Dec. 6, 2013
IOWA CITY, Iowa – The University of Notre Dame men’s swimming and diving team posted three school-record times Friday on its way to outpacing the field with 346 points on day one of the Iowa Hawkeye Invitational at the Iowa Campus Recreation and Wellness Center. Iowa checked in with 267 points for second place, followed by Denver with 197 points and Milwaukee with 76 points.
The Irish began the meet with a flurry during the preliminary qualifying morning session. Junior All-American Zach Stephens was the top overall qualifier in the 200 IM, swimming a school-record time of 1:44.34 in the event. Stephens broke Bill Bass’ previous program-best effort of 1:44.81 that was set at the 2012 BIG EAST Championships during the qualifying heat.
Stephens and senior co-captain Colin Babcock ultimately shared the top spot in the final heat of the event Friday night, swimming matching times of 1:46.48 for first-place Irish points. Freshman Kevin Bradley (1:48.41, fifth place), senior Bertie Nel (1:48.53, sixth place) and junior Patrick Olson (1:48.90, eighth place) rounded out the Notre Dame competitors in the ‘A’ final.
The Irish completed the day one relay sweep with a historic 400 medley heat, as sophomore Bogac Ayhan, junior Cameron Miller, senior two-time All-American Frank Dyer and Stephens broke the top program mark in the event by clocking a 3:11.15 for top race points. Friday’s effort surpassed the clip of 3:11.50 set at the 2013 NCAA Championships by Ayhan, Dyer, Bass and Chris Johnson.
Ayhan’s 47.80 100 back lead-off split also broke the Notre Dame record in the distance that was previously set by Petar Petrovic at the 2011 BIG EAST Championships.
Freshman Tom Anderson swam the then fastest Notre Dame time of the season in the 500 freestyle preliminary round, touching the wall in 4:24.73 to punch his ticket to the ‘A’ final heat. Matthew DeBlasio (4:25.13), Brennan Jacobsen (4:25.28) and Trent Jackson (4:26.36) also surpassed the previous season-best in the event for the Irish to qualify for the top evening heat.
Dyer re-set the team’s top 500 free time during the evening’s ‘B’ final, touching in with an NCAA B-cut time of 4:19.69 to pace all 24 swimmers competing in final heats. Junior Kevin Hughes scored runner-up points for Notre Dame with a time of 4:23.32, with Jacobsen (4:25.10) and Jackson (4:26.22) claiming third and fourth place, respectively.
Notre Dame earned a victory in the opening final relay of the evening session, as the ‘A’ entry of Stephens, Dyer, Babcock and Bradley swam a season-best 1:20.16 to claim gold in the 200 free relay. The lineup of sophomore Matthew Buerger, Olson, Ayhan and sophomore Nicholas Sim added an exhibition swim of 1:23.31.
Freshman diver Joe Coumos added another top result off the 3-meter board Friday, posting a career-best score of 398.20 points to take first place. Juniors Michael Kreft (363.25, second place) and Nick Nemetz (350.90, third place) joined Coumos with podium finishes, while junior Ted Wagner recorded a total score of 277.85 points.
The second day of competition at the Iowa Hawkeye Invitational is scheduled to begin Saturday at 11 a.m. (ET) at the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center with preliminary heats. Live results for the remainder of the invitational are available at hawkeyesports.com.