Gillilan Swims 1:57.4 200 IM, 1:55.3 200 FL as Notre Dame Wins Shamrock Invite


Team Scores

  1. Notre Dame – 260
  2. Akron – 109

Notre Dame emerged victorious over Akron after the 3 sessions of the Shamrock Invitational this weekend. The meet bares some added significance for Akron this year, as the MAC Championships aren’t set to take place until after NCAAs this year. That being said, if any Akron swimmers, or any MAC swimmer in general, want to qualify for NCAAs, they’ll need to do so before their conference meet.

Notre Dame sophomore Coleen Gillilan won every event she raced in this weekend, including relays. Individually, Gillilan took the 200 IM, 100 fly, 200 fly, and 100 breast. Her first win came in the 200 IM, where she swam a 1:57.46, posting a very quick 33.88 on the breast 50. The swim marks a season best for Gillilan, and is currently 16th in the NCAA this season. It also puts her within a second of her personal best of 1:56.69 from last year’s ACCs. Akron’s Sarah Watson was 2nd in the race, also breaking 2:00, clocking a 1:59.28.

Gillilan then took the 100 fly in 52.46, again narrowly missing her personal best of 52.00. It was Watson again who was closest to Gillilan, swimming a 53.15. Gillilan swam a 52.27 back in December, which stands as her season best. She also won the 200 fly, swimming a 1:55.37, with teammate Luciana Thomas coming in 2nd in 1:57.04. Gillilan’s 1:55.37 was again very close to her personal best, which sits at 1:54.79 from last year’s ACCs. Her time ranks 14th in the NCAA this season.

Gillilan’s other event win came in the 100 breast, where she raced hard against Akron’s Andrea Fischer. Gillilan got out to a very slight lead on the first 50, splitting 28.96 to Fischer’s 29.06, and came home in 32.44 to Fischer’s 32.59. Gillilan’s final time of 1:01.40 was a season best.

Gillilan was also pivotal on the Notre Dame relays, competing on the 200 free, 400 free, 200 medley, and 400 medley. She anchored the 200 free relay with a field-leading 22.38, helping the Fighting Irish to a 1:30.78 finish. Carly Quast led the squad off in 23.19, and was followed by Cailey Grunhard (22.50) and Rachel Wittmer (22.71). They battled the whole way with Akron, who was made up of Sarah Watson (22.83), Victoria Kaufman (22.60), Olivia DeRodes (22.84), and Rachel Schiffli (22.70), resulting in a 1:30.97 finish.

In the 400 free relay, Gillilan anchored again, splitting 49.73, building the lead over Akron, and ensuring an Irish victory. Rachel Wittmer led the team off in 50.43, and was followed by Skylar Fore (49.21), and Carly Quast (50.14), for a 3:19.51. It was Sarah Watson for Akron that posted the fastest split in the field, and did so on the lead-off, swimming a 49.19.

Gillilan also anchored the 200 medley relay, splitting 22.88, which was a full half second slower than she anchored the 200 free relay. Carly Quast led ND off with a 24.76 back split, with Ellie Jew providing a 28.44 breast split, and Cailey Grunhard swimming a 23.19 fly split. Notre Dame finished in 1:39.27, while Akron’s team clocked a 1:39.76. Gillilan switched to breaststroke on the 400 medley relay, splitting 1:00.74. Skylar Fore took over the freestyle leg on that relay, anchoring in 49.78. Carly Quast was again the lead-off, swimming a 53.26, and Cailey Grunhard split 52.12 on the fly leg, for a 3:35.90.

Luciana Thomas was another Irish swimmer to win multiple events. Thomas kicked off her meet by winning the 500 free, posting a 4:46.48, pulling away from teammate Madeline LaPorte on the back half of the race. Thomas and LaPorte were virtually tied at the 250 mark, with Thomas flipping at 2:51.48, and LaPorte 2:51.46. LaPorte ultimately ended up finishing in 4:48.07. Thomas was just under 2 seconds off her personal best of 4:44.55. Thomas went on to win the 400 IM with a 4:13.25, winning by a 6-second margin. The swim was also close to Thomas’ personal best, which sits at 4:11.19.

Akron pulled out a win in the 800 free relay. Sarah Watson led the Zips off with a 1:48.28, establishing a 2.5 second lead heading into the 2nd leg. Astrid Halvorsen dove in next for a 1:50.00 split, with Rachel Sabotin going 3rd with a 1:51.32, and Victoria Kaufman anchored in 1:50.56. Akron finished in 7:20.16, nearly 5 seconds ahead of Notre Dame.

