Irish prepared for Ohio State Invitational this weekend
Inigo Yturralde | Thursday, November 21, 2019
Coming up on the midway point of the season, the Irish will be traveling to compete in the Ohio State Invitational this upcoming weekend. The meet will take place over the course of three days, starting on Thursday and ending Saturday.
Head coach Mike Litzinger gave some insight into the atmosphere that is to be expected at this Ohio State meet.
“This meet is one of many around the country that is considered a mid-season invitational. A lot of university teams and high-level Division I teams try to cap their fall season off by competing at these invites,” Litzinger said. “It is a prelims and finals invite. Basically everybody swims in the morning and they narrow it down to the top-30 or so at night. Ohio State has traditionally been a very competitive invite. It gives us a great pulse on where we are nationally. It gives us an opportunity to perform at a high level in the fall and to show off what we have done this fall in training. Expectations are pretty high.”
This season, Notre Dame has a lot to boast about. The men’s team is currently ranked 13th in the nation and the women’s team is ranked 17th, according to the CSCAA Coaches poll.
It can be expected that many top non-ACC opponents will be at the invitational this weekend. Litzinger expressed his feelings about the high level of competition that the team has been preparing for.
“On the men’s side, it will be Ohio State, Virginia Tech, Kentucky, Notre Dame and Yale. On the women’s side, it will be those teams, with the addition of Ohio University, University of Buffalo and UCLA as well,” Litzinger said.
Of these teams, four of them are nationally ranked in both the men’s and women’s divisions.
Arriving at this semi-culminating point of the season was a product of hard work and determination from the Notre Dame teams. A lot has changed from the start of the season. Litzinger believes that the team is ready to be put to the test against tough competition.
“Our mission this year and always has been that we are going to work pretty hard through the fall and with that heavy training load, we want to see what the racing gives us. So, this is an opportunity to put ourselves in a championship format,” Litzinger said. “Up until this point I think that we have been progressing very well. Our men have 14 freshmen. That is well over half of our team. They have been doing a nice job being led by the upperclassmen. On the women’s side, we have a really great senior leadership crew that has been doing a fantastic job. It has been a real solid effort throughout the women’s program – from the diving boards all the way down to the relays, in terms of us being successful this year.”
As Litzinger mentioned, this year’s freshmen make up a very large percentage of the men’s team. That being said, they have done a phenomenal job of integrating themselves into the team’s culture and strategy.