Transfer Jason Taylor competes in the 200-yard butterfly during the meet against Grand Valley State Nov. 18 in Lewellen Pool. Kaiti Sullivan, DN
Ball State men’s swim and dive travel to No. 19 Notre Dame
After losing to Evansville, men’s swim and dive head back on the road to face No. 19 Notre Dame.
Head coach Bob Thomas wants his athletes to focus on the opportunity to face the Irish.
“You have got to get excited to swim against a top 20 team,” Thomas said. “As a team it’s very exciting. The history with Notre Dame and everything that goes into it kind of builds the fire. I’m excited and I hope the guys are excited.”
Time and Place
1 p.m. Saturday at Rolfs Aquatic Center in South Bend, Indiana.
One of the Cardinals to watch is freshman Sean Wolfe. Wolfe is on a two-meet winning streak in three-meter diving and said it will be interesting to keep the streak alive against Notre Dame.
“We know that they have really good competitors and it will be a good meet win or lose,” Wolfe said. “It will be fun to compete against them.”
During practice this week, head diving coach Nick Gayes said this meet will be “a good gauge to see where you’re at.”
“[Notre Dame] might be a little bit more talented, a little bit faster or a little bit bigger,” Gayes said. “But they’re still student-athletes.”
Another athlete to watch is junior Zach Reichle. This week at practices, Reichle has focused on his endurance in his breaststroke events.
“You won't see it now, but you will probably see it toward the end of the year at MAC,” Reichle said. “Right now, we’re just focused on fine tuning the power and endurance. Hopefully, dropping some in-season times at Notre Dame.”
Against Evansville, Reichle swam a season-best time of 1:00.05 and won his first collegiate event in 100-yard breaststroke.
“I was a little surprised by it,” Reichle said. “I enjoyed it in the moment and it’s something that I have always wanted to do. I was able to enjoy it for a day and put it aside and use it for motivation to get that much better by the end of the season.”
One of the Irish swimmers to watch is junior Steven Shek, who has posted a B-qualifying NCAA time standard (54.26 seconds) in the 100-yard breaststroke.
“I think facing against Shek gives me more competition,” Reichle said. “I always enjoy competition, whether they're faster or slower. It just gives me another chance to race somebody new.”
Another Irish member to watch is senior Joe Coumos, who leads the team in both one-meter and three-meter diving scores.
“We have dove against a lot of talented divers,” junior Gabe Dean said. “It goes both ways, both are really fun and we get to see the level where they're at and it’s a good motivator. At the same time, it can be kind of down-putting when your opponents are scoring 100 points over you.”
Although Dean is ready for the meet, not everyone will compete due to an ongoing team issue. Thomas said these athletes are “suffering the consequences and fulfilling disciplinary action.”
The meet on Saturday is scheduled to start at 1 p.m. at Rolfs Aquatic Center in South Bend, Indiana.
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