Coumos qualifies for national championships
Observer Staff Report | Tuesday, March 18, 2014
Notre Dame will send four representatives to next week’s NCAA national championships to be held March 27-29 at the Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center in Austin, Texas. Over the weekend, Irish freshman diver Joe Coumos earned a bid to the event by participating in the NCAA Zone Diving Qualifier, joining swimmers senior Frank Dyer, junior Zach Stephens and junior John Williamson.Dyer, a two-time All-American, will become the first four-time participant in the National Championships in Irish swimming history. He will swim the 500-yard freestyle, the 200-yard freestyle and the 100- yard freestyle for Notre Dame at the event.
Joining Dyer in the 500-yard freestyle will be fellow All-American Williamson. He is also slated to swim the 100- yard and 200- yard butterfly events. He earned automatic qualifying times in his 200- yard butterfly event, with a time of 1:43:09, and received invitations for his other events from the selection committee.
Rounding out the individual entrants is Stephens, another All-American, who will swim the 200- yard individual medley, the 100- yard breaststroke and the 200- yard breaststroke. Stephens will return to competition after sweeping both the 100- yard and 200- yard breastroke events in the ACC Championships. His 52:59 mark in the 100-yard breaststroke set a new ACC record the event.
On the diving boards, Cuomos qualified for the NCAA Championships this past weekend at the NCAA Zone C Diving Championships. He finished the weekend in third place with 683.20 points, just two points shy of first place.
Cuomos’ top performance was his third-place finish in the 1-meter dive event. He will be the first Notre Dame diver to participate in the national championships since 2008. Irish junior diver Nick Nemetz narrowly missed qualifying for the national championships with a seventh-place finish in the 1-meter dive, scoring 611.0. Nemetz finished 18th in the qualification rankings, one spot outside the automatic qualifiers.
Along with its individual qualifiers, Notre Dame is also eligible to send relay participants to competition next week. Their 200-yard and 400-yard medley relay teams and their 200-yard, 400-yard and 800-yard freestyle relay teams have all earned national championships invitations.
Swimmers for the Irish relay teams can be drawn from their individual qualifiers as well as four relay-only participants.
Notre Dame will enter the national championships just more than four weeks after their last competition, their inaugural ACC Championships performance, held Feb. 26-March 1 in Greensboro, N.C. The four-day event saw 15 Notre Dame records fall, three individual victories and one runner-up finish.