ND beats Vikings in final dual meet of season
Alex Wilcox | Monday, February 10, 2014
In their last tune-up before heading to Greensboro for their first ACC Championships, Notre Dame won the first 11 events in a dominating dual meet win over Cleveland State.
While the team’s 162-124 victory was impressive, junior Emma Reaney pointed out this meet was more about sending off men’s coach Tim Welsh in his last home meet.“We were pretty much expecting it, so it wasn’t a huge deal,” Reaney said. “The meet was more about honoring men’s head coach Tim Welsh and his last home meet than it was about winning, but it is always nice to be dominant from the beginning.”
Welsh has coached swimming for the Irish for the last 29 years, the first 10 for the women before taking over as men’s head coach. The meet featured various tribute videos for Welsh, and he was presented with a new bike at the end of the meet as a gift from his team.
Even though Welsh did not coach the women’s team, Reaney enjoyed the tribute and praised the longtime coach.
“[The ceremony] was very emotional,” Reaney said. “Tim knows everyone’s names on our team and is always so sweet and caring towards everyone. We are going to miss him a lot.”
As for the meet itself, the Irish won 10 individual events, one relay and had eight runner-up finishes. Reaney, junior Erin Foley, and freshman Catherine Mulquin each took home two individual events and seniors Kelly Ryan, Christen McDonough, Lauren Stauder and freshman Katie Miller all won individual events.
Many of the swimmers broke out of their comfort zone and swam in events they normally would not. While this may not prepare the team for the conference championship in two weeks, Reaney described racing in off events as “fun” and a nice change of pace.
“Since a lot of us were swimming off events, it didn’t give us a whole lot of information, but it’s nice to get up and race so close to conference so we don’t lose our competitive edge,” Reaney said.
Notre Dame’s strongest event was the 200-yard medley relay, as the Irish swept the top three spots. Reaney said she believes this will be one of the team’s strengths at the conference championships.
“We can mix up those relays so many ways, which I guess is a good problem to have,” Reaney said. “I think ACCs should be really exciting once we figure out the perfect combination. That’s a fun and quick relay and we definitely showed our ability in it this weekend.”
With the team’s inaugural ACC Championships quickly approaching, Reaney said she is excited to see her team perform so well.
“I’m very happy,” Reaney said. “Now that we are starting to rest, we are really seeing all the work that we’ve been putting in pay off and I couldn’t be more excited to see what this team does at conference.”