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Men’s Swimming: Notre Dame rolls to win over Olivet

Mike Gotimer | Monday, February 9, 2009

The Notre Dame men’s swimming and diving team wrapped up its dual meet season on Saturday with a 16-event sweep of Olivet in the team’s 173-102 win over the Comets. The Irish completed the regular season with four consecutive dual meet wins, three of which came during the Shamrock Invitational on Jan. 24.

Irish coach Tim Welsh was pleased with his squad’s performance in the meet and thinks Notre Dame is in a good position to succeed at the Big East Championships.

“We appear to be on schedule at this point to achieve our best times at the conference championship meet, and that’s our goal,” he said. “The things we saw today encouraged us to believe that we’re on the right track. We leave today’s meet more excited about our conference championship potential than we were coming into it.”

Facing a Division III opponent, the Irish saw the meet as an opportunity to experiment with lineup alternatives heading into their championship season.

“We learned a great deal,” Welsh said. “We set up our entries so that we’d be able to see some alternatives and lineups we hadn’t seen before. It was a very helpful meet for us.”

The meet provided an opportunity for Notre Dame’s freshmen to stand out. Rookie Jonathan Whitcomb took top honors in the 1000-meter freestyle, while classmates Marshall Sherman and Conor Evans finished first in the 100 backstroke and 200 butterfly, respectively.

Fellow freshman B.J. Roth helped ensure a sweep in the distance freestyle events with a win in the 500 freestyle. Brian Maloy also contributed to the strong freshman showing with a first place finish in the 100 breaststroke.

The meet also allowed many of Notre Dame’s seniors to finish on top in their final meet at the Rolfs Aquatic Center. Senior Danny Lutkus won the 50 free while fellow seniors Jeff Wood and Bill Bauman took top honors in the 100 free and 200 backstroke, respectively. Senior Mitchell Sherman finished in second place in the 100 butterfly behind Irish junior Andrew Hoffman.

The Irish return to action at the Big East Conference Championships in Indianapolis from Feb. 18-21. The Irish hope to earn their second straight conference title and fourth in five years.