March 7, 2000

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Five Notre Dame women’s swimmers have qualified for the 2000 NCAA Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships, which will be held March 16-18 in Indianapolis, Ind. Senior Elizabeth Barger (Littleton, Colo.), senior Alison Newell (Parker, Colo.), senior Shannon Suddarth (Topeka, Kan.), junior Carrie Nixon (Ouray, Colo.) and sophomore Kelly Hecking (Rutherford, N.J.) all qualified to compete at the meet which will be held at the IUPUI Natatorium.

Barger, one of the team’s co-captains, will be headed to her second straight NCAA meet after qualifying in the 100 and 200-meter butterfly events and as a member of the 400 medley relay. Last season, Barger earned honorable mention All-America status with the team’s 200 and 400 medley relays, while also competing individually in both butterfly events.

Newell will be making her first appearance at the NCAA meet since earning All-America honors as a freshman in 1997 in the 200 butterfly. A team co-captain, Newell qualified to swim in the 2000 meet in the 400-meter freestyle and the 100 and 200-meter butterfly.

Suddarth, who qualified in the 100 and 200-meter breaststroke and as a member of the 400 medley relay, will be looking to become the first Irish swimmer to earn All-America honors in four straight seasons. A year ago, Suddarth was a two-time honorable mention honoree in the 200-yard breaststroke and the 400 medley relay. As a sophomore, she finished eighth in the 100 breaststroke and 11th in the 200 breaststroke after placing 13th in the 200 race as a freshman in 1997.

Nixon, the most decorated Irish women’s swimmer in BIG EAST history, qualified for the NCAA meet in four events including the 50 and 100 freestyle, the 100 butterfly and as a part of the 400 medley relay. Nixon enters the meet with the second-best qualifying time in the 50 freestyle (22.58), the fourth-best time in the 100 freestyle (49.18) and the seventh-best time in the 100 butterfly (54.07).

Hecking also is making her second straight appearance at the NCAA meet after earning honorable mention All-America honors as a freshman in 1999 with the 200 and 400 medley relays. Hecking qualified in both the 100 and 200-meter backstroke events and with the team’s 400 medley relay.

This year’s NCAA championship meet will be swum in a 25-meter pool instead of the usual 25-yard pool in preparation for this year’s Olympics and Olympic Trials.