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Men’s Swimming and Diving: Team hosts celebratory meet

Eric Prister | Friday, October 30, 2009

In celebration of the 25th anniversary of varsity competition in the Rolfs Aquatic Center, the Irish will host a double-dual meet against Cleveland State and Miami (Ohio) this Saturday.

“We love swimming in our pool,” Irish coach Tim Welsh said. “We love our pool. We love being at home. We have a lot of our friends and family coming when we’re at home. There is always an advantage to swim at home.”

The Irish are coming off of a 179-119 victory over Oakland University in their second meet of the year, after finishing second at the Dennis Stark Relays. Notre Dame recorded 11 first-place finishes in the meet against Oakland, including impressive performances from senior John Lytle, sophomore Peter Petrovic and freshman Bill Bass, who combined for eight first-place finishes in the meet.

“We don’t depend on a single person, because there’s just a lot of scoring positions,” Welsh said. “It doesn’t matter where you score the points as long as you score them. I think we’re just looking to see where we’re strong. We’re looking for people to step up, wherever that is and say ‘Ok, I’ve claimed a spot here. Count on me.’ So that what we’re looking for, people that say ‘Count on me, I’m going to be good this year.'”

The Irish diving team has been solid so far this year as well, sweeping the diving competitions in both the Dennis Stark Relays and the dual meet against Oakland. Junior Eric Lex and senior Caleb Dunnichay have achieved top diving honors so far this year.

“We’re still trying to learn what our teams about,” Welsh said. “It’s a large team and a large freshman class, so we’re looking to see how we’re improving, where we’re strong, and what we need to do. It’s definitely an educational meet for us and it’s a chance to for us to re-evaluate our team before we go on the road next weekend.”

The Irish have seen Cleveland State already this season, as they finished the Dennis Stark relays in fifth place. The Vikings bounced back after that last place finish, however, and went on to defeat Green Bay in their first dual meet of the season. Cleveland State was also the first team to face the Irish in the Rolfs Aquatic Center upon its inception, which is why the Vikings were chosen to compete in this honorary meet.

“Cleveland State was here for the relay meet, but they will be much stronger Saturday,” Welsh said. “They’ve got a good team and they like to win races. They will be very competitive.”

Miami (Ohio) has competed in three dual meets so far this season, and come into the contest with a 2-1 record. After defeating Evansville in their first meet, the Red Hawks fell to Southern Illinois before gaining another victory over Xavier.

“Miami is always one of the stronger teams in the MAC, so we think it’s going to be a very good meet Saturday,” Welsh said.

The 25th anniversary double-dual meet will take place Saturday in the Rolfs Aquatic Center with races set to begin at 2 p.m.

“We race to see how fast we can go,” Welsh said. “Cleveland State and Miami are doing the same thing. We try not to watch the score board. If we go fast enough, then the scoreboard will take care of itself, and if we don’t, then it doesn’t matter what the scoreboard says. We’re just trying to go faster.”