Jan. 9, 2010
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – For the second straight time season, the outcome of the dual-meet rivalry between the Notre Dame and Northwestern came down to the final race. No. 23 Northwestern was able to prevail once again, winning the 400 free relay to secure a 153-147 win over the Irish (0-3) Saturday at the Rolfs Aquatic Center.
“Having this meet right after our training trip is a good indication of how hard we have worked in the past 15 days,” Irish head coach Brian Barnes said. “We were in Hawaii not more than 36 hours ago and caught the red-eye back home. But we all knew what we were facing. Our legs weren’t too fresh.
“The standout performances were in diving, where they won both events. Samantha Maxwell is starting to look real strong and she’s coming around very nicely. She is a great competitor and someone you want on your relays at the end of the year. Amywren Miller had a great meet, especially on that last [400 free] relay, pulling home an awesome split in the anchor position.”
In one week, the Irish will welcome BIG EAST rival Louisville for a home meet on Jan. 16. Action begins at 1:30 p.m. (ET).
200 Medley Relay: Kim Holden helped earn a slight edge in the backstroke … Maxwell helped increase the lead on the field … Kellyn Kuhlke maintained the distance for the lead on the butterfly leg … Miller powered home to secure the gold medal position for the Irish (1:43.84).
1,000 Freestyle: Gracie Fredlake, Lauren Sylvester and Northwestern’s Jenn Kocsis kept in a tight bunch through the 200-yard mark of the race … Kocsis began to pull away, establishing a two-second cushion halfway through the distance race … Sylvester pulled to nearly even by the 800-yard mark heading into the final stretch … a strong final 200 yards gave Sylvester the coveted gold in 10:15.01, the fastest time for any Irish swimmer this season … Fredlake faded on the back half of the race to finish fourth (10:31.62).
200 Freestyle: Northwestern’s Kassia Shishkoff darted to an early lead and comfortably took first-place honors (1:48.87) … after a spirited three-way battle for second, Amy Prestinario emerged as the silver winner (1:52.08).
100 Backstroke: Holden blazed out to the early lead in the sprint backstroke event and kept the pace to secure the third victory of the meet for the Irish, winning in (56.67).
100 Breaststroke: Maxwell stormed out quick and never looked back … she easily won the event with a swift 1:01.93 for the fourth Irish gold, lowering her best time of this season by over a half of second.
200 Butterfly: Katie Casey established a body-length lead early in the race and solidly maintained it for the second half to win (2:02.27) another gold for the home team.
50 Freestyle: Miller hammered down a swift 23.30 to win the women’s fastest race of the afternoon.
100 Freestyle: In a very close race Northwestern’s Emily Wong out-touched Miller, 50.81 to 51.17, to prevent the Irish sprint freestyler from a clean sweep … Prestinario showed some outside heat from the far lane, clocking a 52.05 to ease in at third.
200 Backstroke: Northwestern’s Genny Szymanski proved to be the outside burner, winning the distance back in 2:01.21 … Holden came in for the silver at 2:02.54.
200 Breaststroke: Maxwell picked up where she left off earlier in the 100 breast and swam out to a lead and never looked back … she won in 2:16.94, a new top time for the Irish this season … Ashley Edgell placed fourth with a time of 2:20.40.
500 Freestyle: Northwestern’s Shishkoff ran away with the race in 4:53.58 … Sylvester slipped in for second with a 5:00.83.
100 Butterfly: Holden proved to be the outside burner this time around, clocking a quick 55.77 to win gold … she was followed closely by Casey who secured second (56.09).
3-meter Diving: Stitt grabbed first place with a score of 317.25 … Grossman snagged second with a score of 296.93 … Jenny Chiang rounded out the top three with a score of 287.70.
400 Individual Medley: Farrell led the field at the conclusion of the butterfly leg … but a quartet of Northwestern swimmers led by Jacquie Godbe (4:22.01) swept the top spots … Megan Farrell (4:27.65) was the highest Irish placer.
400 Free Relay: As the extremely close meet wound down, it became clear that the last relay would be a winner-takes-all event … Northwestern’s A-relay took an early lead and it proved too much for the upset-minded Irish to overcome … the squad of Prestinario, Maxwell, Cronin and Miller rallied to take the silver (3:27.29) behind the gold time of (3:25.23).