Notre Dame to conclude regular season at Ohio State Winter Invitational
Jimmy Ward | Thursday, February 14, 2019
The Notre Dame swim and dive team will conclude its regular season in Columbus, Ohio, this weekend at the Ohio State Winter Invitational beginning Saturday at McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion.
Notre Dame will only be sending swimmers and divers who are not competing in the ACC Championships that start Wednesday. The Irish women were recently ranked 16th in the TYR-Top 25 CSCAA Coaches poll, while the men are currently sitting at 19th in the same poll. The meet will officially mark the end of the regular season as the team will shift its focus toward the postseason. Irish head coach Mike Litzinger spoke of the great opportunity this meet offers to those competing in it.
“It is a great opportunity for our athletes that are not going to the ACC [Championships] to finish their season and go to a prelim final Invitational meet where we will get the chance to see them put their hard work and effort to good use,” Litzinger said.
Those not competing at Ohio State this weekend will stay in South Bend and continue training for the ACC Championships. However, those competing this weekend will not be overshadowed, as Litzinger believes end-of-the-year meets can be great springboards for future success.
“The reality of an end-of-the-year meet like this, at Ohio State and then again at ACC the next two weekends is, ‘This is your opportunity to qualify for NCAA individuals,’” Litzinger said. “And normally, we use this end-of-the-year meet at Ohio State for kids who are taking that next step to that ACC level, so usually we send younger athletes that don’t have that kind of experience yet. What I’m really looking for this weekend is for those athletes to shine and to show they can compete at the ACC level. And some of our very best athletes in [the] past three years have gone on right from this meet to go to the NCAA and ACC championships and become very successful.”
Litzinger also spoke on the importance of the chemistry shared between teammates and how the team has come together as a whole this year.
“We finished our dual meet season — the women were undefeated, the guys are really gelled and had a great year — so now that attitude flips into a different mindset, though. The team shrinks to 18, and things get a lot more intense,” Litzinger said. “We’re all focused on performing very well at a championship, but as this squad has nearly reached the end of the year, they knew each other’s strengths and weaknesses and they are ready to generate a lot of energy and excitement, so I would say that our team chemistry is at its peak right now.”
The Ohio State Winter Invitational takes place Saturday and Sunday at McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion and will begin at 10 a.m. on both days. After their concluding meet of the regular season, the Irish will head to Greensboro, North Carolina, to compete in the ACC Championships.