After years of consistency in leadership, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish men and women are both under new head coaches this season. The men officially opened their season under longtime assistant Matt Tallman with a win at the annual Dennis Stark Relay meet.
The Irish women are swimming under former men’s head coach Tim Welsh, who retired from the men’s team but was called back into duty as interim head coach of the women after Brian Barnes left unexpectedly this summer. They took second to Ohio State in the women’s meet.
The Irish men were dominant, sweeping all 10 relays over Olivent Nazarene University. A couple notable swims for the men:
English junior Bogac Ayhan won all three relays he swam – he led off both medley relay distances, splitting 50.03 on the 400 medley and 23.53 on the 200 medley. He also split a 50.8 through the middle leg of the 3×100 fly relay that won for Notre Dame.
That 200 medley relay was a pretty good showing all around for Notre Dame. Cameron Miller split 25.38 on breaststroke and Zachary Stephens was 21.97 on butterfly to give Notre Dame the win in 1:31.93.
The 4×100 IM relay was impressive for the Irish. Zach Stephens (50.62 leadoff) and Patrick Olsen (50.79) were both under 51 seconds for Notre Dame, which won handily.
The 3×100 breaststroke relay was a relatively close one, with Olivet Nazarene leading by four seconds early on. But Andrew Jensen (56.9) and Patrick Olsen (56.0) brought the Irish back to keep the sweep alive.
For the women, Ohio State was led by Chinese freshman Zhesi Li, who led off both free relays. Zhesi was 23.03 opening the 200 free relay, the fastest split of anyone in the event, even without a relay exchange. She also went 51.44 on the 400 free relay from a flat start.
The OSU women didn’t put up any eye-popping times, but they were rock-solid consistent across the board. In that 400 free relay, Annie Jongekrijg anchored in 51.43, and freshman Macie McNichols added her own 51-second split.
Ohio State also got two relay wins from Lindsey Clary. The sophomore anchored the 2×500 free relay in 4:54.04, and also led off the 800 free relay in 1:51.17.
Just a hundredth behind Clary on that 800 free relay leadoff leg was Notre Dame’s star breaststroker Emma Reaney, who got to try out some different events this weekend. Reaney was 1:51.18 leading off the 800 free relay, and also chipped in the fastest split on the 3×100 fly relay (54.8) and led off the 4×100 free relay (51.55).
Final Team Scores
- Notre Dame: 240
- Olivet Nazarene 140
- Ohio State: 194
- Notre Dame: 184
- Illinois State: 138
- Olivet Nazarene: 92