Feb. 27, 2013
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - The Irish finished a historic opening night at the 2013 BIG EAST Conference Men's Swimming and Diving Championships, highlighted by qualifying, for the first time, not just one but two relays for the NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships to be held next month. Notre Dame leads all teams following the first day of action, setting the pace with a team score of 133 points, well ahead of second-place Pittsburgh (95 points) and third place Connecticut (92).
The Irish closed out the first night of action on a high note, emphatically claiming the gold medal in the 200 medley relay in an NCAA "A"-cut time of 1:26.33. The quartet of Bogac Ayhan, Cameron Miller, Frank Dyer, and Zach Stephens obliterated the previous team record (1:28.62), which was set only three months ago at the Hawkeye Invitational in Iowa City.
The Irish squad of Dyer, Kevin Hughes, John McGinley and Bill Bass made team history in the 800 free relay (6:23.40), becoming the first men's relay to qualify for the NCAA National Championships, in addition to resetting the school record. The previous best time was 6:24.11, which was set during last year's title run when the league championship was held in Pittsburgh.
Sophomore Nick Nemetz picked up his third All-BIG EAST honor in as many events in his collegiate career, adding a second place finish in the 1-meter dive (310.05) to his gold medal sweep of the 1- and 3-meter diving events at last year's BIG EAST Championships.
The four-day championship event will continue with Thursday's preliminary session at 10:00 am (ET). Live coverage will be available at BigEastSwimming.com.
800 Free Relay: Dyer raced out to an early lead for the Irish, posting a lead-off time of 1:34.17 ... Hughes entered the water next for Notre Dame as Louisville slipped into the lead ... McGinley could not make up any ground on the third leg as the Irish stayed in second place ... Bass brought home the relay, cutting into Louisville's lead but ultimately falling short, as the Irish recorded a second place finish (6:23.40), an NCAA "A"-cut which guarantees the squad a berth in the NCAA Championships next month ... the time bested the previous Notre Dame record (6:24.11), set at last year's BIG EAST Championship by Dyer, Colin Babcock, McGinley and Kevin Overholt.
1-Meter Dive: Nemetz missed out on defending his crown by just over 6 points, accruing All-BIG EAST honors with a second place finish (310.05) ... Michael Kreft (300.35), Ted Wagner (299.80), and Ryan Koter (298.10) placed fourth through sixth, respectively, completing an impressive Irish showing in the event.
200 Medley Relay: Ayhan sprinted out to an early advantage for the team on the backstroke leg ... Miller recorded a sterling breaststroke split of 23.73 to ease the Irish ahead of the competition ... Dyer maintained the lead with a terrific butterfly split before yielding to anchor-leg swimmer Stephens, who held off a late charge by Louisville to secure the first victory (1:26.33) for Notre Dame in the meet ... the swim bested the recently-set team record (1:28.62) which was held by Bertie Nel, Chris Johnson, Dyer, and Stephens ... the swim also was an NCAA "A"-cut time, which ensures the Irish another spot in the NCAA Championships next month.
THE IRISH THROUGH DAY ONE:
All-BIG EAST Honors
800 Free Relay - Frank Dyer, Kevin Hughes, John McGinley, Bill Bass - 6:23.40
1-Meter Dive - Nick Nemetz
200 Medley Relay - Bogac Ayhan, Cameron Miller, Frank Dyer, Zach Stephens - 1:26.33