Men’s Swimming and Diving: Irish set records in Iowa
Mary Green | Sunday, December 8, 2013
Notre Dame broke six school records and claimed first place for the first time in school history at this weekend’s Hawkeye Invitational, held at the Iowa Campus Recreation and Wellness Center in Iowa City, Iowa.
“The meet was wonderful for us,” Irish coach Tim Welsh said. “We swam well. We dove well. We had great spirit and great energy. It was just a great weekend for our team.”
The Irish (4-4) earned 1228.5 points throughout the three-day meet, topping No. 20 Iowa’s 977.5, Denver’s 669 and Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s 248.
The team jumped out to an early lead Friday, finishing in second place or better in each event except the 50-yard freestyle. The 400-yard medley relay of sophomore Bogac Ayhan, junior Cameron Miller, senior Frank Dyer and junior Zach Stephens set a new school mark in 3:11.15, and Ayhan’s lead-off backstroke split of 47.80 also found a spot in the record book. Stephens’s performance in the 200-yard individual medley rounded out the first day’s record-breaking swims, taking first place in the event in 1:44.34.
“We did prepare differently [for this meet], so we did want to see what would happen if we took a little more rest midseason,” Welsh said. “We took a little more rest before than we previously had for this meet, and our guys shaved, and we haven’t done that. So the results set us up very well for the ACC meet [in February], and we should be pretty well set up for the national meet [in March].”
More records fell on day two, as the four members of the 400-medley relay returned to the pool for the 200-yard version and set an all-time school best with their time of 1:26.11.
However, freshman Tom Anderson turned in the biggest new-record swim in the 400-yard individual medley. Anderson first broke the mark in Saturday’s prelims and then topped that time by over four seconds to lower the new standard to 3:46.22, also good for a first-place finish.
“It was wonderful to see him do that,” Welsh said of Anderson’s swim. “His time was faster than what went to the NCAA Championships last year. We don’t know if it’s fast enough to go this year, but he’s in that range, so we were just thrilled for him for how that 400 IM went.”
Notre Dame finished in first place in 11 of 14 events in the first two days of the meet, and Stephens, Dyer, Ayhan, Miller, Anderson, junior John Williamson and senior Colin Babcock all took home multiple wins for the Irish over the weekend.
“We came in trying to swim fast in every event, and that’s what we did, and we are very excited by the results of this weekend,” Welsh said.
Williamson was the team’s lone winner on the final day, claiming first place in the 200-yard butterfly, and Dyer set one last school record for the meet with his time of 46.92 in a 100-yard butterfly time trial.
Despite just the single victory Sunday, Notre Dame racked up enough points over the three days to earn the top spot at the meet.
“We will take [Monday] off, and we’ll go back to work on Tuesday,” he said. “But we’re going to do it with renewed energy because things turned out very well here, and we’re very optimistic.”
The Irish take their win into an almost month-long break from competition, which will conclude with a training trip to Puerto Rico at the Copa Coqui Meet on Jan. 4-5.
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