Swimming and Diving
Notre Dame rested and ready for Greensboro Invitational
Alex Bender | Wednesday, November 16, 2016
This weekend, Notre Dame will face its biggest challenge yet when it travels to North Carolina for the Greensboro Invitational, taking place over the course of Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
This will be the largest event the Irish have raced in this year, with NC State hosting Notre Dame, Tennessee, Duke, North Carolina, West Virginia, Air Force, Miami and Marshall at the Greensboro Aquatic Center. Coming into this event, the Irish have had a spectacular season to date, as the women’s side is still undefeated in its meets this season and the men’s side has only suffered one loss at the hands of Virginia Tech in its last meet. For the team to be performing at such a high level at this point in the season, a lot of things had to come together, Irish head coach Mike Litzinger said.
“We have the right coaches in the right spots doing their jobs, and the athletes themselves have been super coachable and really excited about the changes we’ve made this year,” Litzinger said. “There’s a lot of momentum for us, so the team’s been finding success and [has] kept it rolling. It really is a combination of coaches, athletes and putting the right pieces together.”
The Irish have had quite a bit of time off since their last meet, which was back on Nov. 5. After nearly two weeks in between competitions, Litzinger said he sees this time off as a much-needed rest period for re-tuning the team.
“We’ve been able to reset lately, which was needed after so many weekends in a row of competition,” Litzinger said. “It’s given us a chance to settle down and get in some great training so we can be focused for this week’s invitational. We’ve taken a step back to re-evaluate what was working — really what our strengths and weaknesses are — and put our heads together before we get back to work.”
Coming off this break, the Irish will be in an event the likes of which they haven’t seen so far this year, being that it is a three-day meet. Despite the unique format, Litzinger said he believes his team will be prepared for the meet and thinks they should be in a good position.
“I’m hoping we respond well to the three-day format,” he said. “We’ve been preparing for it all year, getting ready for these multi-day events, and all the meets and practice before this has been an exercise in preparation for these types of events. I feel good about the team and being used to this, and we will see how they respond, but we should be in good shape.”
On paper, this weekend will be the toughest competition Notre Dame has faced to this point. North Carolina State is ranked No. 1 on the men’s side and No. 6 on the women’s side, and there are a number of additional programs in the event ranked extremely high nationally as well. As such, Litzinger said he expects his team to face some challenges but, ultimately, hopes are high for this weekend.
“It’s going to be one of the fastest invitationals in the country,” he said. “Around this time in the season, teams like to flex their muscles with training, and my expectation is that we will face some of the fastest times in the country. The hope is that we respond and step up to the level of competition. The whole point of our schedule has been to ramp up competition every week with increased competition, culminating in this. We’ve been preparing for this, and it should be a fun and exciting event for all of the programs involved.”