In the midst of their training trips in Puerto Rico, the Notre Dame men and Illinois women won the Copa Coqui Invitational meet on Sunday, besting a field of 15 women’s teams and 10 men’s programs.
Teams from across the country were involved in the meet, including the Notre Dame men, Illinois, Connecticut, Illinois State, and South Dakota. Puerto Rico also had a team of local swimmers competing, and the University of Puerto Rico-Rio Piedras sent along its men’s and women’s teams. The others in attendance were the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, Clark (MA), Fordham (NY), East Stroudsburg (PA), Loyola (MD), Saint Mary’s (MN), St. Cloud State (MN), Cleveland State and Wellesley College (MA).
The Illini swept the relays and won one more individual races to best in-state rival Illinois State University for the title. They kicked things off by touching out Illinois State to win the 200-meter medley relay, (SCM) going 2:04.48 to the Redbirds’ 2:04.78.
Lori Lynn won the 100 fly for Illinois, touching out her teammate Gabbie Stecker 1:07.23 to 1:07.82. The final Illini win was the 500 free relay, where the team broke a meet record, going 4:39.47 to pick up the win.
Puerto Rican Olympian Vanessa Garcia was in attendance, winning two events in meet record fashion. She took the 100 free easily, going 56.44, and came back later for the 50 free win in 25.77.
Illinois State won two events. April Livingston was victorious in the 100 breast, going 1:17.13 to barely beat out Erica Lynn of Illinois, and Cecilia Holmes went 2:30.77 in the 200 IM for a touchout of her own, beating Rachel Burke of the Illini.
The last win went to UCONN’s Christine Pederson, who powered away from the field in the 100 back to win with a 1:07.55.
On the men’s side, Notre Dame swept 7 of the 8 events en route to the team victory. Colin Babcock won two races, one close and one a blowout. First he got in just a half-second ahead of UCONN’s Felix Samuels to win the 100 free 53.50 to 54.04. That was the first individual event of the meet, and Babcock then came back in the final individual race, the 200 IM, to go 2:10.71 to win by six seconds.
Fighting Irish star Frank Dyer won one individual event, but also contributed key legs on two relay wins. He was the top finisher in the 50 free, going 23.84 for a new meet record. He also joined Ayhan Bogac, Cameron Miller and Zachary Stephens on the 200 medley relay, winning in 1:46.48. Finally, Dyer, Matthew Buerger, Patrick Olson and Kevin Bradley went 4:04.22 for a new meet record in the 500 free relay.
Miller was a meet record-breaker on his own, too, taking the 100 breaststroke mark down with a 1:05.55.
Puerto Rico’s Yeziel Morales broke the 100 backstroke meet record in his 59.66 win as well.
Notre Dame’s last win came from Jonathan Williamson in the 100 fly. He went 57.13 to beat out Morales, who went 57.87.