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Men’s Swimming and Diving: Divers to kick off championship action

Megan Finneran | Thursday, February 9, 2012

Notre Dame will kick off an important week of competition this weekend. The swimmers have a few more days of preparation before the Big East championships, but for the divers, today marks the beginning of the postseason.

“In preparing for this meet, the team has gradually shifted our practices toward specific meet performance, including a focus on consistency, emphasizing the importance of mental preparation, and a greater concentration on details,” senior Sean Rademaker said.

Pittsburgh’s Trees Pool will host the championships, where all six Irish divers will compete against some of their closest rivals. Rademaker and junior Ryan Koter carry the team in terms of experience, but Rademaker said the freshmen foursome of Ted Wagner, Nick Nemetz, Michael Kreft and John Andrade have certainly proven themselves.

“This is a great meet for the team because our four freshmen have had the opportunity to develop throughout the year,” Rademaker said. “It will be exciting to watch their performance under pressure in their first Big East championships.”

In order to qualify for this weekend’s meet, each athlete had a standard to reach. For the 1-meter dive, a 240-point minimum requirement stood as the entry mark, while the 3-meter dive required 250 points. Unlike the swimming competition where lower “B” standards also exist for entry, only one level exists for diving.

The men participated in the Shamrock Invitational on Saturday, hosted by Notre Dame. The Irish took six of the top eight spots in the 1-meter dive, led by Nemetz in second with 290.40 points. Koter and Kreft followed close behind in third and fourth with 280.73 and 279.15 points, respectively.

Similar results held true for the 3-meter dives, where Nemetz also took the top mark for the team with 332.63 points. This time Kreft took third and Koter took fourth, with 320.03 and 312.83 points, respectively.

Last year the Irish claimed a first-place finish in both events under then-seniors Eric Lex in the 1-meter dive and Nathan Geary in the 3-meter. This year’s team looks to maintain that same success, as Rademaker especially looks forward to the meet, knowing it marks his last with the Irish.

“It’s amazing to think about how much I’ve been able to improve with the help of my teammates and coaches. This has been an incredible opportunity,” he said.

The Big East championships begin this afternoon in Pittsburgh.

Contact Megan Finneran at [email protected]