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Sports

Irish to wrap up fall season at Ohio Season

| Thursday, November 16, 2017

The No. 13 men’s and the No. 18 women’s swimming and diving teams will conclude their fall seasons this weekend when they travel to Columbus, Ohio, to compete in the Ohio State Invitational.

Emma Farnan | The Observer

Irish sophomore Tabahn Afrik competes in the 200-yard freestyle during Notre Dame’s dual meet with Texas A&M on Oct. 14 at Rolf’s Aquatic Center.

Heading into a competitive meet and the final one of the fall season for Notre Dame, Irish head coach Mike Litzinger insists the goal for his team is to focus on their individual times.

“The whole goal at Ohio State is to produce season bests in a championship format. We have a lot of confidence, and hopefully that will come through,” Litzinger said.

The fall season has been anything but a warm up for the Irish — through the seven meets so far, Notre Dame has faced off against four top-25 opponents. In head-to-head competition, the Irish have fared very well against ranked opponents as the men’s team is 2-2 and the women’s team is 3-1 on the season.

In their final meet of the season, the Irish are staying true to their commitment to facing top competition, as the Ohio State Invitation features North Carolina State‘s fifth-ranked men and 12th-ranked women’s swim teams, the No. 21 Utah men and host Ohio State’s No. 16 men and No. 23 ranked women. Litzinger feels the competitive schedule early on against top ranked teams will be an advantage to the Irish moving forward into their spring season.

“It is a huge advantage to see a team like NC State and another ACC opponent in Pitt. We can get a preview of our championship meet, as well as matching up against the Ohio States and Penn States. It seasons our athletes for our championship run in February,” Litzinger said.

As the fall season comes to a close, Litzinger is proud of Notre Dame‘s progression this season as a nationally ranked program, a goal of his when he took the job in 2015.

“We are constantly breaking new ground in this program,” Litzinger said. “I am proud of our staff, the swimmers, and the divers. I presented a vision in December of 2015 and we are steadily moving toward making that vision a reality. We need to continue to hold ourselves accountable to one and other, as well as the process … success will come.”

The success of the Irish this fall season has included the highest ranking in school history, as the men are currently ranked 13th and the women’s team reached No. 10 earlier in the season. Irish swimmers have also won ACC swimmer of the week awards, as sophomore Abbie Dolan has already one it twice, while freshman Zachary Yeadon and senior diver Joe Coumos have also achieved the recognition.

The Irish are looking to close out their fall season on a strong note as they compete in the Ohio State Invitational in Columbus, Ohio, this weekend. Swimming events are scheduled to start Friday and continue through Sunday.

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