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Carrie Nixon Wins The Preliminaries Of The 50 Freestyle At The NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships

March 16, 2000

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Notre Dame junior Carrie Nixon (Ouray, Colo.) posted the fastest qualifying time (24.99) and earned the top seed in Thursday night’s championship final of the 50-meter freestyle at the 2000 NCAA women’s swimming and diving championships. Nixon and the 400 medley relay team of sophomore Kelly Hecking (Rutherford, N.J.), senior Shannon Suddarth (Topeka, Kan.), senior Elizabeth Barger (Littleton, Colo.) also advanced to the consolation finals after finishing ninth in the preliminaries with a time of 4:07.99.

Nixon, the most decorated swimmer in Irish BIG EAST history, became the first Notre Dame swimmer to ever win a preliminary event at the NCAA championships. The 6-5 * junior, who entered the meet with the second-fastest qualifying time, outdistanced her nearest competitor, Catherine Fox of Stanford, by just two one-hundredths of a second. With her performance in the preliminaries, Nixon will automatically earn All-America honors (top 8), becoming the fifth Irish swimmer so honored.

The 400 medley relay team came up just one place short of advancing to the championship finals, finishing behind eighth place Southern California by more than a second. The Irish advanced to the consolation finals for the second year in a row after finishing 11th in 1999.

Sophomore Heather Mattingly (Houston, Texas) improved her 1999 showing in the one-meter diving event by three slots, placing 15th with a score of 393.25. Mattingly became the first Notre Dame diver to ever participate in the NCAA championships as a freshman last season, taking 18th on both the one and three-meter boards.

The championship and consolation finals of day one of the 2000 NCAA women’s swimming and diving championships will begin at 7 p.m. (EST) at the IUPUI Natatorium.

2000 NCAA Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships

IUPUI Natatorium (Indianapolis, Ind.)

Day One – Thursday, March 16

50 Freestyle (Preliminaries)

1. Carrie Nixon, Notre Dame – 24.99

2. Catherine Fox, Stanford – 25.01

3. Courtney Allen, Northwestern – 25.04

4. Courtney Shealy, Georgia – 25.10

5. Colleen Lanne, Texas – 25.17

400 Medley Relay (Prelims.)

1. Stanford – 4:01.76 (*US Open Record)

2. Georgia – 4:01.85

3. Arizona – 4:02.68

4. California – 4:04.16

5. UCLA – 4:04.24

6. Auburn – 4:04.32

7. Northwestern – 4:04.35

8. Southern California – 4:06.80

9. Notre Dame – 4:07.99

10. Michigan – 4:08.01

One-Meter Diving (Prelims)

1.Ashley Culpepper, LSU – 407.55

15. Heather Mattingly, Notre Dame – 393.25