he Irish jump-started the season Friday by defeating Cleveland State 131-112 in the first dual meet of the spring season. Notre Dame (6-0) increased its record against Cleveland State to 28-10, continuing its longstanding competition against the school that first came to Rolfs Aquatics Center in 1985.
The Vikings won first place in seven of the 13 events, but the Irish gathered points in other areas to take the overall win.
"This meet first and foremost is a great example of our depth," senior Chris Johnson said. "In the events that we didn't win, we had guys still placing high, and a bunch of them. That helps us make up the point different between first and second or third."
Senior Bill Bass guided the Irish through the afternoon, winning two individual events. He finished the 200-yard individual medley in 1:50.59, joined by junior teammates Colin Babcock and Bertie Nel in second and third with times of 1:51.39 and 1:56.32, respectively.
Bass also took first in the 100-yard butterfly in 50.58. Sophomore teammates John Williamson and Broderick Kelley came close behind, finishing the race in 51.25 and 51.66, respectively to secure the top three for Notre Dame.
Other top finishes for the squad came in the 200-yard medley relay, where freshman Bogac Ayhan, Johnson, Bass and senior Kevin Overholt edged out the Vikings quartet. Freshman Michael Hudspith took the top spot in the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 1:40.29, closely followed by sophomore teammate Kevin Hughes who took second in 1:40.98.
Hughes then earned his own top finish in the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 4:33.04. Babcock earned the sixth top finish for the Irish, winning the 100-yard breaststroke at 56.11.
A deep roster enabled Notre Dame to overpower Vikings seniors Berry Thompson and Mark De Swardt, who together gathered four first-place finishes.
Sophomore Brennan Jacobsen added a second place in the 1650-yard freestyle and a third place in the 500-yard freestyle, while Overholt notched a second place in the 100-yard freestyle and Ayhan and Nel took two and three in the 100-yard backstroke.
On the diving side, Cleveland State won both the one-meter and three-meter dive, but Notre Dame's second and third places in both events sealed the Irish victory. The one-meter dive highlighted senior Ryan Koter in second with 307.04 points and sophomore Ted Wagner in third with 288.82 points. The three-meter saw sophomore John Andrade in second with 284.55 points and Wagner in third with 278.25 points.
"This was a great last dual meet of the season as we start looking forward to our final invites and conference because it shows we don't need to win every event to win overall," Johnson said.
The Irish next welcome Harvard and Towson Jan. 25 and 26 for the Shamrock Invitational in the Rolfs Aquatic Center.
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