Irish conclude regular season slate in Columbus
Observer Sports Staff | Wednesday, February 19, 2020
The Notre Dame swimming and diving team concluded its regular season competition this weekend in Columbus, Ohio, at the Ohio State Winter Invitational. The Irish, who start postseason competition Wednesday, finished the meet in Ohio with 11 total event first place finishes.
The Irish sit close to postseason competition, with the women’s team beginning Wednesday at the ACC Championship in Greensboro, North Carolina, and the men’s squad heading to the same venue for the men’s event in one week. That being said, this meet at the end of the season provides an opportunity for a championship-style meet for swimmers who are not competing in the postseason.
The Irish performed well in the pool over the weekend in what they hope will be a precursor to their successes in the conference championship. Both the men’s and women’s 400 free relay squads finished first, with times of 3:00.66 and 3:28.88, respectively. Competing for the women were seniors Kelly Jacob, Sammy Steigerwald and Katie Smith, while freshman Maddy Porter started on the blocks for the Irish.
Jacob also posted a third-place finish in the 100 free with a time of 51.19, while Porter posted a third-place effort in the 200 fly, touching the wall in 2:03.01.
The men’s team consisted of strictly freshman swimmers, Alec DeLong, Topher Stensby, Luke Thornbrue and Liam Hutchinson. The three recorded top finishes in individual events as well. DeLong posted a 44.62 in the 100 free, good for runner-up, followed by Stensby at 44.79 for third and Hutchinson touching in 45.70 in the same event for a fifth-place finish.
Senior Joe Turk took home first place in the 200 back, coming into the finals with the best time from prelims at 1:47.72. Turk improved his time by well over a second in the finals, hitting the wall in 1:46.01. Turk also won the 200 IM with a time of 1:47.67, the 400 IM with a time of 3:50.71 and he got the Irish started in the 400 medley relay, which they would win with a time of 3:17.18. Turk was named ACC Swimmer of the Week for his efforts.
Also competing on the medley relay squad were freshmen Charles Korndorffer and DeLong and junior JP Becker. Becker posted a second place effort in the 200 breast with a 2:00.83. Meanwhile, Korndorffer also took home first place medals in the 200 and 100 fly and the 100 back with times of 1:46.45, 48.16 and 48.68 respectively.
The Irish concluded their regular season slate with this meet and now will be engaged in postseason competition until late March. It starts Wednesday with the Women’s ACC Championship in Greensboro, North Carolina, and will be followed by the men’s championship starting Monday. Both meets will be broadcast live via ACC Network Extra.