Notre Dame sweeps last home meet of season
Observer Sports Staff | Tuesday, February 4, 2020
The Notre Dame swimming and diving team capped off an undefeated home season and continued its recent winning streak with five dual-meet victories last weekend. The Irish hosted Michigan State, Ball State and Indiana State.
Notre Dame dominated nearly every event, starting the event with eight-straight victories in the pool, winning the men’s and women’s events in the 200 yard medley relay, 100 yard freestyle, 200 yard freestyle, and the 100 yard backstroke.
After celebrating senior day last weekend, this was Notre Dame’s last home meet and the last meet in which the entire team would compete together.
Michigan State took the top spot in both 100 yard backstroke events, but Notre Dame responded with wins in three more events. The Irish won nearly all the events they competed in in the pool. Each of the eight men’s individual victories came from a different swimmer, while on the women’s team, multiple swimmers recorded two victories, including junior Skylar Fore, who took first in both the 200 yard freestyle and the 100 yard butterfly, and sophomore Luciana Thomas, who won the 500 yard freestyle and the 200 yard butterfly.
On the diving side, Notre Dame won first place in all four events. Senior Erin Isola took first in both the women’s three meter dive and the one meter. Notre Dame would take the top four spots in the women’s three meter and the top three in the one meter. On the men’s side, sophomore Austin Flaute won both events by a sizable margin with very impressive diving.
Among the standout performances for the Irish was that of junior Rachel Wittmer, who anchored the 200 yard medley relay group, bringing home the victory for the squad consisting of herself, junior Carly Quast, freshman Coleen Gillilan and junior Cailey Grunhard. But Wittmer wasn’t finished contributing for the day, as she would go on to win the 100 yard backstroke event.
Plus, two of Wittmer’s teammates from the 200 yard medley, Quast and Gillilan, would go on to win other events of their own, with Quast claiming victory in the 200 yard backstroke and Gillilan winning the 50 yard freestyle event.
In the end, the Irish finished the weekend with impressive victories over their four opponents. The men bested Michigan State by a tally of 181-115 and Ball State 219-78. The women defeated Ball State 212-81, Indiana State 212-81 and Michigan State 194-101.
Additionally, both the men’s and women’s teams were selected for the Scholar All-America honors this weekend. Both sides earned an overall grade point average of above 3.0 during the fall semester, the threshold for the award. The women’s squad finished with a 3.48 GPA, while the men finished with a 3.23. Both teams have been selected for the honor in each semester of head coach Mike Litzinger’s time with the Irish.
Notre Dame heads to Columbus, Ohio, next for the Ohio State Winter Invitational on Feb. 14 for what will be its last meet of the season before the ACC conference championships, which begin Feb. 19 in Greensboro, North Carolina.