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Tourney’s open shows promise

Andrew Owens | Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Irish got off to a strong start on the first day of the Big East Championships, as they look to win their fifth conference title in six seasons.

The team of senior John Lytle, junior Steven Brus, senior Andrew Hoffman and senior Mackenzie LeBlanc led the Irish to a victory in the 800-yard freestyle relay. The win earned the team 40 points. Louisville finished second in the event with a 1.51 second difference behind the Irish.

Notre Dame earned third place in the 200 medley relay. The team of sophomore Petar Petrovic, freshman Christopher Johnson, freshman William Bass and junior Joshua Nosal earned 32 points for the Irish. Pittsburgh, a perennial contender in the Big East, finished first in the event, followed by West Virginia.

In the 500 freestyle, LeBlanc and junior Michael Sullivan finished fourth and fifth respectively, posting times of 4:31.14 and 4:31.29 minutes. Swimmers from West Virginia, Louisville and Cincinnati out touched the Irish in that event.

In the 200 freestyle relay, the Irish team finished fourth, behind Louisville, Pittsburgh, and West Virginia.

In the 100 butterfly, the top Irish seed earned 11th place. Louisville had four swimmers finish in the top 10 in the event.

Lytle earned a third place finish in the 200 freestyle. Freshman Christopher Johnson and sophomore Brian Maloy finished seventh and eighth, respectively, in the 100 breaststroke. Two Louisville swimmers placed first and second in that event.

Petrovic finished fourth in the 100 backstroke. Sophomore Marshall Sherman, junior Christopher Wills and Nosal also finished in the top 15 for the Irish.

Sullivan and Bass finished fourth and sixth, respectively, in the 400 individual medley.

The events continue throughout the rest of the week and into the weekend. Irish coach Tim Welsh and his squad have their eyes set on another Big East Championship.