Bayley Stewart swept the backstroke events, establishing a new personal best in the 200 back. In the 200 back, Stewart swam a 1:53.46, dipping under 1:54 for the first time in her career. The swim ranks Stewart 12th in the NCAA this season. In the 100 back, Stewart clocked a 53.35, touching just .03 seconds off her personal best.

Sarah Watson won the 100 free for the Zips, swimming a 49.25. Watson posted the fastest split in the field on both 50s, out-pacing ND’s Skylar Fore (49.99).


NOTRE DAME, Indiana — On Senior Day, the No. 18 Notre Dame women closed out the Shamrock Invitational with a win over RV Akron, 260-109, led by a program record performance from Kelly Straub and pool records from Bayley Stewart and Coleen Gillilan.

Straub set a new pool record for the 1-meter (six dives), scoring a 340.35, which broke the previous record that stood since 2012. Stewart clocked a 1:53.46 in the 200 Back for her pool record, and Gillilan broke her own pool record in the 200 Fly, posting a 1:55.37. On the meet, the Irish women and men combined for seven pool records.

“Before the event today, I challenged Kelly to get that record, more or less just to see how she would react,” head dive coach Mark Bradshaw shared. “That’s one thing she needs to work on is her ability to raise her game a notch in the contest. She did that, obviously, very, very well. From that standpoint, it was great to see. I know it means a lot to her to have that recognition.”

“It’s surreal,” Straub expressed after breaking the record. “All my hard work is finally blossoming into something that I’ve wanted for such a long time. […] The work that I put in, practice in and out of the pool, the weightlifting program, paid off. I have so much respect for my coach. I owe everything to him. He has really helped me blossom into who I am today. My teammates really pushed me. I owe it to them.”

The Irish totaled 10 B-Cut times on the day, bringing the women’s meet total to 12. Overall, Notre Dame’s men and women combined for 21 NCAA B-Cut times over the course of the Shamrock Invitational.

“Bailey Stewart probably punched her ticket to NCAAs, and Coleen probably did the same on the Fly,” head swim coach Mike Litzinger said. “It’s our next wave of leadership as our seniors finish their last home meet off in style. I’m really pleased with how they’ve led, and now we’re starting to see the second wave of kids come through and excel at a high level. That’s really good for our future and the NCAA championships, and we’re proud to know that.”


To start off the morning, the Irish team of Carly Quast, Ellie Jew, Cailey Grunhard and Coleen Gillilan brought home first in the 200 Medley Relay with a 1:39.27. Gillilan got right back in the pool in the next event, winning the 100 Fly with a B-Cut 52.47, as Cailey Grunhard placed third, also notching a B-Cut time (53.36).

Luciana Thomas posted her second win of the weekend, this one coming in the 400 IM with a B-Cut 4:13.25. Freshman Kallie Chelsvig took home the win in the 200 Free from Lane 8, clocking a 1:49.49. She was closely followed by Skylar Fore, who posted a 1:49.52.

Gillilan posted her second individual win of the day, third of the meet, in the 100 Breast with a B-Cut 1:01.40. Bayley Stewart closed out individual events for the morning with a B-Cut 53.35 in the 100 Back, good for first.

In the 800 Free Relay, the team of Thomas, Fore, Madeline LaPorte and Chelsvig placed second, turning in a 7:24.80.


LaPorte kicked off the evening session with a B-Cut 16:25.48 in the 1650 Free, good for first place. Stewart turned in a 1:53.46 in the 200 Back, earning her a NCAA B-Cut and setting a new pool record.

Akron’s Sarah Watson won the 100 Free, followed closely by Fore (49.99) and Rachel Wittmer (50.44). The Zips also won the 200 Breast, as Andrea Fischer clocked a 2:12.33 for first. Notre Dame’s Elizabeth Fry posted a 2:15.54 for second, and Sarah Nicholls touched the wall in 2:15.85 for third.

Gillilan’s pool record came in the 200 Fly, with a B-Cut 1:55.37, as Luciana Thomas (1:57.04) and Megan Deuel (1:58.76) finished second and third, also notching B-Cut times.

In the diving well, Straub’s 340.35 on the 1-meter broke a program and pool record previously held by Jenny Chiang from 2012 (338.25). Straub’s score also cleared the Zone A designation by more than 45 points. Annie Wiese placed second, also notching a Zone A score of 295.58.

“Annie has been consistent all year,” Bradshaw noted. “I know within 10 points what she’s going to do in every contest. She’s not diving at her absolute best right now, but she’s not too far off. We’re looking at the next month, and she’s going to be right there.”

Finishing out the night, Notre Dame’s Wittmer, Fore, Quast and Gillilan won the 400 Free Relay with a 3:19.51.


No. 18/18 Notre Dame will head to West Virginia next week for a dual meet Jan. 29-30.




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