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Men’s Swimming and Diving: Notre Dame secures opening week win

Megan Finneran | Tuesday, October 23, 2012


The Irish demonstrated a strong beginning to their season in the Dennis Stark Relays, taking first place with 210 points and winning seven of 12 events. This start acted as a continuation of last season, when Notre Dame won the Big East title.

“The weekend went well,” senior Chris Johnson said. “It showed us where we have depth and where we are vulnerable.”

First-place finishes in five of the 10 swimming events and both diving events secured the win. The weekend took off with the 200-yard free relay, fueled by senior Kevin Overholt’s 20.40 split that pushed the foursome of Overholt, junior Frank Dyer and seniors John McGinley and Chris Johnson to first place with a time of 1:22.69.

Following the opening race, the squad took second in back-to-back relays before senior Bill Bass and sophomores Matthew DeBlasio and Zach Stephens and Patrick Olson brought them back in check in the 400-yard IM relay in 3:29.76 to take first.

Once again, the Irish slipped into back-to-back second place finishes, falling closely behind Oakland. But that only motivated the trio in the 300-yard breaststroke relay, when Johnson, Stephens and sophomore Cameron Miller broke the invitational record and edged out Cleveland State by almost nine seconds with a time of 2:50.38.

“We were kind of caught off-guard by Oakland, but came together by the end to pull out the win,” Johnson said. “We are ready to go head-to-head with them this Friday.”

After a second-place finish in the 1,000-yard freestyle relay, Notre Dame closed out the last two swimming events in first. Johnson took the lead at the last second in the 200-yard medley relay, taking the victory with freshman Bogac Ayhan, Miller and Bass in 1:32.45. Johnson’s last touch came just before Oakland’s 1:32.53 finish.

Overholt, junior Colin Babcock, Stephens and McGinley had no problem closing the day with a first-place finish in the 400-yard freestyle relay, holding the lead throughout the race and ending it in 3:03.53.

On the diving end, sophomore Nick Nemetz took first in the one-meter with 310.82 points and paired with sophomore teammate Michael Kreft to take the 3-meter relay with 255.95.

Oakland, Cleveland State and IUPUI followed behind the Irish with 190, 144 and 118 points, respectively. 

The Irish next face a dual meet at Oakland in Rochester, Mich., on Friday.

Contact Megan Finneran at [email protected]