Squad falls to Indiana, Kentucky
Nate Moller | Thursday, October 10, 2019
Notre Dame traveled to Lexington, Kentucky, on Wednesday to face off against two quality teams in Indiana and Kentucky. Both the men’s and women’s squads struggled against the competition.
Head Coach Mike Litzinger said some of the circumstances around the meet were far from ideal. The race took place at 10 a.m. — an atypical time for a meet. Additionally, the team has had little rest between competitions.
“We swam against Florida State on Friday night and then all of a sudden Tuesday afternoon we’re turning around to travel and compete again. That’s a little bit unusual,” Litzinger said.
There were some good signs, he said, indicating that both teams should be able to compete on the national stage by the end of the season.
“There were some great takeaways,” Litzinger said. “It’s early in the season, and we are in a period of preparation and training that is all pointing towards the end of the year.”
Litzinger said the intensity of training will be ramped up for both teams over the next two weeks in order to prep for a meet against Purdue on Oct. 25.
“We’re in that stage of training where we are grinding and working out our aerobic capacity, which includes a lot of mileage and long hours in the pool,” he said. “We are going to continue that through the Fall.”
Litzinger said he was impressed with the performances of sophomore Zach Yeadon, who won both of his events, and freshman Coleen Gillilan, who placed first in the 100-meter butterfly and the 200-meter individual medley. Gillilan’s times are among the current fastest in the country.
“To see [Gillilan] enjoy the big competition and to stand up and beat kids who finaled at NCAAs a year ago in those events is pretty exciting,” Litzinger said. “It should be fun to see what she can do in the future.”
Litzinger said he hopes his young team learned from this meet. On the men’s side, there are 14 freshmen, which is over half of the roster.
“When you are bottom heavy on the underclassmen, these situations are new experiences for them: to be away, to have to travel six and a half hours on a bus and get up and perform,” he said. “Our younger swimmers are learning on the job so to speak.”
Although both squads started slowly in the meet, both teams closed the gap score wise during the second half of the meet. Litzinger said in the future, to beat strong teams, the teams will have to come out firing on all cylinders.
“Our diving the first board was not nearly as successful as the second round, and the second round they got it together and did their thing,” Litzinger said. “We got jumped on a little bit, but we responded well.”
Litzinger said he was proud of his teams for their second half performances.
“They’re not going to quit. They’re not going to give up. We challenged them to make something out of the second half of the meet,” Litzinger said.
Going forward, Litzinger said he will use the meet results to dictate training and determine the race strategy for Purdue and beyond.
Going forward, Litzinger said the teams are right where they want to be. All of the meets leading up to the ACC and NCAA championships will be used as preparation and stepping stones. Litzinger said he is confident both teams will be competing with the best teams in the country by the end of the season.
“I think we are in good shape,” he said. “We have a heavy training block coming in through the midterm break. We are looking forward to hunkering down, fixing some mistakes and getting to work.”