March 29, 2014
AUSTIN, Texas - The University of Notre Dame men's swimming and diving team capped its 2014 season with a 30th-place finish on Saturday after the final session of the NCAA Championships at the Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center. The Irish scored 14 points during the national championship meet, the second-most for a Notre Dame team at the NCAA Championships in program history (15 points, 2012).
Saturday's meet sessions marked the final competitive collegiate event for Notre Dame head coach Tim Welsh, completing the Irish mentor's 29th and final season at the helm of the program. Notre Dame swimmers placed a total of 23 qualifiers to the NCAA Championships during Welsh's tenure, including 20 bids since the 2011 season alone. A total of six All-America honors were garnered by Irish swimmers during the past four NCAA Championship meets.
One Notre Dame program record fell during the three days of racing in Austin, when senior All-American Frank Dyer eclipsed his own mark in the 500 freestyle with a time of 4:17.13 in the preliminary round of the distance on Thursday. Dyer, who earned his second career All-America citation in the 200 freestyle after a fifth-place finish (1:33.43) on Friday night, completed his Irish career this weekend as the program record holder in the 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1000 freestyle events, along with the 100 butterfly and as a member of four different Notre Dame relays.
Dyer was the first swimmer in the water for the Irish on day three of the NCAA meet, competing in the preliminaries of the 100 freestyle. The Loudonville, N.Y. native clocked in with a time of 43.00, missing the cutoff line for Saturday night's `B' final by less than half a second in his final individual collegiate race.
Junior All-American Zach Stephens completed his season in the 200 breaststroke, an event that he set the Notre Dame program record in (1:53.34) during his previous competitive swim at the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Championship last month. Stephens touched the wall in 1:55.74 to place 26th overall.
Junior All-American John Williamson enjoyed his best finish of the championships during the preliminary heats of his signature event, the 200 butterfly. Williamson posted the 24th fastest time in the distance after clocking in at 1:44.01.
Freshman Joe Coumos closed his first collegiate season, and NCAA Championships appearance, in the field of the platform diving discipline. Coumos, just the third men's diver in Notre Dame history to qualify for the NCAA meet, scored 259.30 points on his series of dives to finish in 23rd place.
In the final event of the morning session, the 400 freestyle relay, the Notre Dame entry of Dyer, Stephens, senior co-captain Colin Babcock and sophomore Matthew Buerger placed 21st with a time of 2:55.22. Babcock closed his Notre Dame career, and his first NCAA Championships start, as a member of four Irish relays during the meet, posting a top finish of 19th place with the 800 freestyle relay squad on Friday.
NOTRE DAME AT THE NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS
Notre Dame All-America Honors:
Notre Dame Program Records: