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Lindauer talks Ohio State Invite, season goals

Notre Dame swim and dive was back in action this week. The swimmers traveled to the Ohio State Invitational and divers went down south for the Texas Diving Invitational. The team’s performance this weekend pleased head coach Chris Lindauer, as several swimmers posted top times and podium finishes. The four-day ordeal was a fitting preview for the schedule of ACCs and NCAAs that will take place later this season.

“It was really a full week affair with travel on Wednesday and competition Thursday, Friday, Saturday. We just got home this [Sunday] morning,” Lindauer said. “It takes a lot out of everybody but overall we performed very well. We were super successful both on the men’s and women’s side.” 

The Irish competed against teams such as Ohio State University, Indiana University, Virginia Tech, University of Kentucky, University of Cincinnati, Yale University, and Lindenwood University. The men placed third overall, falling to Ohio State and Indiana who were both top 10 teams last year. Senior Jack Hoagland dominated for the Irish, capturing wins in both the 400 IM (3:43.52) and the 500 freestyle (4:14.24).

“I think Jack Hoagland getting two wins against this field of competition is really impressive,” Lindauer said “They’re wins against super competitive opponents but the times he posted are among the top in the country. He’s at an elite level.”

Sophomore Chris Guiliano also had a strong showing, claiming runner-up status in the 50 freestyle (19.30) as well as third in the 100 freestyle (42.50). Guiliano put up performances against “top, top-notch competition” as Lindauer phrased it. Giuliano’s times, like Hoagland’s, are able to compete with almost anyone in the country.

On the women’s side, senior Coleen Gillilan was runner-up in both the 100 (52.24) and 200 butterfly (1:55.54). These early-season times are just off of Gillilan’s lifetime bests.

“She is really coming off of some adversity as she had shoulder surgery in the spring,” Lindauer said. “To see her bounce back and be so competitive on a good track for ACCs and NCAAs is really exciting.” 

Collectively, the relays performed highly this weekend for both men and women. The outcome pleased Lindauer, especially so early in the season.

“I think just collectively, when we look at all of our relays the majority – if not all of our relays – are faster than what they were last year at this time in the year,” Lindauer said. “Even some of them were faster than what they went at ACC Championships in February, which is really rare; you don’t usually get that.” 

This invitational was the Irish freshmen’s first glimpse of competing at a high-level college invite. Several freshmen had lifetime bests this past weekend. A few were even able to make the A-finals — something promising for young talent on the team. Lindauer commented on the quick adjustment they had to make, as competition picked up so early in the season.

“If you think about when we started in late August, we are about 2.5-3 months of training in which isn’t that much in the swimming world,” Lindauer said. “So being in this position where our freshmen are prepared to compete at this level so soon — not only our freshmen but our whole team –I think is unique. For our freshmen to learn NCAA swimming, you know this is not high school swimming, this is not club swimming. This is men and women competing at the highest level. There’s Olympians at our meet this weekend. Just for them to understand the big picture and get a sneak peek of what ACCs and NCAAs are going to be like.”

Viewing NCAAs as the finish line is a priority for Lindauer and the rest of the team. Being a top 25 program is also a priority for Lindauer. And it is something he feels the Irish can accomplish this year. The men are currently ranked No. 22 out of 25 following the meet.

“For us it’s all about NCAAs and how we can put up some points and be a top 25 program, Lindauer said. “It shocked me that Notre Dame has never had a team finish in the top 25 at NCAAs, so that’s a massive goal and I think we’ll be knocking on the door there on both sides. We are extremely competitive and aware of that goal and that’s the target we are aiming for.”

Adjusting to the culture and new environment has been a change for Lindauer and the team. Lindauer describes the experience as positive, but with “a lot of learning.” Lindauer also commends the senior class for their leadership and setting an example of excellence. 

“I am also very proud of the seniors,” Lindauer said. “Teams tend to go how seniors go so they are really the frontline of echoing our mission. They are sharing those goals. They are doing a phenomenal job of senior leadership to share that mission. Our seniors and our captains but it takes much more of the senior captains to lead the way.

Next up for the Irish is the U.S. Open, taking place from Nov. 30 to Dec. 3 in Greensboro, North Carolina. Being a long-course meter and international meet, the Open will bring top talent from around the world. It should allow teams an opportunity to see where they are at from a long-course perspective. With Olympic Trials on the horizon in June of 2024 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana, a select group of Irish swimmers with have the opportunity to gun for trials cut times.

“This will be our first long-course opportunity with our team,” Lindauer said. “We are only bringing a select few. We have about 10 going, with various reasons why we picked that party. It’s really a first opportunity to see where we are at from a long course perspective, which is a different course, different competition than college swimming.”

Lindauer enjoys being a college swim coach for the diversity it brings, especially as an Olympic year approaches. 

“Being a college swim coach is unique because you have college swimming, but you also have this international level,” Lindauer said. “We want to play at our level — at the highest level. So meets like the U.S. Open are great opportunities for our team and also to put up times and some opportunities to get some Olympic Trial cuts. It’s an extremely lofty goal right now, but a dream’s a dream. 

