Notre Dame falls to 0-3 with loss to Pittsburgh
By NOREEN GILLESPIE
Saint Mary's Editor
The men's swimming and diving team didn't have much more luck than the football team did in warding off the Pittsburgh Panthers.
Securing wins in only three of 16 events Saturday, the Irish men's record fell to 0-3 with the loss to Pittsburgh, leaving the team still searching for a victory early in the season. Pittsburgh, the defending Big East champion, is undefeated thus far this season.
"If you saw the football game, you saw the swim meet," said head coach Tim Welsh. "We've been improving, but we were flatter against Pittsburgh."
The Irish did pick up some individual highlights, with solid individual performances from several competitors.
Senior captain Ray Fitzpatrick posted one of three wins for the Irish, securing a first place finish in the 200-yard freestyle. Posting a time of 1 minute, 42.04 seconds, Fitzpatrick's time was the best time by an Irish swimmer this season.
Notre Dame's second win came from junior Ryan Verlin in the 200 butterfly, who secured another win with his finish of 1:53.26. Edging Pittsburgh competitor Adrian Figueroa by two tenths of a second, Verlin posted another season individual best and team best for the year in the 200 butterfly.
Divers also posted points for the Irish, with senior Herb Huesman and freshman Andy Maggio securing a one-two finish off the one-meter board. Huesman finished with a score of 182.55, followed by Maggio's 178.40.
"The divers are clearly one of our strengths," said Welsh. "Compared with this time last year, we didn't have any divers. Now we have four."
The Irish squad's depth provided for some second, third, and fourth place finishes, bringing in the bulk of the points for the team.
Distance swimmers were another point of strength, with sophomore Jonathan Pierce pulling in a second place finish in the 1000 freestyle in 9:35.94. Elliot Drury followed in fourth with a time of 9:46. 17. Pierce also claimed third in the 500 freestyle in 4:42.82.
Second place finishes came from sophomore David Horak in the 100 backstroke (52.89), junior Brian Skorney in the 200 backstroke (1:58.93), junior Dan Szilier in the 200 breastroke (2:07.74), Verlin in the 100 butterfly (52.22), Maggio in three-meter diving (172.50) and the 400 freestyle relay team of Fitzpatrick, sophomore Mike Koss, Hrak and junior James Scott-Browne.
But while the men still search for a victory, morale on the team is high, Welsh said.
"We're hungry for a win," he said. "But nobody is dragging their fingers on the ground in self-pity."
The Irish host Western Ontario this Friday at Rolfs Aquatic Center, hoping to garner their first win of the season.
"It's been a hard series of three meets," Welsh said. "Although the record says loss-loss-loss, we've been getting progressively faster. We should see winning ways on Friday."
All Sports Stories for Tuesday, November 16, 1999