Feb. 28, 2013
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - The Notre Dame men’s swimming and diving team powered its way to an impressive lead on the second night of the 2013 BIG EAST Championships thanks to sweeps in each of the individual events and a second place finish in the lone relay of the night at the IUPUI Natatorium.
The Irish will enter the third day of competition with a comfortable lead, sitting atop the team scoreboard with 367 points and trailed by Louisville, who is in second place with 224 points.
Junior Frank Dyer turned in a night for the ages, winning titles in both the 500 free (4:20.53) and 50 free (19.62). Dyer becomes the first BIG EAST swimmer, male or female, to win both the 50 and 500 free titles over the span of a collegiate career, much less in one meet. Dyer also became the first Irish swimmer to ever win a conference title in an event three times in his career, as he has won the 500 free in each of his three years competing so far.
Dyer led a spectacular finish by the Irish swimmers in the 500 freestyle that included a second place finish by Kevin Hughes (4:23.67) and a third place finish by Brennan Jacobsen (4:23.71). This medal-stand sweep marked the first time in Notre Dame history that the team took the top three places in a single event in a given year at the BIG EAST Championships. Dyer’s performance in the 50 freestyle also lowered his previous team record, which he had reset earlier in the morning.
“Tonight was really about setting the tone for the meet,” said Dyer. “We won the 500 (free), we won the 200 (IM), and we won the 50 (free), and we really established our lead today.”
Not to be outdone, sophomore Zach Stephens powered to victory in the 200 individual medley (1:45.41) to record his first individual BIG EAST title and was joined by Bill Bass (1:45.78) and Colin Babcock (1:46.40), who helped give the Irish a top three sweep, an accomplishment that before tonight and the 500 free had been unthinkable.
“This is a wonderful night for us,” said head coach Tim Welsh. “You’ll go to a lot of swim meets before you see somebody win the 500 and the 50 freestyle in the same night, and that was just an outstanding performance by Frank (Dyer). Tomorrow brings a totally different program, and we came in here wanting to race seven complete sessions, so we need to get up in the morning tomorrow and pick up right where we left off.”
The Irish finished the night with a second place finish in the 200 freestyle relay, recording a time of 1:18.91, a mark that is an NCAA Provisional time. To read more about how relay qualifications for the NCAA Championships has been changed this year, please visit our posting on the topic and associate head coach Matt Tallman’s involvement with it over at the UNDerground blog.
The divers had the day off from competition, and will return tomorrow morning to compete in the preliminary session on the 3-meter boards.
Competition resumes for prelims tomorrow at 10:00am (EST). Live results as well as a live-stream video feed can be found at BigEastSwimming.com.
500 Free: Frank Dyer defended his crown in the mid-distance event, and became the first Irish swimmer to win an event three times in his career ... his time of 4:20.53 is an NCAA B-cut and the fastest time by an Irish swimmer this season ... Kevin Hughes (4:23.67) and Brennan Jacobsen (4:23.71) dueled it out for second place, but they also secured an impressive medal sweep for Notre Dame while posting NCAA B-cuts ... John Nappi (4:25.09) also scored fifth place points for the Irish and teammate Matthew DeBlasio (4:28.55) finished seventh in the championship final ... Jonathon Williamson (4:24.87) finished tenth overall swimming in the consolation final heat, recording an NCAA B-cut in the process.
200 IM: Sophomore Zach Stephens (1:45.41) claimed his first ever individual BIG EAST title as he slipped past teammate Bill Bass (1:45.78) to clinch the top spot ... Bass, competing for the last time in this event at the BIG EAST Championships, leaves with a record of two gold medals and two silver medals, making him one of the most consistent Irish performers in any single BIG EAST event ... Colin Babcock (1:46.40) touched the wall third to give the Irish their second consecutive 1-2-3 sweep of the night ... Cameron Miller (1:49.11) and Patrick Olson (1:50.98) rounded out the Irish activity in the championship final, placing sixth and seventh, respectively ... Bertie Nel (1:49.36) took twelfth place overall swimming in the consolation finals.
50 Free: Frank Dyer claimed his second individual victory of the night (19.62), becoming the first Irish swimmer to ever claim the sprint title at the BIG EAST Championships ... a feat made even more impressive considering he swam and won the 500 freestyle less than an hour before ... the time stands as an NCAA B-cut standard ... John McGinley (20.57) finished tenth overall and Chris Johnson (20.89) placed thirteenth as they both swam in the consolation finals heat.
200 Free Relay: The quartet of Dyer, Stephens, John McGinley, and Bass powered to a thrilling second place finish in the relay, touching the wall in 1:18.91, an NCAA Provisional time ... the mark is just off of the school record that was set last year at the BIG EAST Championships in Pittsburgh (1:18.79).
500 Free: The Irish place an impressive count of five swimmers into the eight-person championship final heat for later tonight ... Kevin Hughes (4:25.24 - 2nd) was the top swimmer for Notre Dame this morning, but he was closely followed by teammates John Nappi (4:25.88 - 3rd), Brennan Jacobsen (4:26.21 - 4th), two-time defending champion Frank Dyer (4:26.36 - 6th) and Matthew DeBlasio (4:26.60 - 8th) ... with only four tenths of a second separating the fourth seed from eighth and a total of two seconds difference between first and eighth, tonight should set up to be a tightly contested race ... Jonathan Williamson (4:29.82 - 10th) will also return to compete in the consolation finals.
200 IM: Notre Dame continued to load up on spots in the championship final, placing another contingent of five swimmers in the top eight spots ... Zach Stephens (1:46.56) claimed the top overall spot, but he was followed closely by teammate and defending champion and meet record holder Bill Bass (1:46.65 - 2nd) as well as Colin Babcock (1:46.83 - 3rd) ... in addition to having the top three seeds tonight, Cameron Miller (1:47.94 - 6th) and Patrick Olson (1:48.29 - 7th) also filled out the rest of the top eight spots ... Bertie Nel (1:50.22 - 12th) will also return to swim in the consolation finals.
50 Free: Frank Dyer blistered through the water in record-setting fashion, stopping the clock in a new team record readout of 19.78 and posting the top time of the morning ... the mark topped Dyer's previous best (and former team record) of 19.84, which he recorded last year at the BIG EAST Championships that were held in Pittsburgh ... John McGinley (20.61 - 11th) and Christopher Johnson (20.65 - 12th) will also come back to swim tonight in the consolation final of the event.
THE IRISH THROUGH DAY TWO:
Notre Dame Victories by Event
Notre Dame Team Records
All-BIG EAST Honors