Notre Dame hosts Spartans on Friday
Observer Sports Staff | Wednesday, November 12, 2014
After falling to Virginia Tech and topping Pittsburgh in back-to-back dual meets last weekend, the Irish return to the pool Friday when they take on Michigan State in a one-day, non-conference dual meet.
The Spartans (4-1) are off to a strong start this season, posting their best record to begin a season since the 2011-2012 campaign. In their previous two meets, they knocked off Buffalo, 185-130, and Army, 188.5-164.5.
A week later, the Irish came up short against reigning ACC champion Virginia Tech, 201-169, but coasted to a victory over Pittsburgh, 286-84.
Experienced team members have led the Irish at the last few meets.
Senior diver Nick Nemetz took first place in the 1-meter springboard Sunday with a score of 322.15. Senior Zachary Stephens also has built up momentum. Against the Panthers and the Hokies, Stephens claimed three event victories. In the 200-yard individual medley, he eked out a win with a time of 1:49.75. He was also part of the first-place team in the 400-yard freestlye relay and came in first in the 200-yard breaststroke with a time of 2:00.59.
Several freshmen also submitted strong showings over the weekend. Freshman Benjamin Jany placed third in the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 4:35.69, and Rob Whitacre returned from injury to swim in the 400-yard medley relay and finish seventh in the 100-yard backstroke.
Michigan State had several strong showings over the last weekend as well. The Spartans’ 400-yard medley relay came in first place against Buffalo and Army, with the team of freshman Alex Trompke, junior Nate Weeks, freshman Lachie McLeish and sophomore Alec Kandt finishing with a combined time of 3:22.85. The Spartans took first place in the 400-yard freestyle relay with a team composed of senior Kyle Workman, freshman Nick Leshok, McLeish and Trompke.
Trompke led the Spartans all meet long. In addition to his wins in the relays, he claimed the top spot in the 100-yard butterfly and in the 100-yard backstroke with a time of 50.54.
The Irish will also face a challenge in freshman Joe Szczupakiewicz, who finished first in the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 4:37.69 and first in the 1,000-yard freestyle.
The Irish travel to East Lansing to take on the Spartans at McCaffree Pool on Friday. The meet is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m.