Irish top Northwestern in weekend meet
Observer Sports Staff | Tuesday, January 21, 2020
The No. 17/RV Notre Dame swimming and diving team broke records in its first meet of the new school year. After the women’s team went undefeated Jan. 11 by besting both the University of Iowa and the University of Illinois while the men fell to the Hawkeyes, both teams posted wins over NR/No. 25 Northwestern this past weekend. It was also the first home meet of the 2020 season.
The meet started off well for the Irish with senior fly/backstroke and freestyle swimmer Jack Montesi, sophomore breaststroke swimmer Josh Bottelberghe, sophomore fly/backstroke swimmer Zach Smith and senior fly/back/free/individual medley swimmer Aaron Schultz winning the men’s 400 medley relay. After that, the Irish won both the men’s and women’s 1000 freestyle as freshman freestyle swimmer Jack Hoagland and sophomore fly/individual medley swimmer Luciana Thomas posted first place finishes. Hoagland finished with a time of 9:05.74 minutes and Thomas with a time of 9:57.90.
Several more swimmers would follow suit with victories coming for Notre Dame in the 50 free, 200 free and 200 IM. Then, history was made as freshman fly/breast/intermediate stroke swimmer Coleen Gillilan, who had already recorded a win on the day, broke the Rolf’s Aquatic Center record for the women’s 200 fly in a time of 1:55.94. Hoagland had broken the University of Iowa Aquatic Center record for the men’s 1000 free in the previous meets.
Gillilan, who earned ACC swimmer of the week honors after sweeping all of her heats in the previous meets and setting personal bests in the women’s 200 and 100 fly, would not be the only record setter for the Irish. Junior freestyle swimmer Zach Yeadon led an impressive showing for the Irish in the 500 free heats as he set the pool record with a time of 4:19.30. Second and third place went to Hoagland and sophomore fly/freestyle swimmer Max Miranda, respectively. To wrap up the individual events, Bottelberghe claimed first place honors in the men’s 200 breaststroke.
In the end, Notre Dame’s men and women won by commanding scores of 151 to 92 and 169 to 74, respectively.
Notre Dame continued to have an impressive showing in the diving portion of the competition. Junior Kelly Straub got the divers off to as strong a start as the swimmers, winning the women’s 1-meter with a score of 329.93 and the women’s 3-meter with a score of 307.20. Not to be outdone, sophomore Austin Flaute finished first in the men’s 3-meter with a score of 336.53 and placed second in the 1-meter with a score of 351.60.
The Irish will return to action Friday and Saturday in the Shamrock Invitational at Rolf’s Aquatic Center.