Nov. 21, 2004
BOWLING GREEN, Ohio – The 21st-ranked University of Notre Dame women’s swimming & diving team (4-2) won 12 of 16 events – including 10 of the first 11 – en route to a 189-112 victory against Bowling Green (0-4) Saturday in Cooper Pool. Freshman swimmer Caroline Johnson (Springfield, Mo./Glendale H.S.) led the way by winning four events – including three in individual competition – while senior diver Meghan Perry-Eaton (Brandon, Fla./Bloomingdale H.S.) and sophomore swimmer Ann Barton (Scottsdale, Ariz./Desert Mountain H.S.) were two-time victors.
Johnson, who now has 12 victories to her credit (eight in individual action) in her first collegiate fall, began her winning ways early, opening the meet by swimming the backstroke leg of the 200-yard medley relay, which was first in 1:48.53. She was followed in that victorious quartet by freshman Natalie Burke (Cape Town, South Africa/Reddam House College), junior Christel Bouvron (Singapore, Singapore/Raffles Girls’ Secondary School), and sophomore Krissy Archer (Chesapeake, Va./Hickory H.S.).
In the 200 free, Johnson won by more than two seconds with a time of 1:53.39. Sophomore Rebecca Grove (Yorktown Heights, N.Y./Yorktown H.S.) ended up third with a time of 1:55.64, while Bouvron was next in 1:55.66. Senior Brooke Taylor (Orlando, Fla./Lake Highlands Prep School) swam the 200 free for the first time during her entire collegiate career and finished fifth with a time of 1:58.73.
Johnson came back later to win two events in her first time swimming them as a collegian: the 50-yard freestyle and the 200 backstroke. She won the former with a time of 24.38, which is the second-best time on the Irish this fall, and was followed by Grove, who was the runner-up in 24.84.
The rookie headlined a 1-2-3 Irish finish in the 200 back, winning with a time of 2:06.83. Senior Kristen Peterson (Wichita, Kan./Bishop Carroll H.S.) came in second in 2:09.19, while freshman Morgan Bullock (Stamford, Conn./Westhill H.S.) was next with a time of 2:16.33 in her first time swimming the event. Bullock’s three points were the first of her collegiate career in individual competition.
Perry-Eaton continued an outstanding season by easily winning both springboard competitions. She turned in the seventh-best performance in Notre Dame history in dual-meet three-meter competition, ending with a score of 322.42 that was more than 80 points better than her nearest rival. Rookie Tara Hyer (Tampa, Fla./Academy of the Holy Names) was third with a score of 224.32. The fifth-year senior won the one-meter event by more than 50 points, ending with a score of 282.82, while Hyer was again third with 202.50 points. Perry-Eaton, a 2004 All-American and the BIG EAST’s top diver in each of the last two years, now has 11 victories in 12 events this season, including a perfect 6-0 record in three-meter competition. Junior Samantha Raneri (Katonah, N.Y./John Jay H.S.) took fifth in both diving events, scoring one point in each for her first points of the 2004-05 season.
Barton and Ellen Johnson (Toledo, Ohio/Notre Dame Academy) led Notre Dame’s most dominating performance of the evening, a 1-2-3-4 finish in the 100-yard backstroke. The former took first place with a time of 59.19, while Johnson was right behind in 59.42, with both posting season bests. Freshman NoÃƒÂ©mie Brand (Pointe-Clare, Quebec/Phillips Exeter Academy [NH]) and sophomore Kiley Gooch (Carmel, Ind./Carmel H.S.) completed the sweep, finishing in a virtual tie for third place. Brand ended .01 seconds ahead with a 1:01.06, while Gooch turned in a season best.
Barton’s other victory – in the 400 individual medley – led a 1-2-3 Irish sweep. She was first in 4:30.16, while her sister, senior co-captain Kelli Barton (Scottsdale, Ariz./Chaparral H.S.) was the runner-up with a 4:36.44 and freshman Laura Stafford (Georgetown, Grand Cayman/Cayman Prep & H.S.) took third in 4:39.51 in her first time swimming the event as a collegian.
The elder Barton claimed a victory of her own in Notre Dame’s first swimming of the 1,650 freestyle this season. She finished in 17:07.20, while sophomore Abby Strang (St. Simons Island, Ga./Bolles School) was second with a career-best time of 17:12.17. It was Barton’s first race win of her final collegiate campaign.
Ellen Johnson was victorious in the 100-yard freestyle to bring her season victory total to nine. She led an Irish sweep of the top three spots with a time of 53.58. Sophomore Jessica Stephens (Bloomsburg, Pa./Bloomsburg H.S.) swam the event for the first time as a collegian and finished second in 53.97, while rookie Kayla Graham (Dartmouth, Nova Scotia/Auburn Drive H.S.) was third with a collegiate-best time of 54.75.
Stephens picked up a first-place finish for her 10th triumph of the 2004-05 campaign. She won the 100 breaststroke with a time of 1:06.60, while Burke was the runner-up in 1:07.85.
Senior co-captain Georgia Healey (New York, N.Y./Trinity School) was Notre Dame’s other victor, winning the 200 breaststroke in a time of 2:26.14. Junior Annie Mantey (Albany, N.Y./Onteara H.S.) scored her first points in individual action this season – two for a fourth-place finish (2:33.53).
The Falcons finished the meet strong, winning three of the final five races. Taylor led the Irish in the 100 fly with a runner-up finish in 59.94, while the team of senior Katie Eckholt (Omaha, Neb./Marian H.S.), Peterson, freshman Katie Guida (Alexandria, Va./Georgetown Visitation Prep School), and sophomore Meghan Linnelli (Canfield, Ohio/Canfield H.S.) just missed winning the 200 free relay in a time of 1:40.91 that was .15 seconds behind Bowling Green’s top team.
Swimming the event for the first time in her Notre Dame career, Strang was Notre Dame’s top finisher in the 200 butterfly. She was third with a time of 2:14.35.
The Irish would have taken three of the top four positions in the 500 free, but that trio was entered as exhibition competitors. As a result, Notre Dame’s top finisher was freshman Georgia Steenberge (Granbury, Texas/Granbury H.S.), who was fourth in 5:36.45. She earned two points for that result, which – in combination with the one point Steenberge gained for a fifth-place finish in the 1,650 free – were the first of her collegiate career in individual action.
Notre Dame will return to action in two weeks, when most of the squad will head to the Georgia Invitational, hosted by the #1 team in the nation, in Athens, Ga. from Dec. 3-5. Some of the Irish will participate in the Notre Dame Invitational, from Dec. 2-4 in the Rolfs Aquatic Center.