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Sports

Swim and dive heads to Lexington for dual meet

| Wednesday, October 9, 2019

The swimming and diving squad will face off against Indiana and Kentucky this Wednesday in Lexington, Kentucky in what marks the second competition of the season. Last week, both teams took care of business against ACC foe Florida State. Head coach Mike Litzinger says the team will look to build on its first win. 

“It is always great to open up with a win, so you want to continue the excitement and momentum from that win from one to the next,” Litzinger said.

The meet will take place at 10 in the morning, an unconventional time for a meet. Litzinger stated that having the right attitude leading up to the meet is key, especially for a meet like this.

“Usually our kids are in class at 10 a.m. The key is to have a really good mindset. We need to walk into the meet feeling really positive and turn on that competitive switch,” he said. “It doesn’t matter what time it is or where the meet is at, we have to compete. It’s really important to put that mindset to use.”

Although every meet is important, the team will use this as a build up race for future postseason meets. Coach Litzinger said this race, among other dual meets this year, will be treated as a race rehearsal for the bigger competitions.

“Everyone of our dual meets is a lead up and practice for the ACC Championships and the NCAA Championships,” Litzinger said. “Of course there is strategy involved. There are a certain number of points needed to win the meet. We will all take a look at that, but at the end of the day, we’re trying to practice race strategy, put our great training into use and put together a great team effort.”

The team will be bringing many of its top athletes to the meet. Some of the top competitors include sophomore Zach Yeadon (distance), sophomore Austin Flaute (diving), senior Jack Montesi (backstroke), freshman Max Miranda (butterfly), and sophomore Josh Bottelberghe (breaststroke) on the men’s side. On the women’s side, senior Abbie Dolan, who competes in multiple events, and freshman Coleen Gillilan will be competing. 

“[Gillilan] is outstanding already and has the fastest time in the country in the 200 meter individual medley right now which is really nice,” Litzinger said. “We are looking for those particular people in those events to step up and contribute pretty hard for us.”

Litzinger also said that the women’s dive team is strong across the board.

“We probably have one of the strongest dive teams on the women’s side since I’ve been at Notre Dame competing this Wednesday,” he said.

Litzinger is also excited to see some of the talented freshmen compete at the meet. He is excited to see how they will adjust to the college level competition. 

“The speed of everything is very intimidating, and they have to adjust to that,” Litzinger said. “In high school, you may have the opportunity to swim some off events and not put forth your very best effort all the time because you can easily beat a team. In college you have to be on your game every time. I think they found that out at last week’s meet. I think they have learned how to put some pressure on themselves, and take those steps forward.”

The swim and dive teams have lofty goals set for themselves this season. Litzinger said that dual meets like this one are treated as steps along the way to the championship meets. 

 “The goal is to perform at our highest level at the NCAA championships,” Litzinger said. “Beyond that we have already had 15 athletes qualify for the US Olympic trials, and we want to keep adding to that number, and prepare for that meet in late June.”

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