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NCAA Division III Runner-Up Liam McDonnell Transferring to Notre Dame for 5th Year

2023 Division III runner-up in the 100 backstroke Liam McDonnell has announced on Instagram that he will be transferring to Notre Dame to use his COVID-19 fifth year.

Pumped to announce I will be heading to South Bend to further my academic and athletic careers! Thank you to everyone who helped me along the way. Go Irish! ☘️

McDonnell, originally from Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, spent his first four years at John Carroll University in Cleveland, Ohio. As the 2020 and 2021 NCAA Championships did not occur, McDonnell made an NCAA A final in his junior year. At 2022 NCAAs, McDonnell was third in the 100 fly (47.13), ninth in the 100 back (47.53), and 12th in the 100 free (44.60). He also was on four of John Carroll’s relays and was highlighted by a fifth place finish in the 200 medley relay. McDonnell led that relay off in a 21.45, the fastest in the field by over half a second.

As a senior, McDonnell made two NCAA A finals as he finished second in the 100 back (46.59) and fourth in the 100 fly (46.92). Once again, McDonnell led off John Carroll’s 200 medley relay in a 21.03, the fastest of the field.

McDonnell’s best SCY times are:

  • 50 free: 19.87
  • 100 free: 43.69
  • 200 free: 1:37.12
  • 100 back: 46.59
  • 200 back: 1:50.12
  • 100 fly: 46.92

With the addition of McDonnell, Notre Dame now has the arrival of two of the best Division III backstrokers this fall as Tanner Filion (who won the 100 and 200 backstrokes this year) has already announced his transfer. In addition, sprint freestyle Abdelrahman Elaraby is also joining the Fighting Irish this fall.

In addition to making an impact in backstroke, McDonnell’s best 50 and 100 free times would have been top four on Notre Dame’s roster this past season, which could potentially boost their free relays.

McDonnell told SwimSwam that he plans on working towards a Master’s in Business Analytics.



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