Jan. 31, 2003
THIS WEEK: The 18th ranked Notre Dame women’s swimming and diving team challenges 19th ranked Michigan on Saturday, Feb. 1, at the Rolfs Aquatics Center. Meet time is 2 p.m. Notre Dame is 8-1-1 on the season and has won seven consecutive dual meets after tying Purdue and falling to Indiana earlier in the season. Michigan is 3-2 in dual meets and 2-0 in the Big Ten Conference.
This will be the second meeting between the two schools this season as both were at the Illinois Invitational on Jan 17-18, however the team scores against each other were not counted.
THE HISTORY: Notre Dame is 3-4 against Michigan, although the Irish have won the last two meetings between the two schools. Notre Dame capped off a perfect 2001-02 season by defeating the Wolverines 175-124 in Ann Arbor, Mich. The Irish placed 1-2-3-4 in the 200 freestyle as Heidi Hendrick was first, followed by Lisa Garcia, Sarah Alwen and Katie Eckholt. Marie Labosky also won the 400 individual medley.
ABOUT THE IRISH: #18 Notre Dame improved to 8-1-1 this season in dual meet action with a trio of wins last Saturday at Bowling Green. The Fighting Irish defeated Saint Louis 89-24 and both Bowling Green and Louisville 70-43. Notre Dame has now won seven consecutive dual meets after tying Purdue and falling to Indiana in December.
Junior Lisa Garcia continues her stellar season as she was a part of three victories last weekend, finishing first in the 1,000 freestyle, 100 backstroke and as a member of the 400-yard freestyle relay team. Garcia has qualified for six events at the BIG EAST meet and has the conference’s best time thus far in 2002-03 in both the 200 butterfly and the 200 individual medley. She also has the third best time in the 400 IM and the fourth fastest time in the 100 fly. She has also qualified in the 200 free, where she ranks ninth, and the 100 backstroke.
Junior Marie Labosky also has had a good season as she has the fastest BIG EAST time thus far in the 400 individual medley and the third-fastest time in the 200 backstroke. She also ranks seventh in the 200 IM.
Junior Danielle Hulick has also qualified for four events at the BIG EAST meet and has the second-best time in the 100 backstroke, while junior diver Meghan Perry-Eaton has the third best score in the one-meter diving event.
ABOUT MICHIGAN: Michigan improved to 3-2 in dual meets with a 155-142 win at Northwestern on Saturday (Jan. 25), posting an almost four-second victory in the closing 400-yard freestyle relay to secure the victory.
Michigan is led by senior co-captain Erin Abbey, who has swam the fifth-fastest time in the nation in the 100-yard backstroke (55.17) and holds top-15 times in the 100-yard freestyle (50.04) and the 200-yard backstroke (1:58.42), both set at the Nike Cup. All three times are tops in the Big Ten as of Jan. 21. Sophomore Amy McCullough also swam an NCAA automatic qualifier in the 200 freestyle at the Nike Cup, which is the nation’s fifth fastest time. She also holds the No. 8 time in the nation in the 500 freestyle.
Junior Anne Weilbacher has two of the nation’s top-10 times, as of Dec. 25, as she swam the eighth-fastest time in the 100-yard butterfly (54.20) at the Nike Cup and has the ninth-best mark in the 200-yard butterfly (1:59.17).
LAST WEEK AT BOWLING GREEN: Notre Dame upped its dual meet record to 8-1-1 on the season with three victories at Bowling Green on Saturday. The Irish downed the host Falcons 70-43, while also defeating Louisville 70-43 and Saint Louis 89-24.
Notre Dame won eight of the 13 events during the meet, led by three-time winners Lisa Garcia and Heidi Hendrick. Garcia began the night with a victory in the 1,000 freestyle and also won the 100 backstroke in 59.70. Hendrick, the Irish speed specialist, won the 200 freestyle (1:53.14) and the 100 freestyle (51.79). Garcia and Hendrick also were on the victorious 400 freestyle which also featured Danielle Hulick and Sarah Alwen.
The 400 freestyle relay team won the first event of the meet, as the group of Kristen Peterson, Georgia Healey, Lisa D’Olier and Katie Eckholt touched first in 4:00.80. Other winners for the Irish included Eckholt in the 50 freestyle (24.50) and Amy Deger in the 400 IM (4:30.82).
During the competition, the Irish swam three time trials to achieve some BIG EAST qualifying times. Brooke Taylor and Christina Jackson reached “B” qualifying times in the 200 butterfly, as Taylor finished in 2:10.04 and Jackson in 2:10.26. For the 200 backstroke, Courtney Campbell swam and “A” qualifying time (assuring her a spot in the BIG EAST meet) finishing in 2:08.64. Kara Santelli swam to a “B” time in 2:09.85. Rounding out the time trials was freshman Courtney Choura, who will be making the BIG EAST Championship trip after reaching an “A” qualifying time in the 200 IM, touching the wall in 2:08.97.
HEAD COACH BAILEY WEATHERS: Irish head coach Bailey Weathers is in his eighth season as head coach of the Irish women. Weathers has taken Notre Dame to new heights as the Irish have won six consecutive BIG EAST titles under his direction. For his efforts, Weathers has earned BIG EAST Coach of the Year honors five of the last six seasons.
Notre Dame has also achieved a new presence on the national level as the Irish qualified nine athletes for the 2002 NCAA Championships. Overall, Weathers has coached 15 swimmers to All-America honors, 24 swimmers to 56 BIG EAST event championships and 16 swimmers to 16 BIG EAST Championship meet records and every school record has been broken under Weathers’ tenure.
The Irish have also gotten it done in the classroom as he has tutored seven CSCAA All-Academc selections and 12 honorable mention All-Academic honorees.
