Irish men finish first, women second in Senior Day meet
Jack Concannon | Wednesday, February 1, 2017
Notre Dame hosted the Shamrock Invitational swim tournament over the weekend — another tournament in preparation for ACC championships later in February.
It was the final home meet for Notre Dame’s seniors. The No. 22 men’s swimmers picked up a quality win, beating Wisconsin by 185.5 points. Grand Canyon University and Missouri State University finished third and fourth, earning 721 and 514.5 points, respectively.
The women’s squad was edged out by No. 15 Wisconsin team in a highly competitive matchup. The team finished above Grand Canyon University, University of Nebraska and Clemson University to take second place.
“This race simulated an ACC and NCAA format to get a last bit of racing in before we head into our conference [ACC] championship,” Irish head coach Mike Litzinger said. “This meet became about more than that, though, as this was the final time that Notre Dame’s seniors would swim at home.
“After four years of intercollegiate competition and sacrifice, it was great for us to be able to honor their commitment. We had a great send off for them — it was a really poignant moment for us to be able to honor our seniors.”
Perhaps fueled by the emotional energy of the final race in South Bend, Litzinger called this race “without question the fastest race in Shamrock Invitational history.”
“There were nineteen pool records set, six of which were set by the Irish,” Litzinger said.
In addition to the speed in the pool, the Irish men had a spectacular diving day. In the 3-meter diving, junior Joe Coumos, senior James Lichtenstein and junior Peter Myers took the first three spots. The 1-meter diving had four Irish divers finish in the top six, with Coumos winning his second first-place diving finish of the weekend.
Coumos redshirted last season to train for Olympic Diving Trials, and he is back with a vengeance this season. His wins in the 3-meter and 1-meter diving competition were a crucial factor in the Irish winning the Invitational.
Similarly, the Irish women posted strong relay times, which count for double the points of single races, throughout the Invitational. The 800-meter freestyle relay team made up of freshmen Abbie Dolan, Lauren Heller and Reilly Lanigan, and sophomore Kyra Sarazen set a pool record of 7:15.11 to claim the top spot.
The 400-meter women’s relay team also posted a strong performance.
“Sophomore Sofia Revilak anchored that relay for us,” Litzinger said. “She had to swim against [Badgers sophomore] Cierra Runge, who is a gold medalist from last summer’s Olympics. For her to lose by just a couple one hundredths of a second spoke highly of Sofia’s competitive drive there.”
Both the men’s and women’s swim teams posted excellent times in this meet, but there is little time to celebrate. All eyes remain on ACC championships in two weeks in Atlanta.
“We’re going to be in great shape going into that meet,” Litzinger said. “Taking over a Notre Dame team that finished sixth in the league, it’s difficult to improve your placing after just one year of recruiting. Given the work that our team has put in, I think we have a great chance to improve our placing. The ultimate goal is to win the meet, but that’s a process that’ll take time and work. We’re going to give it our best shot come February.”