Feb. 17, 2012
PITTSBURGH, Pa. – The 400 medley relay team won its fourth consecutive BIG EAST title and freshman Emma Reaney won the 100 breaststroke to highlight day three at the BIG EAST Swimming Championships at Trees Pool on the campus of Pittsburgh.
The 400 medley relay team composed of Kelly Ryan (backstroke), Reaney (breaststroke), Kim Holden (butterfly) and Amy Prestinario led from start to finish, taking the crown in a new pool record time of 3:36.28. With Louisville inching closer after the fly leg, Prestinario churned through the water in a blazing 49.37 to hold off the Cardinals over the final two legs. Ryan, Reaney and Prestinario all had the fastest splits in their respective disciplines.
The Irish now have 11 400 medley relay titles in their 17 years in the league.
Holden has been on three consecutive 400 medley relay title teams, while Ryan has been on the last two. Prestinario picked up her 11th all-BIG EAST citation, which places her in a tie for 16th in school history for most in a career.
Reaney continued making a case for BIG EAST Swimmer of the Year as she picked up her second individual crown in as many days, winning the 100 breast in 59.85. The Lawrence, Kan., native went 59.83 in the prelims, becoming only the second Irish women’s swimmer to crack the minute plateau. Reaney joined Irish great Samantha Maxwell in the elite category. It was the seventh time a Notre Dame women’s swimmer has won the 100 breast and the first time since Maxwell won it in 2010.
With the two titles, Reaney now has three titles on the week (200 IM, 100 breast, 400 medley relay) and has earned five all-BIG EAST citations.
Holden also turned in a strong day in the individual events, earning a pair of third place finishes in the 100 fly and back events. The Mount Kisco, N.Y., product missed much of the year after offseason shoulder surgery, but has performed admirably at the championships thus far, tallying three all-BIG EAST scrolls and winning a relay title. She has earned all-BIG EAST accolades 15 times in her career, putting her in a tie for 10th in school history.
Ryan turned in a second place finish in the 200 free, snapping her string of two straight titles. She has received all-BIG EAST honors 10 times in her career, good for a tie for 18th in school history.
Ryan’s teammate Suzanne Bessire touched the pad in third in the 200 free for her second all-BIG EAST honor of the meet.
Elsewhere in the evening action, Christen McDonough (100 breast), Lauren Stauder (100 breast), Lauren Scott (100 fly), Melissa Scott (100 fly, 400 IM), Courtney Whyte (100 fly, 100 back) and Gracie Fredlake (400 IM) all scored points for the Irish in consolation finals.
Saturday morning’s events get underway at 10 a.m. with the prelims for the women’s 200 backstroke. As a reminder to fans, a live stream of the entire meet can be found at BIGEAST.org.
400 IM: A trio of Irish swimmers scored points in the 400 IM. Casey led the way, swimming 4:22.07 in the finals to log 14 points towards the Notre Dame score. In the consolation finals, Fredlake dominated the field and set a new season best by over three seconds with a time of 4:19.19. Fredlake finished ninth overall, but her time would have put her fifth if she had swam in the finals. M. Scott wasn’t far behind, taking third in the consolation finals and 11th overall with a season-best swim of 4:22.17. The duo added nine and six points, respectively, to the Irish total.
Louisville’s Tanja Kylliainen dominated the finals race, winning by almost five seconds, setting a new meet and pool record (4:10.40) and recording an NCAA B-cut time.
100 Fly: Holden and Dotzel went third and fifth in the finals of the 100 fly, to tack 30 points onto the score of the Irish. Holden finished in 54.41, while Dotzel set a new season best with a time of 54.55. In the consolation finals, a trio of Irish swimmers competed. L. Scott placed 14th in a season-best time of 55.86, M. Scott finished 15th in 56.40 and Whyte took 16th in 56.53.
West Virginia went first and second in the event, with Amanda Nugent setting a new pool record with a time of 53.14.
200 Free: Ryan (1:47.04) and Bessire (1:48.02) went second and third, respectively, in the 200 free. Ryan, who was looking to win her second title in a row in the event, was just edged out by Rachel Burnett of West Virginia (1:46.23). Both times were season bests.
100 Breast: Reaney (59.85) won her second individual title of the meet as she edged out Louisville’s Gisselle Kohoyda (1:00.20) by just .35 seconds. It was the second time on the day Reaney went under a minute in the event. Elsewhere in the event, McDonough won the consolation finals with a season-best time of 1:02.12. The time would have put her seventh in the finals. Stauder tied for 13th overall and fifth in the consolation finals with a time of 1:03.32. The Irish trio earned 32.50 points towards the squad’s total.
100 Back: Holden (54.41) led much of the race, but couldn’t hold on over the final length of the pool as she dropped into third place behind Eszter Povazsay (54.25) of Louisville and Danielle Smith (54.36) of West Virginia. Holden’s time was a season best. Whyte finished fifth in the consolation finals and 13th overall in 56.38.
400 Medley Relay: The Irish claimed their fourth consecutive title in the 400 medley relay as the team of Ryan, Reaney, Holden and Prestinario churned through the water in a pool record time of 3:36.28. Notre Dame led from start to finish over rival Louisville as Ryan got the team started with a 53.32 backstroke split. Reaney continued with a 59.80 split in the breaststroke and Holden had a 53.79 split in the butterfly. Prestinario brought the Irish home with a 49.37 split in the freestyle.