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Tuesday, June 18, 2024
The Observer

Squad looks to ACC Championships after long taper season

Notre Dame’s women’s swimming and diving team looks to make a splash at the ACC Championships this weekend. This team has been in a training camp bubble on campus since Dec. 27 preparing for this championship weekend. Head coach Mike Litzinger noted that “to have that opportunity to really focus on our craft has been unique.” 

To follow this, he gave high praise for the mental and physical state of his team.

“I really like what we’ve accomplished over this training break and heading into the championship.” Litzinger said. “So I think that we’re going to end up surprising ourselves with some excellent results.”

This bubble has also allowed for a different taper season than normal. Taper is the time leading up to championships where the amount of distance swam decreases and recovery increases. The training camp allowed for much more control over their schedule. 

“We weren’t beholden to a regular schedule,” Litzinger said. “We could sleep in. We could dictate our practice hours, and when we’re able to do that, we’re able to craft a little bit more rest and a little bit more detail work in instead of the six 6 a.m. practices.”

Continuing, the ACC Championships will be the object of many goals and aspirations this season, especially for junior Bayley Stewart, Litzinger said.

“When you have somebody like Bayley Stewart, who has been knocking on the door of elite performance for a while,” Litzinger said. “She’s starting to come into her own, so I’m really, really excited to see what she can do at this level with high-end backstroker in this league.”

He was also incredibly complimentary of how far the diving program has come. He praises by first-year diving coach Mark Bradshaw for how he has prepared the diving team, saying that he “has been able to elevate their performance and how they prepare for these meets.”

Considering this will be the last chapter for many seniors, Litzinger said he wants to make sure his team ends on the highest note possible. This pandemic year being so difficult to have in-person meets has caused challenges for swim programs all across the country. 

“I think some other teams out there are just chalking it up to the pandemic,”  he said. “And we get another year next year. There is no ‘another year’ for the seniors, so they’re going to get something out of this meet.”

Looking towards the future for the women’s team, the swimmers and divers are mentally preparing for that next meet, NCAA Championships. Litzinger has highlighted a “match mentality.” 

“When someone puts a diving score up, match it,” he said “And I think if we have that kind of an attitude, we’ll move on to the next meet and be set up for success.” 

The Notre Dame women’s swimming and diving team will travel to Greensboro, N. C. for the meet scheduled Wednesday, Feb. 17 through Saturday, Feb. 20.

Irish junior back stroke swimmer Bayley Stewart sets to begin her race during the Jan. 17, 2020 meet at home against Northwestern.
Irish junior back stroke swimmer Bayley Stewart sets to begin her race during the Jan. 17, 2020 meet at home against Northwestern.