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ND Diving: Divers’ season comes to end

Mike Gotimer | Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Notre Dame ended its diving season this past weekend at the NCAA Zone Meet at the University of Minnesota after no Irish diver advanced to the NCAA Championships.

Although the Irish didn’t send a diver to the NCAA Championships for the second consecutive season, the young Notre Dame squad did post a strong performance in the meet.

“It was a pretty solid performance,” Irish coach Tim Welsh said. “It’s always a very, very, very tough meet, but our young divers performed well. There was a lot to build on.”

Notre Dame senior captain Michael Bulfin, who was an All-American in 2008 after scoring for the Irish at the NCAA Championships, was hampered by an illness that led to a 23rd place finish in the preliminary heat of the 1-meter event with a score of 257.45. However, he was able to rebound with an 11th place finish in the 3-meter event with a score of 681.25.

Sophomore Eric Lex had an impressive showing, leading the Irish with a score of 603.05 off the 1-meter board, which was good enough for 11th place. He followed it up with a 17th place finish off the 3-meter board with a score of 632.90. Lex and Bulfin were the only two Irish divers to advance to the finals in the 3-meter event.

Junior Caleb Dunnichay finished one spot behind Lex in the 1-meter event with a score 587.35. Sophomore Nathan Geary also made the finals for the Irish in the 1-meter, finishing 18th with a score of 564.20. Sophomore Wes Villaflor continued to improve, posting a score of 239.50 in the 1-meter event and the 258.25 in the 3-meter event.

Although the Notre Dame diving team is done for the season, the Irish swim team returns to action at the NCAA Championships on March 26 in College Station, Texas.