The Notre Dame Fighting Irish hosted Cleveland State on Saturday night in a dual meet as both teams closed their regular season in South Bend, Indiana. The two have a friendly regional relationship, with a lot of respect between the coaching staffs, making it thus a fitting opponent for the final meet of Notre Dame men’s head coach Tim Welsh before he rides off into the sunset.
The Fighting Irish swept both meets, with a women’s score of 162-124 and a men’s final score of 204.5-94.5.
No one has been as vocal in celebration of his coach’s accomplishments across their social media platforms this week as has senior Frank Dyer, who also celebrated his swan song at Rolfs on Saturday, and with good reason. Welsh and Dyer have rewritten the Notre Dame Fighting Irish record books in the last four years.
Coming into this meet, he’d already been the 5 fastest times in school history in the 50 free, the fastest times in school history in the 100 free, the 11 fastest times in school history in the 200 free, and the 7 fastest times in school history in the 500 free. He’s also the school record holder in the 100 fly, a race that he’s only really gotten into during his senior year.
Before competition was done on Saturday, though, he’d mark his name onto one more record, swimming only two races on the day to make sure he had plenty of energy for the swim. Dyer in the meet’s first men’s individual event, was a 9:11.93 in the 1000 yard free, which breaks the old school record of 9:13.41, set by James McEldrew in 2012, by well over a second. That’s only the third time in his career that he’s swum the race, and he’d hovered in the 9:20’s the rest of those swims.
That will be a big confidence boost, even in an event he won’t swim at the conference or NCAA level, for Dyer going toward the ACC Championships. He split 4:34-4:37 in the race, meaning that he’s done more than enough “work” and a nice little shave and taper should bring his speed for an outstanding 200 and 500 free.
Other good swims for Notre Dame’s men’s squad included Zach Stephens, who is a sprint freestyler/breaststroker, and won the 50 in 20.80 ahead of Cleveland State’s Alex Lewis. Cameron Miller won the 100 breaststroke in 55.98, running away from the field.
Not to be left out of the excitement, it was senior day for the Notre Dame women as well, and their star senior Kelly Ryan ended her dual meet career with an individual win in the 100 back. She swam a 57.12 to beat a 57.47 from teammate Courtney Whyte.
Picking up a pair of individual wins for the Notre Dame women was junior Emma Reaney. She took the 100 free in 51.93 and the 200 fly in 2:01.17. Neither event is a primary for her, but both are quality performances for her in off events.