Guiliano Drops 41.63 100 Free, 18.58 Relay Split to Lead ND Sweep of Pitt, Penn State

by Laura Rosado 25

October 26th, 2023 ACC, College, News, Previews & Recaps


  • October 20-21, 2023
  • Rolfs Aquatics Center, South Bend, IN
  • SCY
  • Results
  • Team Scores
    • Women: ND 194, Pitt 159
    • Women: ND 232.5, Penn State 120.5
    • Women: Pitt 199, Penn State 154
    • Men: ND 177.5, Pitt 175.5
    • Men: ND 257, Penn State 96
    • Men: Pitt 256, Penn State 97

The Fighting Irish hosted Penn State and ACC rival Pitt last weekend. While the ND men and women emerged from the weekend victorious, Pitt had a fantastic showing. The Pitt men kept pace with the Fighting Irish right up until the end, falling short by only two points in the final score. The Pitt women showed excellent top-end speed, winning 10 of 19 contested events outright including a sweep of the four relays. For their efforts, they walked away with their first win over Penn State since 1989.

Notably, Notre Dame was missing graduate transfer Abdelrahman Elaraby, who just competed in the World Cup series, and senior Tyler Christianson, who was busy representing Panama at the Pan American Games. Elaraby would have provided a boost to ND’s relays and been another top scorer in the sprint free events alongside Guiliano. Christianson, a breaststroker, would have been a factor in those events along with the IM races. All four breaststroke and IM races ultimately went to Pitt.

Men’s Recap

After a breakout summer, Worlds medalist Chris Guiliano continues to shine. He was a member of all four of Notre Dame’s relays and also picked up wins in the 50 (19.35), 100 (42.16) and 200 free (1:33.75) with dominating margins of victory. He was the only swimmer to break 20 seconds in the 50 from a flat start, and the only swimmer to break 19 seconds with a flying start (18.58) anchoring the 200 medley.

Like their female counterparts, the Pitt men won 10 of 19 events. Senior Max Matteazzi was responsible for three of those wins, taking both the 200 IM (1:45.64) and 400 IM (3:47.87) as well as leading a 1-2 finish with fifth-year teammate Jerry Chen in the 200 breast (1:56.41, 1:56.78). Chen also won the 100 breast (53.81).

The points race between Notre Dame and Pitt came down to the last relay. While Guiliano (41.63), joined by Tommy Janton (42.91), Luka Cvetko (43.73), and Cason Wilburn (42.92), put up a dominating performance to clinch the meet, it’s impressive that Pitt, whose team finished 33rd at NCAAs last season, was able to bring the fight down to the last event against a surging Notre Dame. The Notre Dame men are coming off of an 18th place finish at NCAAs (a program record) and are projected to top that come March with the emergence of Guiliano on the international stage and a number of high-impact transfers.

Penn State’s highest finishes over the two-day meet came from sophomore Andrew Christensen, who placed 3rd in the 1000 free, and freshman Sean Honey, who took 3rd in the 200 IM.

Other highlights:

  • In the divewell, Pitt diver Dylan Reed won the 3-meter (412.95) and teammate Cameron Cash won the 1-meter (391.90).
  • Fifth-year Tanner Filion, who transferred to Notre Dame from D3 Whitman College, has already shown improvement since arriving in South Bend. While he was off his best time in the 200 back at this meet (1:42.82), which stands as the D3 record (1:41.17), he went best times in the 50 free (20.75) and 100 free (43.52).

Women’s Recap

The Pitt women kicked off the meet with a school record in the 400 medley relay. Claire Jansen (53.85), Jessie Strong (1:01.36), Sophie Yendell (52.06), and Avery Kudlac (49.17) combined for a time of 3:36.44. That shaved 0.1 off their previous record, established at the 2023 ACC Championships with Jansen and Yendell returning. The duo went on to win both of their individual events, with sophomore Jansen sweeping the backstrokes (53.54, 1:54.82), and senior Yendell taking the 50 free (22.63) and 100 fly (52.96).

Notre Dame junior Maggie Graves swept the distance events, highlighted by a personal best in the 500 free (4:47.79) by 1.37 seconds. Fifth-year Ellie Jew was also a double event winner, taking both the 100 breast (1:00.95) and 200 breast (2:13.25).

The 100 free was a tight race, with the top 3 separated by only 0.12 and each representing different schools. In the end, it was Notre Dame senior Peyton D’Emanuele who got her hand on the wall first (49.73), just missing her best time by 0.04.

Penn State had two event winners in Abby Henderson and Catherine Meisner, who won the 400 IM (4:19.56) and 200 free (1:47.56) respectively.

The weekend ended with Jansen, Yendell, and Kudlac reuniting for the 400 free relay, joined by first-year Sydney Gring, to set another Pitt school record (3:18.23). Kudlac established an early lead (50.12) and the Panthers never relinquished it. They dropped 0.15 seconds from the old record, established in 2018.

Other highlights:

  • Sydney Gring picked up two individual event wins for the Panthers in the 200 IM (1:59.93) and 200 fly (1:59.13).
  • In the diving well, Grace Courtney and Calie Brady of Notre Dame went 1-2 in both 1-meter (288.65, 287.90) and 3-meter (321.50, 319.40).

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Swimming Fan
3 months ago

Notre Dame was also without Abdelrahman Elaraby (World Cup) who would’ve been a top scorer in the freestyle events and complimentary to the free relays and Tyler Christianson (PanAm Games) who would’ve been a front-runner in the breaststroke and IM races as well as essential to the medley relays.

1st class lineman
Reply to  Laura Rosado
3 months ago

PSU also missing members who were at PanAm’s notably ,
Victor Bagahna.

Former Swimmer
3 months ago

Props to the kid and to Notre Dame staff! Cant wait to see how this program develops in the coming years

Last edited 3 months ago by Former Swimmer
3 months ago

Ouch Penn state

Reply to  Swammer
3 months ago

It’s almost like PSU was without their top performers due to panams

3 months ago

Get the feeling Tanner is about to go off at midseason and blow by his PB

Ncaa fan
Reply to  PFA
3 months ago

I felt like he could have been 1:39 at NCAAs last year

Last edited 3 months ago by Ncaa fan
Reply to  Ncaa fan
3 months ago

I agree but and after his 45.7 at NC’s last year he definitely could have. Went out in 47. If he held on a bit better at the end he likely could have.

1st class lineman
3 months ago

41.00 flat anchor in 400 medley also impressive .

3 months ago

Go Tanner !!

Fritz Weatherbee
3 months ago

PSU has really fallen. What will it take to get PSU back? Is Coach Murphy still on deck?

working swim mom
Reply to  Fritz Weatherbee
3 months ago

Yes, Murphy is still on deck. They can’t keep the good assistant coaches for long enough to shift the program. Still trying to understand if the new AD cares about the program enough to fund it appropriately or not… Sandy did not care and put no money into facilities, nutrition, or equipment.

Reply to  Fritz Weatherbee
3 months ago

They need a better pool… and coach

3 months ago

Smokin fast. Proud of this kid.