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Irish hope for dual meet wins

Matt Puglisi | Friday, February 6, 2004

The men’s swimming and diving team hopes to secure a winning dual meet record for the seventh time in nine years when the Irish (6-7) play host to Cleveland State (9-2) tonight at 7 p.m. and Oakland (5-3) Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m. in the Rolfs Aquatic Center.

While the Vikings have won their last four meets, the Irish have taken 16 of the last 17 meetings between the two schools, including each of the last eight.

“Cleveland State is a chance for us to even our record,” head coach Tim Welsh said. “So far they’ve been having an excellent season. One of the interesting match-ups will be some of their speed against what we hope is a lot of our depth.”

In addition to the Cleveland State match-up, Welsh stressed the importance of the Oakland match-up less than 24 hours later.

“It’s very important for us to be able to race at night and then the following day,” Welsh said. “This is set up for championship time, so we’re eager to see that.”

Last Saturday, Notre Dame won 11 of the 13 overall events to wrap up a 5-2 January with a 159-75 thrashing of St. Bonaventure (6-5) in the Rolf’s Aquatic Center.

The meet’s results were never in doubt as the Irish won each of the first ten events, including the top three spots in the first five.

“We’re happy with how we swam this past weekend,” freshman Chris Zeches said. “We know that with two more weeks of rest we’re going to be ready for go for Big East.”

Freshman Ted Brown (1,000-yard freestyle and 200-yard freestyle) and sophomore Jaime Lutkus (200-yard individual medley and 500-yard freestyle) both won a pair of races. Freshmen Tim Kegelman (50-yard freestyle), Zeches (200-yard backstroke) and Scott Coyle (1-meter diving), sophomore Tim Randolph (100-yard freestyle) and senior J.R. Teddy (200-yard butterfly) each contributed with an individual event victory.

The women’s squad looks to take care of Oakland in its final tune-up before the Big East Championships when the No. 21 Irish (7-2) welcome the Golden Grizzlies to the Rolfs Aquatic Center Saturday at 1 p.m.

“They have a pretty good team and always have some strong swimmers in the sprint events, which should present a different type of challenge for us,” head coach Bailey Weathers said. “It will probably be a little low key as compared to last weekend’s meets, but still a lot of fun for the girls.”

Last Friday, the Irish won 11 overall events as they defeated two Big Ten squads on the road in East Lansing, Mich. Seniors Danielle Hulick (100 backstroke and 50 freestyle), Lisa Garcia (200 butterfly and 200 individual medley) and Meghan Perry Eaton (1-and 3-meter board) and freshman Katie Carroll (100 and 500 freestyle), each posted a pair of event victories as the Irish trounced Michigan State and Ohio State, 160-138 and 194-105, respectively.

However, Notre Dame ran into trouble the following afternoon at home with No. 16 Michigan.

Dropping each of the meet’s first three races, the Irish were never able to rebound as the Wolverines took nine of the 16 events en-route to a 166-134

Following this weekend, both the men and women will set their sights on the Big East Championships Feb. 19 to 21 in New York.