Irish prepare for Shamrock Invite
Benjamin Padanilam | Wednesday, January 28, 2015
Notre Dame will host the annual Shamrock Invitational at Rolfs Aquatic Center this Friday and Saturday in its last invitational prior to the ACC championships.
The Irish (4-9) finished last in the pool behind both No. 15 Indiana and No. 24 Wisconsin at a double dual meet in Madison, Wisconsin, on Jan. 7. This weekend, however, the Irish will be at home, competing against the likes of No. 21 Iowa, Missouri State and Clemson.
“We love racing in our own pool,” Irish interim coach Tim Welsh said. “This has been a good meet year after year, and we’re glad we’re home this weekend. It’s going to be a grand event.”
Heading into the event, Welsh said he believes the Shamrock Invitational provides the Irish with an opportunity to gain momentum before the ACC championships.
“The Shamrock Invitational is kind of our speciality, like our one big meet,” sophomore Catherine Mulquin said. “It’s a little bit of a step up from a dual meet, but it’s not quite the level of conference. It is a good step up right before we go to conference, so it’s a little bit of a practice for that meet because we suit up, but we’re not fully tapered, so it’s a good racing practice for us.”
As the Irish approach the ACC championships, Welsh has noted several positives in the team’s practices recently.
“[We’ve had] renewed energy, [which is] always a good sign,” Welsh said. “We’ve had a lighter, more cheerful, happier spirit, also always a good thing. And [we’ve shown] some anticipation, excitement for the meets ahead.”
In addition, the Irish have also begun to use their practices to focus on more detail-oriented work, with the hopes of fine-tuning their technique before the ACC championships.
“As we approach championship time, all of the details need polishing,” Welsh said. “Every start, every turn, every finish, every breath; all of it needs polishing.”
The Irish won the crown last year at the invitational and will look to do so again this weekend. Furthermore, the Shamrock Invitational serves as an end-of-season meet for some of the swimmers on the team, as well as senior day for Notre Dame’s eight seniors.
“For some of our girls on the team, it’s their end-of-the-season meet, so we definitely are focusing on them and helping them do [their] best times, hopefully,” Mulquin said. “Really, just a team atmosphere is most important to us. And senior day, that’s huge, too. We’ve got eight seniors on the team, and that’s really special for people. There [will be] some tears here and there, but it’s really special.”
The Shamrock Invitational will begin Friday at 5 p.m. and continue Saturday at 10 a.m. at Rolfs Aquatic Center.