The Notre Dame women have had a topsy-turvy month, with both their head coach and assistant coach leaving the program, but with the legendary Tim Welsh holding off retirement to take over on an interim basis, they’ve already landed their first commitment of the fall.
Ellie Berdusco, from the great distance program of the Sarasota YMCA Sharks, committed to Notre Dame this week. Berdusco also races at Saint Stephens Episcopal School in Bradenton.
Berdusco has U.S. Open cuts in every event 200 yards or longer: 1:48.03 in the 200, 4:47.17 in the 500, 9:57.9 in the 1000, and 16:37.0 in the 1650 freestyles.
She’ll be a welcome addition to the Notre Dame distance group that really needs the help. Their fastest 500 freestyler last year was 4:52, and their fastest miler was just 17:04 – over 90 seconds behind the NCAA Champion Brittany MacLean.
Berdusco should also have the opportunity to immediately join Notre Dame’s 800 free relay that was 23rd at NCAA’s last year.
While the Irish were thin in the distance freestyles last year, they already began to address the problem with the recruiting class that joined the program two weeks ago. Among those who will become Berdusco’s training partners are Molly Treble (4:47/9:50/16:32) and Mary Hinton (4:59.3/10:14.96/17:09.63).
Berdusco’s long course results include finishing 30th in the 1500 and 31st in the 800 free at Junior Nationals last month.