With championship season on the horizon, the unranked (men) /No. 19 (women) Wisconsin swim teams will head to Notre Dame for the two-day Shamrock Invitational. Traditionally, this meet has served as a final tune-up for the Big Ten meet as well as a chance for swimmers to figure out what events they will compete in to finish out the season.
This year, the meet will feature No. 3./No. 10 Indiana, No. 22/No. 22 Notre Dame, and a trio of unranked teams in Akron (women only), Iowa and Missouri State (men only). With every event being contested including stroke 50s, the competition promises to be a dogfight at every level.
With so many teams attending and races being contested, here is a brief list of opposing swimmers to watch:
Blair Bish, Missouri State - A junior who transferred from Arizona, Bish promises to give Wisconsin swimmers Camille Hodge and MJ Mao a run for their money in the breaststroke and individual medley events. The 6-foot-1 Bish was named a preseason All-American and clocked in at :52.20 in the 100 breast in his last taper meet.
Abbie Dolan, Notre Dame - Dolan, a sprinter, is Wisconsin junior Emmy Sehmann’s biggest competition. The sophomore currently holds the Fighting Irish’s top time in the 100-yard freestyle, and that time wasn’t achieved with a taper — her :48.94 came during an early-season dual meet with Louisville in October.
Sadie Fazekas, Akron - Wisconsin sophomore Beata Nelson fits a similar mold to Akron’s star junior; both are versatile and swim just about any event well. Fazekas is more distance oriented though, and could be a threat for both Nelson and redshirt senior Abby Jagdfeld depending on what she swims.
Blake Pieroni, Indiana - Most will remember Pieroni as a member of the 2016 Olympic 400-meter freestyle relay team, but Wisconsin fans likely remember him as the swimmer who last year spoiled now-graduated Cannon Clifton’s hours-old Big Ten record in the 100-yard freestyle. Now a senior, Pieroni is just as good as advertised, and Wisconsin may not have a powerful enough match for him in his best events. Look for junior Tyler Zelen and senior Ryan Stack to give all they have to compete with Pieroni.
Hannah Burvill, Iowa - The talented Brit is likely going to be the Hawkeyes’ lone NCAA qualifier on the women’s side, and her prowess in the distance events is something that Wisconsin junior Madison Tew also has. Look for Tew and Burvill to battle it out in the 500-yard freestyle.
The two-day meet starts on Friday, Jan. 26 and continues on to Saturday. Session times were not specified on either Notre Dame or Wisconsin’s websites, but results will be available through Meet Mobile throughout both days.