WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The No. 22 Texas A&M men’s swimming and diving team won 11 of 14 possible races and rolled to a 171-127 dual meet victory over No. 17 Notre Dame on Friday at the Doris Z. Holloway pool on the Purdue University campus.
“We talked about being ready to go, and there’s no question that the guys were ready to swim today,” Aggie head swimming coach Jay Holmes said. “We’ve had several good dual meets with Notre Dame over the past few years, but it’s not a grudge match for us. It’s always just a good, hard-fought college dual meet. They kept coming after us, and we kept answering.”
Leading the way for the Aggies were seniors Alejandro Jacobo and Ozzie Gardner, who both posted four wins against the Irish. Jacobo posted three individual wins in the 100- and 200-yard breaststrokes and the 200 individual medley, and swam the breaststroke leg on the winning 200 medley relay. Gardner, who missed last season with an injury, won the 50 and 100 freestyles and swam legs on the 200 medley relay and the 400 freestyle relay.
"Alejandro swam out of his mind,” Holmes said. “He told me before the meet that Notre Dame had beaten him last year and he wasn’t going to let that happen again this year. Ozzie also did a great job with four wins today. Having Ozzie back in the fold this year is huge for us. He’s a fifth-year senior and a guy that has swam at a high level for us for a long time.”
Holmes mentioned sophomore Jason Bergstrom’s victory in the 100 backstroke as a turning point in the meet for the Aggies. Notre Dame had just posted wins in the 1,650 freestyle and the 200 freestyle, but Bergstrom’s win turned the momentum back in A&M’s favor.
“We were at a point in the meet when we needed someone to step up, and Jason did that for us in the 100 back,” Holmes said. “The team seemed to rally after Jason’s win.”
Making up the Aggies’ winning relays were Israel Duran, Jacobo, Bergstrom and Garder in the 200 medley and Casey Strange, Gardner, Ryan Latone and Gregory Widmer in the 400 freestyle. Other Aggies tallying individual wins were Duran in the 200 butterfly and 200 backstroke and Latone in the 500 free.
The Aggies, who are in the midst of a two-day competition with No. 14 Purdue, will face No. 18 Northwestern in a dual meet at 1 p.m. on Saturday.