Blue and Gold Illustrated

Nov. 25, 2023

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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50 NOV. 25, 2023 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED ND SPORTS BY TODD D. BURLAGE N otre Dame junior Chris Guiliano knew last summer that his swim- ming career was trending up as he watched his times in the water steadily coming down. But the star Irish freestyler even sur- prised himself last July when as a No. 22 seed at the U.S. National Championship in Indianapolis he shocked the aquatics world by recording a second-place in- dividual finish in the 100-meter race to unexpectedly qualify for the 2023 World Aquatics Championships last August in Fukuoka, Japan. "I just believed in myself. I knew what I could do," Guiliano said of his clutch per- formance in Indianapolis on one of swim- ming's biggest stages. "I was healthy. I was building a lot of momentum, and I thought coming into Indy that I had a great shot at making the U.S. National Team." Admitting to some disappointment with a 17th-place finish at the World Championships — one place out of a semifinal spot — Guiliano is parlaying those sour feelings into motivation as he begins his quest to secure a place on the 2024 U.S. Summer Olympics team. Guiliano is already the school record holder in the 50, 100 and 200 freestyle events, and his impressive results last summer have earned him a place at the U.S. Olympic Trials next July in anticipa- tion of the 2024 summer games in Paris. "Not performing as well as I could has definitely fueled me because now I'm able to tell myself that I belong, and I'm here with the big boys. I've kind of leveled up, in a sense," said Guiliano, who brought home a silver medal in the mixed 4x100 freestyle relay and a bronze medal in the men's 4x100 free- style relay at the World Championships. "And that's definitely helped the mental aspect of it. I've never been more confi- dent when I go up before a race." So while Guiliano, 20, awaits his chance next June to compete at the Olympic tri- als and become a U.S. team member, his more pressing pursuits include poten- tially sweeping individual titles in the 50, 100 and 200 freestyle events this March at the NCAA Championships, while helping lead the Irish to a top-two finish at the ACC meet and a top-10 national finish. "But in the back of my mind, mak- ing the Olympic team, that's my ulti- mate goal," Guiliano added. "And I think that's very doable with this new mind- set I've gained." A Pennsylvania native from outside of Philadelphia and a football fanatic, Guiliano and his family always held an affinity for Notre Dame and Penn State. But the Irish shooting star never could've imagined the route his college choice would lead him. "It was a big dream of mine to come to Notre Dame," Guiliano said. "I don't know what it was, but I was just at- tracted to it. I just believed anything was possible here." ✦ Guiliano, who already holds Notre Dame records in the 50, 100 and 200 freestyle events, will com- pete at the U.S. Olympic Trials next July in antici- pation of the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris. PHOTO COURTESY NOTRE DAME ATHLETICS Olympic Hopeful Chris Guiliano Leads The Way For The Irish Irish Roundup CROSS COUNTRY The women and men placed first and fourth, respectively, in the NCAA Great Lakes Regional Nov. 10 at Madison, Wis. … The women earned an automatic bid and the men received an at-large bid to the NCAA Championships Nov. 18 in Charlottesville, Va. FENCING The men and women opened the season by both going 7-0 at the Western Invitational hosted by Air Force Nov. 4 in Colorado Springs, Colo. … Each squad defeated Stanford, UC San Diego, Brandeis, Har- vard, Air Force, Incarnate Word and UNC … Next up was the Elite Invitational Nov. 19 at Columbus, Ohio. HOCKEY (6-3-2 OVERALL, 2-0-2 BIG TEN) Skated to a pair of ties at Penn State Nov. 4-5, picking up a shootout win after a 3-3 tie in the opener and suffering a shootout loss after a 2-2 draw in the second contest … Swept two games from Ohio State, 4-1 and 3-0, Nov. 10-11 in South Bend … Traveled to Minnesota for a pair of contests Nov. 17-18. MEN'S SOCCER (11-2-4 OVERALL, 6-0-2 ACC) Lost 4-3 to No. 9-seeded Louisville in the quarterfinals of the ACC Tournament Nov. 5 … Awarded the No. 2 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament and received a first-round bye … Slated to take on the winner of Xavier and Kentucky in the second round Nov. 19 in South Bend. WOMEN'S SOCCER (12-3-4 OVERALL, 7-1-2 ACC) Suffered a 3-2 loss to No. 3-seeded Clemson in the semifinals of the ACC Tournament Nov. 2 in Cary, N.C. … Earned a No. 3 seed in the NCAA Tournament and defeated Valparaiso 2-0 in the first round Nov. 11 in South Bend … Faced No. 6 seed Memphis in the second round Nov. 17 at Fayetteville, Ark. MEN'S SWIMMING & DIVING (5-0 OVERALL, 1-0 ACC) Notched a 162-138 victory at Louisville Nov. 3 … Competed in the Ohio State Invitational Nov. 16-18 at Columbus, Ohio. WOMEN'S SWIMMING & DIVING (2-3 OVERALL, 0-1 ACC) Lost 218-82 at Louisville Nov. 3 … Took part in the Ohio State Invitational Nov. 16-18 at Columbus, Ohio. VOLLEYBALL (10-14 OVERALL, 4-12 ACC) Lost 3-1 at Clemson Nov. 3, fell 3-0 at Georgia Tech Nov. 5, suffered a 3-1 home loss to Clemson Nov. 10 and were edged 3-2 at Virginia Nov. 12 … Will close the season with a home match versus Wake Forest Nov. 17 and a contest at Florida State Nov. 25.

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