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Monday, March 4, 2024
The Observer

Irish claim 22 first-place finishes at home over Pitt, Virginia Tech

Notre Dame finished its dual meet this Saturday against Pittsburgh and Virginia Tech, its last home meet of the calendar year. The two-day series of dual meets resulted in a sweep for the women’s team and a 1-1 finish on the men’s side. Notably, the meet contained several new pool records set at Rolfs Aquatic Center. The No. 13 women soundly defeated Virginia Tech 256-97 and Pitt 255-98. The No. 18 men’s team won 232 to 121 over Pitt but came up short against the Hokies, losing narrowly 180-173.

The first day of competition saw 13 Irish first-place finishes and three sweeps, as well as several pool records. Freshman Marton Barta broke the 400 IM record by nearly three seconds with a time of 3:49.75, while sophomore Zach Yeadon broke his own previous record and set the pool record with a time of 8:58.55 in the 1,000-yard freestyle swim. At the end of day one, both the men’s and women’s teams held leads over their opponents, with only the Panther men within striking distance of Irish.

The second day brought more of the same success for the Irish as they earned nine first-place finishes. The women’s team of junior Abbie Dolan, sophomore Carly Quast, senior Meaghan O’Donnell and sophomore Cailey Grunhard took first in the 200-yard medley relay, while sophomore Lindsay Stone placed first in the 500-yard freestyle swim. Dolan went on to add to her list of accomplishments with a team-high four first-place finishes, winning the 200-yard butterfly, leading the Irish relay team to first place in the 400-yard free and recording a 1:46.83 in the 200-yard freestyle, nearly setting another pool record.  Yeadon continued his streak of dominance with another record-setting performance in the men’s 500-yard free, recording a time of 4:20.34, breaking yet another one of his own records. In the 200-yard breaststroke, the Irish women swept the competition coming in first, second and third, led by O’Donnell, followed closely by freshmen Sammie Eyolfson and Sarah Nicholls.

On the boards, the women claimed four of the top six spots in the one-meter dive. The men also took third and fourth place in both 1-meter and 3-meter dives. However, the biggest pickup for the diving unit came on junior Erin Isola's first-place finish on the 3-meter board. Isola’s win capped off a weekend where the Irish finished with 22 first-place finishes.

After a successful meet highlighted by several record breaking performances, the Irish will have their next meet on Friday at the ACC/Big Ten Challenge in West Lafayette, Indiana, before heading to Columbus, Ohio, the following week to participate in the Ohio State Fall Invitational to close out the fall season. The Irish will return to Rolfs Aquatic Center one more time this season as they prepare to host the Shamrock Invitational on Jan. 25.