Many spring sports have just gotten into the swing of a season, but for one team, the next few days lead to the end. The Irish have spent months preparing for the NCAA championships and now two members of the team will travel to the Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way, Wash., to compete among 235 total swimmers.
This year marks the first time in program history that Notre Dame sends two swimmers to the championships. Junior Bill Bass will compete in the 200-yard individual medley and 100- and 200-yard butterfly. Sophomore Frank Dyer will compete in the 100-yard freestyle, 200-yard freestyle and 500-yard freestyle.
For his first career trip to the NCAAs, Bass stands ranked in three events. His qualifying time in the 200-yard individual medley puts him in a tie for 13th place entering the championships at 1:44.81. He also holds the 24th best time in the 200-yard butterfly at 1:45.60 and the 26th best in the 100-yard butterfly at 47.03.
Dyer stands ranked third nationally in the 200-yard freestyle. With only 200 yards of distance, his qualifying time of 1:33.71 is a fraction of a second behind Louisville's Joao De Lucca's 1:33.44, the number one swimmer in the event. His qualifying time in the 500-yard freestyle puts him at 16th place with a time of 4:18.50. His two events make him the first Notre Dame swimmer to qualify for multiple races in the NCAAs. Dyer also holds a national rank in the 100-yard freestyle, in which he has the 21st best time at 43.22.
Bass and Dyer have not competed since Feb. 18, when the Irish won the Big East title. Bass won Most Outstanding Swimmer at the Big East championships as well.
The swimmers hope to continue taking high standings, following the lead set by freshman Nick Nemetz, who placed 12th in the NCAA zone diving championships March 9.
Competition begins today at 2 p.m. with the 200-yard freestyle trials. The afternoon will also hold trials for the 500-yard freestyle, 200-yard individual medley, 50-yard freestyle and 400-yard medley relay, with finals following later in the evening.