Notre Dame prepares for Big Ten dual meet
Benjamin Padanilam | Thursday, January 15, 2015
Following defeats to Michigan and Northwestern in Ann Arbor, Michigan, this past weekend, Notre Dame will return to the pool today in Madison, Wisconsin, for a double-dual meet against No. 14 Indiana and No. 24 Wisconsin.
Last weekend, the Irish (4-7) were able to win five events in their first meet of 2015, but they ultimately fell to both opponents, losing 182-118 to the Wolverines and 154-146 to the Wildcats. Given that the team was just coming off its annual training trip during the holiday season, Irish swimmers said they believe their first performance in more than a month was a strong one.
“I think, in my four years, this was the best meet we’ve swam right after training trip,” senior Suzanne Bessire said. “We were really tired, but we raced really hard. I think it was really positive in that way.”
“It was a good sign that we’re in a good state right now, and we just need to keep working hard until we taper down for championship meets,” senior Courtney Whyte said.
In preparation for this weekend’s two-day meet and the rest of the season going forward, the Irish have begun to change their practice routine, putting a greater emphasis on technique and other, more skill-oriented aspects following the focus on conditioning during their training trip, they said.
“We’ve started doing some more technical stuff, which we haven’t really worked on too much this season,” Bessire said. “We’re doing a lot of relay starts, turn work and focusing on technique all for [the] ACC and [NCAA] championships.”
The Irish are looking to come away with two victories this weekend, especially against two ranked opponents. However, Whyte said she believes it is just as important that they learn more about themselves and begin to finalize positions as the bigger meets approach.
“Going into this meet, we’re really just trying to get a lot of information for ourselves,” Whyte said. “[Indiana and Wisconsin] are two very competitive teams, and we want to do our best against them, but I think that at this point in the season, we need to be figuring out who’s going to fit in what events and who’s going to fit in what relays for our ACC travel squad and also NCAAs.”
The Irish are set to dive in against the Hoosiers and Badgers in Madison, Wisconsin, at 6 p.m. today and finish the dual meet Saturday at 11 a.m.