Feb. 23, 2008
EAST MEADOW, N.Y. – The Notre Dame women’s swimming and diving team made it a perfect dozen as the squad captured its 12th-consecutive team title at the 2008 BIG EAST Swimming & Diving Championship, commanding the points with 767 and leading over second-place Louisville by 239.5 points.
Two more BIG EAST meet records were earned by Irish athletes as well as three more Notre Dame team records fell during the final day of competition at the Nassau County Aquatics Center. Head coach Carrie Nixon was named the 2008 BIG EAST Coach of the Year along with her coaching staff, her second-consecutive honor.
Leading off the record-breaking day was freshman Sam Maxwell in the 200 breaststroke, an event she has dominated throughout the whole season. Maxwell earned the BIG EAST title in the event today after taking the number one seed in the prelims.
She finished with a BIG EAST and Notre Dame record time of 2:12.76. The time is also an NCAA `A’ cut, her second after earning an `A’ cut in the 100 breaststroke during Friday’s competition. The BIG EAST record heading into the meet was 2:13.99 set by Notre Dame’s Shannon Suddarth in 1998. Suddarth also held the Notre Dame record of 2:13.33 set in ’98 before Maxwell’s performance this evening.
The second record-breaking performance of the evening was the 400-freestyle relay where the squad of Megan Farrell, Christa Riggins, Lauren Parisi and Amywren Miller stormed the field to set the record with a time of 3:19.38. The knocked off the existing BIG EAST top time of 3:20.34 set a year ago by Rutgers and the Notre Dame record of 3:21.25 set in 2002 by a squad that included Nixon.
Another BIG EAST title was earned by another Irish freshman, Katie Casey, in the 200 butterfly. Casey cruised past the field as she earned her first ever BIG EAST individual title with a time of 1:59.37 in the event.
Rounding out success for the Irish in the final day was a stellar second and third place markings by Miller and Riggins, respectively, in the 100 freestyle. Miller’s time of 49.10 set a Notre Dame record, breaking the record of 49.18 held by Nixon since 2000. Riggins finished close behind with a time of 49.39. Both times are NCAA ‘A’ cuts, the second for Riggins this season.
“I am so proud of this team because they were a team all week long, with amazing heart and energy throughout the week,” Nixon said. “This has been one of the most spectacular meets in Notre Dame history. Both school and Big East records were dropping left and right, there were thrilling swims in every event and superbly executed diving on the boards. It is an incredible stepping stone for zones, NCAAs, Olympic trials and next season as we look ahead.”