Swimming & Diving
Irish sweep final regular-season meet
Mia Berry | Tuesday, February 6, 2018
The No. 19 Irish squads concluded their regular season by sweeping the University of Wisconsin–Green Bay and Ball State this weekend in a dual meet at Rolfs Aquatic Center.
In their final home competition, which Irish head coach Mike Litzinger described as a “tune-up” meet, the Irish notched two victories in a meet designed to give most members on the team more race experience and rest other swimmers before they head into postseason competition.
“The last meet was important to get one more race opportunity in for everyone, but more importantly to place the competitive burden on the whole team,” Litzinger said. “Having the ability to race only one or two events spread the racing out and gave some athletes a chance to spread their event lineups out.”
The men’s team beat both Green Bay and Ball State by scores of 126-107 and 159-62, respectively. Some highlights of the meet include wins from freshman William Cumberland in the 200- and 500-yard freestyle races. Sophomore Joseph Turk took home a win in the 200-yard individual medley while sophomore Aaron Schultz won the 100-yard butterfly, and juniors Daniel Speers and Tabahn Afrik were victorious in the 100-yard freestyle and 50-yard races, respectively. The men’s 200-yard medley relay also took home meet champion honors.
The women’s team recorded a victory over Green Bay by a margin of 160-80 and completed the sweep by defeating Ball State 164-75. Freshman Skylar Fore took home a win in the 100-yard butterfly, while fellow freshman Carly Quast was victorious in the 100-yard freestyle. Freshman Cailey Grunhard won the 100-yard backstroke race, while freshman Kate McCahan was successful in the 3-meter dive competition. Sophomores Abbie Dolan and Katie Smith took home victories in the 500-yard freestyle and the 50-yard freestyle, respectively, while junior Meaghan O’Donnell was victorious in the 200-yard individual medley. Senior Molly Tremble won the 200-yard freestyle and the women’s 200-yard medley relay also took home a win.
Over the course of the regular season, Cumberland, along with fellow freshmen Zachary Yeadon and Lindsay Stone, as well as Schultz and Dolan, stepped up for the Irish by winning multiple titles in their respective events throughout the year. Litzinger is pleased with their efforts and believes the strong performances by the underclassmen gives the program a bright future.
“I am very pleased with our underclassmen efforts,” Litzinger said. “They are the future of our program and to see them excel, is a great feeling and serves notice that our program will continue to improve.”
Heading into postseason competition, Litzinger is adamant about continuous team improvement and a goal of sending more athletes to the NCAA championships than in previous years.
“Our goal is to use the ACC meet as a leaping-off point to the NCAA championships,” Litzinger said. “At the ACC level, we can bring 18 swimmers and three divers [and] from there it is about hitting a qualifying standard for the NCAA. In 2016, we sent four women and six Men. In 2017, we sent 10 women and nine men. We hope to better that number in 2018.”
While the ACC championships are 10 days away, the Irish will compete this weekend in their first postseason invitational when they travel to Columbus, Ohio, to compete in the Ohio State Winter Invitational on Saturday and Sunday at the McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion.