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ND Men’s Swimming: Irish prepare for OSU meet

Ellyn Michalak | Friday, November 30, 2007

The swimming season has not yet reached its one-third point, but Notre Dame is preparing for one of its biggest regular-season meets – the Ohio State Invitational.

“The Ohio State meet will be a measure of our progress this semester,” Irish coach Tim Welsh said.

The meet, which begins today and continues through Sunday, includes some of the top teams in the nation, like No. 13 Ohio State and No. 10 Minnesota. The diving team will have additional competition in Alabama, Arizona State, Arkansas, Miami and No. 12 Purdue.

“We hope to swim the fastest we’ve swam all semester at this meet,” Welsh said. “We’re hoping for a lot of good things to come out of this meet.”

Notre Dame (3-3) is fresh off a 171-124 win over Cleveland State. The Irish now have a 24-10 series record against the Vikings, with a record of 21-2 under Welsh.

“We enjoyed the win a lot. Cleveland State helped us prepare for this meet, and it was a good opportunity for our team,” Welsh said. “A lot of our guys swam in races they haven’t swam in before and now they will get a chance to swim in them again this weekend.”

The Irish captured wins in several races against the Vikings. The 200-yard medley relay team of junior Jeff Wood, sophomore Ross Moore, junior Sam Pendergast and sophomore John Lytle took first place in the first race with a time of 132.75. Lytle also captured the gold in the 50 freestyle, while freshman Michael Sullivan earned first place in both the 500 and 1,000 freestyle.

Notre Dame also dominated the diving events. In the 3-meter board, Irish junior Michael Bulfin took first place with a score of 347.30. He was followed by senior teammates Sam Stoner and Steven Crowe, who each earned 321.08 and 302.55 points, respectively, on the 3-meter board.

The Irish also took the top four spots in the 1-meter diving event. Stoner placed first with a score of 312.30, while freshman Eric Lex (311.78) took second. Bulfin (310.92) and Crowe (302.55) took third and fourth place in the event.

While the Irish gained experience from the meet against Ohio State, the week’s practices have been devoted entirely to building speed in the pool.

“We’re trying to brush up on fine points of how we get our races started,” Welsh said