Courtesy: Notre Dame Athletics
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — The Notre Dame Swim & Dive team begins a three-week home slate Friday, taking on Northwestern.
The Irish women racked up 244 points against Illinois and 209.50 at Iowa to post dominant wins against both teams. Freshman Coleen Gillilan led the way, with four wins (three individual), including three B-Cut times. Her performance earned her ACC Women’s Swimmer of the Week honors.
On the men’s side, Notre Dame suffered a narrow loss to Iowa, posting 140.50 points to the Hawkeyes’ 159.50. Freshman Jack Hoagland notched a University of Iowa Aquatic Center pool record in the men’s 1000 Free with a 9:07.04.
For Northwestern, the Wildcats fell to Louisville (men: 120.5-179.5, women: 151-149) on Jan. 9, and then competed in the NASA Invite at home.
THE MEET DEETS
Teams: No. 17/RV Notre Dame, NR/No. 25 Northwestern
Date: Jan. 17, 2020
Time: 5 p.m.
Location: Rolfs Aquatic Center, Notre Dame, Ind.
Meet format: Condensed 13-event format – 400 Medley Relay, 1000 Free, 200 Free, 200 IM, 50 Free, 200 Fly, 100 Free, 200 Back, 500 Free, 200 Breast, 400 Free Relay, with 1-meter and 3-meter diving simultaneously.
Notre Dame Head Coach Mike Litzinger’s scout: “I think the teams are certainly evenly matched. There are NCAA elite-level athletes on both sides,” the Irish head coach shared. He noted that for both the men and the women, Northwestern’s standouts match up well with those performers from Notre Dame.
The alternative, condensed meet format presents different challenges than a standard event slate, according to Litzinger. “You’re only allowed to have three events per athlete; it can be any three, so it’s all about where you place your strongest athletes, because first places count way more in this particular format than anything else,” he noted.
“It’s much, much more of a chess match, because when you spread out over 16 events, you get four events per athlete, and there’s much more room for mistake or a touch out. Every touch is going to count this week.”
The decision to plan the alternative event schedule for Friday’s meet was made by both head coaches, as a helpful breakup of the normal training heading into championship season.
“You want to race, but you also don’t want to tap yourself out,” Litzinger explained. “So, having one less event for the weekend and the way that the format goes, it fits well inside your training and your championship team prep.”
And, while first place finishes matter more with fewer opportunities to swim, the Notre Dame head coach also noted that the team battle will be won in the tertiary finishes.
“It will be turning fourth into a third place in the real battle that is going to win events,” Litzinger noted. “It’s going to be in the trenches.
“Each team was going to win their lion’s share. They take care of their own business by putting their best athletes in their best events, but at the end of the day, it’s going to be the third swimmer that’s going to really tip the scale. At this point, we’re focused on truly trying to swim this as a team.”
Events begin at 5 p.m. on Friday. Fans can follow along with the Irish on Twitter @NDSwimDive and through live timing on Meet Mobile.