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Men’s Swimming: Irish place fourth at OSU

Chris Doyen | Monday, December 3, 2007

In a competitive 13-team field in Columbus, Ohio, Notre Dame took fourth place this weekend in its last meet of the fall semester. The squad ended day one of the Ohio State Invitational in fourth and finished there after two more days of competition.

Highlights from day one included a fifth-place finish for the Irish in the 200-yard freestyle relay. The relay team, which consisted of sophomore John Lytle, sophomore Andrew Hoffman, freshman Thomas Van Volkenburg and junior Danny Lutkus, finished with a time of 1:23.33.

Lytle also swam in the 50-yard freestyle, where his finals time of 21.03 was the 14th best out of 66 swimmers. In the preliminary race earlier in the day, Lytle posted a time of 20.92, finishing in under 21 seconds for the first time since last year’s Big East championships.

Sophomore MacKenzie LeBlanc swam to a 10th place finish in the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 4:30.67. It was the best time in that event for an Irish swimmer this season.

Junior diver Michael Bulfin earned points for the Irish on day one by placing 16th in the 1-meter event with a score of 277.75.

On day two, senior Andrew MacKay finished 10th in the 400-yard individual medley, recording a time of 4:02.97. In the subsequent event, the 100-yard fly, sophomore Ross Moore claimed a fourth-place finish with a time of 49.32.

Lytle turned in another strong performance in the 200-yard freestyle relay, finishing in 1:39.72, good enough for eighth place.

Other top-10 finishers for the Irish on day two were the 200-yard medley relay team (eighth), junior Sam Pendergast in the 100-yard breaststroke (10th), two teams in the 800-yard freestyle relay (eighth and ninth), and Bulfin in the 3-meter dive (sixth).

Moore again made his mark on the third day of competition, breaking a school record in the 200-yard fly while posting a time of 1:47.45. The mark was good enough for second place and is also an NCAA “B” qualifying time.

The Irish posted top-10 finishes in all five other events on day three to maintain their fourth-place position. Freshman Michael Sullivan placed ninth in the 1,650-yard freestyle while posting the fastest time of the year for an Irish swimmer. Sullivan also finished sixth in the 200-yard backstroke with a time of 1:48.80.

On day three, Lytle posted yet another strong finish in the 100-yard freestyle, coming in seventh with a time of 45.36. Daniel Rave swam the 200-yard breaststroke in 2:03.17, landing another seventh-place finish and earning a team best for the season. The top two teams for the Irish in the 400-yard freestyle relay finished sixth and 10th overall.

The Irish compiled a three-day total of 401 points, while Minnesota took first overall with 1,168 points. Ohio State was second with 1,074 points, and Denver third with 429 points.

Notre Dame will return to action on New Year’s Day when it faces LSU in a dual meet in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.