Irish set to begin season with meet against FSU
Observer Sports Staff | Thursday, October 3, 2019
Notre Dame aquatics is set to kick off its season Friday against Florida State. Coming off of a record season and off-season, the Irish said they are ready to face the challenges of the year ahead.
At the helm for the Irish swim team this year is head swim coach Mike Litzinger. This is Litzinger’s fifth year at Notre Dame. In that time, he has been to both the ACC and NCAA Championships. Under his leadership, Notre Dame has sent swimmers to the NCAA Championships for the last three seasons.
Coaching the diving team this year is veteran coach Caiming Xie. This is Xie’s 42nd year as a diving coach and 25th as head diving coach at Notre Dame. He has helped coach Notre Dame divers to multiple Big East Championships, All American nominations and NCAA Championships.
This year, the Notre Dame swimming and diving squads have a full schedule ahead of them. The Irish are set to compete at home this weekend before competing in 11 straight away competitions. The team will not compete in home waters again until Jan. 24 at the Shamrock Invitational.
The Irish men’s team set four different program records last season in the 100-meter backstroke, 200-meter fly, 400-meter individual medley and 800-meter free relay. The team will be looking to break these and other records in the upcoming meets this season.
There are four seniors on the men’s team this upcoming season. Nick Milikich, Jack Montesi, Rex Riley and Aaron Schultz are set to lead this year.
The men’s team possesses a great deal of youth this year. After a successful first year swimming for the Irish, the class of 12 sophomores shows promise. Led by Team USA representative Zach Yeadon, what the Notre Dame team lacks in age they make up for with depth and talent.
On the women’s side, the team set nine different program records last season. The Irish women broke seven individual and two relays records — the 100-meter free, 200-meter free, 1000-meter free, 1650-meter free, 200-meter backstroke, 100-meter fly, 200-meter fly, 200-meter medley relay and 800-meter free relay. Some of the women’s records date back to as early as 2010. This year’s team is looking top them all.
This season, there are five seniors on the women’s team: Clare Andrews, Abbie Dolan, Lauren Heller, Erin Isola and Reilly Lanigan. These seniors account for some of the team’s top performers and will be looking to make a splash on everyone’s radar this year.
Similar to the men’s team, the Irish women also have young talent. The women’s team is largely comprised of new faces, with 11 freshman swimmers being added to the roster for the season. At the end of last season, Coach Litzinger expressed particular excitement about freshman Coleen Gillilan and what she will bring to the table for the program.
As the season commences, the Irish aim to top all of last year’s ACC and NCAA achievements. The meet against Florida State is set to start at 5 p.m. Friday at Rolfs Aquatics Center.