Notre Dame adds four athletes to a team that won its 12th consecutive BIG EAST title in 2008.

Four Ink With Women's Swimming and Diving

June 5, 2008

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Notre Dame women’s swimming and diving head coach Carrie Nixon recently announced the signing of four student-athletes. Emily Barton, Amy Prestinario, Gwen Blythe and Colleen Fotsch will each suit up for the Irish this fall.

Barton (Scottsdale, Ariz.) will provide depth in the individual medley and breast events for Notre Dame. She was part of the 2005 Junior National Champion squad that set the country’s record in the 200 Free Relay. Barton is a nine-time Junior National Qualifier and was Arizona’s high school state champion in the 100 Breast, 200 IM, 200 Medley Relay and 400 Free Relay. Each of her two older sisters – Ann (’07) and Kelli (’05) swam at Notre Dame.

“Emily shows great promise and brings her expertise in the IM events with her to Notre Dame,” said Nixon. “With her great work ethic and versatility she will surely become an irreplaceable asset to us in years to come.”

A middle-distance freestyler, Prestinario (Naperville, Ill.) also excels in the individual medley. She has claimed multiple Illinois high school state titles in the 200 IM, also racking up championship finishes in the 500 Free. Prestinario was also a National Qualifiers.

“Amy has the talent and feel for the water to swim at a fast level in college,” noted Nixon. “She has a very small physique and should benefit from our strength and training program here at Notre Dame.”

A native of Colleyville, Texas, Blythe recorded the second fastest time ever recorded in the history of Texas high school swimming when she clocked in at 1:02.23 in the 100 Breast. She was the Texas state champion in that event as well as a National and Olympic Trial Qualifier in the 200 Breast.

“Gwen has already shown great speed in the 100 and 200 Breast,” said Nixon. “She brings an abundance of breaststroke talent to our team. We have been thin in this area as of late and Gwen will certainly change that.”

Hailing from Palo Alto, Calif., Fotsch will compete in the fly and back events for the Irish. Fotsch was the 2008 Junior National Champion and record holder in the 50 Fly (24.42). She is also an Olympic Trial Qualifier in the 100 Fly.

“Colleen could not have come to our team at a better time,” Nixed added. “After graduating our top backstroker, Colleen will be able to step in and help us right away. In addition, she brings an unprecedented amount of sprinting speed and 100 Fly speed to our team. She will undoubtedly make our relays better.”

2008 Signees - Top Times
Emily Barton / Scottsdale, Ariz.100 Breast - 1:04.55200 Breast - 2:20.36200 Fly - 2:04.19200 IM - 2:03.77400 IM - 4:22.97
Amy Prestinario / Naperville, Ill.200 Free - 1:50.68500 Free - 4:55.27200 IM - 2:03.02100 Back - 56.68
Gwen Blythe / Colleyville, Texas100 Breast - 1:02.23200 Breast - 2:16.92200 IM - 2:07.19
Colleen Fotsch / Palo Alto, Calif.100 Free - 51.68100 Back - 55.5150 Fly - 24.42100 Fly - 54.77