richard Mannix. The 200-meter freestyle also saw some young Notre Dame swimmers achieve success as freshman Abbie Dolan won the 200-meter freestyle for the women and Aaron Schultz won the same event for the men.

In addition to racing against the Spartans and the Hawkeyes, Notre Dame also battled the elements as the meet was held outside. Litzinger said the rain did not bother the team, however.

“We responded very well to a long-course meet outside in the rain and pretty much dominated the meet,” Litzinger said. “To start the year off that way was a lot of fun.”

Litzinger also said he was proud of the way the newly renovated team encouraged each other throughout the competition.

“To be guiding both [the men’s and women’s teams] is truly a great feeling because they really got involved in each other’s races and supported each other,” he said.

As the new head coach of both the women’s and men’s programs, Litzinger reflected on his first meet with the combined squad.

“It’s all about momentum and excitement and coaching a combined team certainly adds to it; it’s double the excitement for sure,” he said.

Notre Dame’s next action will take place at home this weekend at Rolfs Aquatic Center for the Dennis Stark Relays. The meet begins at 5 p.m. Friday and continues into Saturday. Litzinger showed excitement for the team’s upcoming competition.

“We’re looking forward to next Friday and Saturday at home, it should be a lot of fun,” he said.

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