Contact Madeline Ladd at mladd2@nd.edu

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ND Swim and Dive fall to Louisville to kick off home slate

Irish Swim and Dive saw defeat in their first home matchup of the season against No. 10 Louisville — new Irish head coach Chris Lindauer’s former team — this past Friday.

The men fell 172-128, while the women were topped 191-109. Nevertheless, Notre Dame was still able to post nine individual victories, with three of them from diving.

Senior Jack Hoagland was the only Irish double event winner of the meet, capturing the first Irish win of the meet in the 1000 freestyle with a time of 9:04.86. Later in the meet, Hoagland also found the wall first in the 500 freestyle in a 4:23.31 to bring his individual victory count to five this season. Sophomore Madelyn Christman gained another victory in the 100 backstroke (54.40). Freshman Tommy Janton added another backstroke victory, capturing the men’s 200 in 1:45.33.

The Irish were victorious in both the men’s and women’s 200 butterfly. Senior Coleen Gillilan narrowly found the wall first in the 200 butterfly with a 1:59.12, winning by just .06 seconds. Fellow senior Cason Wilburn secured a win for the men in 1:47.37.

Graduate student and Louisville transfer Colton Paulson competed for the first time against his former school. Paulson was narrowly out-touched in the 100 freestyle (44.03) and also took second place in the 200 freestyle (1:36.94). Sophomore Chris Guiliano saw the podium a few times this meet. Guiliano had a close second-place finish in the 50 freestyle (19.98) as well as a third-place finish in the 100 freestyle (44.10). 

For the divers, graduate student Allie Klein placed first in the 3-meter for the women. Freshman Daniel Knapp also took the event for the men. Sophomore Calie Brady captured the 1-meter to add three individual wins under the belt of the dive team this meet.

Next up for the swimmers is the Ohio State Invitational. The divers, meanwhile, will split off to make the trip down to Austin for the Texas Diving Invitational. Both competitions take place Nov. 17 to Nov. 19, prior to Thanksgiving Break.

Contact Madeline Ladd at mladd2@nd.edu.

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Notre Dame swim and dive prepares for season with redefined outlook

Fall semester has come and (almost) gone, and that means it’s time for the Notre Dame swim and dive team to get back into action. With new leadership under head swimming coach Chris Lindauer and consistency from head diving coach Mark Bradshaw, the Irish have a redefined outlook for their program. Standout returners mixed with new talent puts the team in a promising spot heading into regular season competition. Though the women did not make the NCAA Power Rankings Preseason Top 25, the men clock in at No. 23

The Irish already took to the pool two weeks ago and claimed a double victory against Pittsburgh and Penn State. Both the men’s and women’s teams’ ability to top the Panthers and the Nittany Lions is promising for their seasons’ outlooks.

There are several star returners to both the men’s and women’s swim and dive squads that will help propel the Irish this season. For the men, school record holder Chris Guiliano enters his sophomore season with sights on his own 50 and 100 freestyle records. Junior Tyler Christianson returns for another season after some strong finishes and NCAA times last year. He also gained experience at the FINA World Championships. Junior NCAA qualifiers Kaden Smesko and Stephan Lukashev will certainly add depth to the team. So will seniors Jack Hoagland and NCAA-qualifier Cason Wilburn. As the only diving senior, William Rains will help transition the new diving talent.

For the women, sophomore Madelyn Christman was dubbed “one to watch” by Lindauer himself. Senior Coleen Gillilan is likely to gain points for the Irish in her final season. The women have their sights on NCAA qualifiers this year, as they only sent one (graduated) female swimmer last year. Sophomore diver Calie Brady was also at NCAA’s and continued to impress at this year’s Pitt versus Penn State dual after coming off a standout freshman season. 

New, top-ranked talent also abounds with 10 new freshmen for the men’s swim team and two for the dive team. These newcomers accounted for several top-three finishes at the Pitt versus Penn State tri-meet. As for the women’s side, they welcome six new swimmers — one of them being Coleen Gillilan’s sister, Renee — and one new diver.

With the Irish opening their home slate on Nov. 11 against No. 10 Louisville, it will be all hands on deck. The meet is even more important than meets the eye, though. Lindauer is an alum and the former associate head coach of the Cardinals. Graduate student Colton Paulson is also a former Cardinal. The Cardinals will visit South Bend with three meets under their belt. Thus, they should give the Irish a true test of their depth and performance thus far.

Notre Dame swim and dive has a busy schedule. This differs quite a bit from last year, when several meets were canceled or abridged due to COVID-19 and other issues. After their dual against Louisville, the Irish take to Texas for a weekend with UT-Austin followed by the annual Ohio State Invitational. The U.S. Open rounds things off for 2022.

The Irish resume competition in January 2023 with a Navy-Princeton tri-meet on the docket. The Tim Welsh Classic rounds out the Irish’s regular season as they move on to the ACC Championships in mid-February. Here, the season will end for most. But select men and women will qualify for the NCAA Championships, which are held throughout March. 

With the conglomeration of talent existing on the swim and dive squad, the future is bright for Lindauer and Bradshaw. The performance against Louisville will set the tone for the season, and Irish swimmers and divers new and old are looking for a victory. Friday’s matchup against Louisville, its alumni meeting for the year, begins at 3 p.m. ET at the Rolfs Aquatic Center.

Contact Madeline Ladd at mladd2@nd.edu.