SENIORS TO BE HONORED VS. MICHIGAN: Notre Dame will honor five seniors at its final home meet of the season Saturday vs. Michigan. Swimming in their last home meet are Katie Cavadini, Amy Deger, Heidi Hendrick, Christina Jackson and Nicole Kohrt.
Katie Cavadini: A tri-captain this season with Heidi Hendrick and Amy Deger, Cavadini has been a true team player during her time at Notre Dame. The native of South Bend, Ind., Cavadini has focused on the distance freestyle events during her career and qualified for the 2002 BIG EAST meet in the 1,650 freestyle. She is a majoring in theology and French and was a member of the BIG EAST Academic All-Star team.
Amy Deger: Also a tri-captain this season, Deger has saved her best for last as she has qualified for four events at the 2003 BIG EAST meet including the 100 and 200 butterfly, and the 200 and 400 IM. Last season, Deger competed in the 200 fly and the 200 and 400 IM at the conference meet, placing seventh in the 400 IM and ninth in the 200 IM. A three-year monogram winner, Deger was a member of the BIG EAST Academic All-Star team. She is a graduating in May with a degree in American Studies.
Heidi Hendrick: Hendrick has made the most of her two years at Notre Dame after transferring from the University of Texas in 2001. A tri-captain, Hendrick has qualified for four events at the BIG EAST Championships including the 50, 100 and 200 freestyle and the 100 backstroke. Last season, Hendrick also swam in four events at the conference meet and posted the fastest time on the Irish roster in the 200 freestyle. A member of the BIG EAST Academic All-Star team, Hendrick earned first-team academic all-Big 12 while at Texas and was named to the BIG 12 Commissioner’s Honor Roll four consecutive semesters. Hendrick is enrolled in the College of Arts and Letters and is majoring in philosophy.
Christina Jackson: The San Diego, Calif., native has improved every year she has been at Notre Dame winning most improved swimmer honors in 2001. Last season, Jackson swam the 200 butterfly and the 400 individual medley at the BIG EAST meet. She also competes in the 100 butterfly, 200 IM and the distance freestyle events for the Irish. Enrolled in the College of Science with a major in pre-professional studies, her contagious laugh will be missed by all.
Nicole Kohrt: Winner of the most improved award in 2000, Kohrt has qualified for three events at the BIG EAST meet – the 500 and 1,650 freestyle and the 400 individual medley. She swam the same events at the 2002 meet placing eighth in the 1,650 and ninth in the 500 free after placing fifth in the 500 and sixth in the 1,650 as a sophomore. The native of Granger, Ind., is a member of the BIG EAST Academic All-Star team and is majoring in chemical engineering.
IRISH IN THE BIG EAST CONFERENCE: Notre Dame has had 24 swimmers and divers qualify thus far for the BIG EAST Championships set for Friday-Sunday, Feb. 20-22 in Uniondale, N.Y. Juniors Lisa Garcia and Marie Labosky have posted the fastest times in their particular events in 2002-03. Garcia has conference-best times in the 200 butterfly and the 200 individual medley, while Labosky stands atop the 400 individual medley list.
Irish swimmers and divers who rank in the top eight of their events include junior Danielle Hulick (2nd-100 back), Garcia (3rd-400 IM, 4th-100 fly), freshman Christel Bouvron (5th-100 fly), sophomore Kelli Barton (6th-1,650 free), Labosky (3rd-200 back, 7th-200 IM), freshman Courtney Choura (6th-100 breast), junior Laurie Musgrave (7th-100 breast, 6th-200 breast), sophomore Georgia Healey (8th-200 breast), senior Amy Deger (7th-400 IM), sophomore Brooke Taylor (7th-200 fly, 6th-400 IM) and junior diver Meghan Perry-Eaton (3rd in one-meter).
Other Irish athletes who have qualified for the conference meet include: senior Heidi Hendrick, junior Katie Eckholt, sophomore Kristen Peterson, sophomore Sarah Alwen, senior Nicole Kohrt, freshmen Courtney Campbell, Annie Mantey, Kalei Walker and Kara Santelli, junior Lisa D’Olier and junior Katie Philipp.
THREE HAVE B-CUT FOR NCAA MEET: Three Irish swimmers have recorded B-times for the 2003 NCAA meet March 20-22 in Auburn, Ala. Junior Danielle Hulick has recorded a B-time in the 100 backstroke, while junior Lisa Garcia has B-times in the 200 butterfly and the 200 IM and Marie Labosky in the 400 IM.
IRISH RANKED NO. 18 IN NATION: Notre Dame is ranked No. 18 in the most recent College Swimming Coaches Association of America Division I bi-weekly rankings (Jan. 16). Michigan comes into this weekend’s meet ranked 19th.
Rank, Team (First-place votes) Pts. Last 1. Auburn (7) 199 1 2. Florida (1) 193 2 3. Georgia 184 3 4. Stanford 173 4 5. Southern Cal 167 6 6. Southern Methodist 162 7 7. Texas 153 5 8. Wisconsin 142 8 9. California 137 910. Arizona 130 1011. North Carolina 118 1112. Virginia 112 1213. UCLA 105 1314. Indiana 95 1415. Maryland 89 1516. Arizona State 72 1817. Purdue 67 1618. Notre Dame 66 1719. Michigan 54 2220. Penn State 44 2421. Missouri 41 2122. Washington 22 2523. Texas A&M 21 2324. Tennessee 17 NR25. Florida State 15 24
UP NEXT: Notre Dame looks for its seventh consecutive conference title Thursday-Saturday, Feb. 20-22 at the 2003 BIG EAST Swimming and Diving Championships in Uniondale, N.Y. Prelims start at 10:00 a.m. each day, while the finals start at 6:00 p.m.