Oct. 12, 2013
By Andrew Bartolini
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The first meet of the season provides an opportunity for a head coach to learn about the team and head coach Brian Barnes learned a lot about the 2013-14 edition of the University of Notre Dame women’s swimming and diving program Saturday. The Irish registered a number of impressive swims both by returning veterans and newcomers to the squad, but fell short of a victory over Auburn University and Indiana University in the first two dual meets of the season.
“I learned a lot,” Barnes said after the meet on Saturday. “I cautioned [the team] about how to evaluate this meet because we have a perennial SEC powerhouse on our campus along with the reigning Big Ten champions. We competed against them well and we went down to the wire against Indiana.”
Junior Emma Reaney continued to pace the Irish as she registered two victories on the afternoon in the 100 breaststroke and the 100 butterfly while finishing a close second in the 200 freestyle. Reaney dominated the field with a blistering performance in the 100 breaststroke (1:00.94) and pulled away from the field over the last 25 yards to win the 100 butterfly.
Freshman Katelyn Miller distanced herself over the middle 100 yards of the 200 IM race to earn her first individual victory of her young Irish career.
While Notre Dame (0-2) fell to Auburn, 180-120, and to Indiana University, 155-145, junior Courtney Whyte did see positives for the Irish to build upon over the next three weeks before the Irish race again.
“They are both really tough teams and really competitive [each year],” said Whyte. “Each year I have been on the team we have come closer and closer to beating them so that is encouraging. A lot of us had a lot of good swims especially with this being the first dual meet of the season. I think we have all been tired this week and we have a lot of improvement to do even in the next few weeks. However, I think it is exciting to see where we are going to go.”
Coach Barnes doesn’t view this meet as a moral victory, though, and is ready to use the next three weeks of preparation to continue to work on the team’s identity.
“We have three weeks until our next meet,” said Barnes. “I like that amount of time. After [that amount of time] they are going to be tired of training and ready to compete so I am happy about that. A lot of the things that we learn from and evaluate here are going to be discussed in the next three weeks. We have to continue to do the things we did well this weekend and continue to get better. That is the challenge with this team.”
The sentiment was echoed by Whyte, who said that the Irish leadership has been preaching accountability more this season.
“I think a lot [of the leadership] is definitely the juniors and the seniors stepping up and incorporating aspects that we learned last year and this year in our meetings with Mike Harrity (Associate Athletics Director for Student-Athlete Development and Community Programming). We have been talking about accountability and keeping everyone accountable for their own training. We have been more encouraging and engaging in everyone else’s training [this year].”
The Irish will continue to learn about their identity when they head to Purdue University for a November 1 showdown against in-state rival Boilermakers.
200 Medley Relay: The foursome of Sarah Dotzel, Emma Reaney, Courtney Whyte and Kelly Ryan finished in a close second to Auburn with a time of 1:42.84 … the group of Catherine Mulquin, Christen McDonough, Genevieve Heidkamp and Hannah Bowen finished in fifth place for Notre Dame (1:46.18).
1,000 Freestyle: Freshman Katie Miller paced herself to a third-place finish, touching the pad at 10:21.52 … Bridget Casey stopped the clock with a time of 10:29.16 for a fifth-place performance … in the first heat Erin Foley came in a close second (10:30.27) while teammate Molly Barry finished at 10:39.20.
200 Freestyle: Emma Reaney used a powerful third lap to take the lead … she held on to win the second heat for the Irish in 1:50.40 and second overall … senior Kelly Ryan finished with a time of 1:51.93, which was good for fifth place … in the first heat of action Suzanne Bessire finished in second (1:52.67).
100 Backstroke: Mulquin and Dotzel represented the Irish in the second heat and finished with times of 56.82 and 1:01:52, respectively … Sydney Golic (1:00.71) and Heidkamp (1:00.99) took the pool for Notre Dame in the first heat.
100 Breaststroke: Reaney took the early lead and did not look as she won the event in a blistering time of 1:00.94 … Christen McDonough finished in third with a time of 1:05.16 in the second heat … freshman Danielle Margheret and Lauren Stauder finished first and second in the opening heat of the event with performances of 1:05.98 and 1:06.66, respectively.
200 Butterfly: Bridget Casey used a strong second half of the race to clock in at 2:03.39 … teammate Courtney Whyte finished close behind in a time of 2:03.69 … Melissa Scott (2:07.95) and Anna Grainger (2:16.13) raced for Notre Dame in the first heat.
50 Freestyle: Hannah Bowen, returning after not swimming last season due to an injury, was the first Irish swimmer to hit the pad in 24.28 … McDonough finished next for Notre Dame in the second heat in a time of 24.56 … Mulquin took the silver for the Irish (24.29) in the first heat while Heidkamp (25.62) rounded out the group of Irish swimmers in the event.
100 Freestyle: Ryan claimed third in the race with a time of 51.31 … Bessire (52.78), Bradford (53.31) and Mikelle Masciantonio (54.68) all represented Notre Dame in the event.
200 Backstroke: Miller was the top Irish swimmer in the event when she stopped the clock at 2:03.96 … Whyte (2:04.34) and Anna Grainger (2:04.55) finished closely behind Miller.
200 Breaststroke: Margheret led all Notre Dame swimmers with her 2:22.27 showing … McDonough also swam in the first heat with a time of 2:25.27… Bradford Lauren Stauder teamed to sweep the top two spots of heat one with performances of 2:22.95 and 2:24.73.
500 Freestyle: Second heat swimmers Casey and Foley swam to fifth and ninth place finishes overall with times of 5:06.32 and 5:10.65, respectively … the freshmen duo of Molly Barry (5:09.11) and Elizabeth House (5:17.14) rounded out the Irish effort.
100 Butterfly: Reaney pulled away late to win the event with a time of 55.03 … Whyte finished close behind in with a 56.67 showing … Dotzel sprinted to a time of 58.15, finishing a close second to Auburn’s Alexandria Merritt with a time of 56.25 in the first heat.
200 Individual Medley: Miller surged ahead on the backstroke and breaststroke lengths to claim another gold for the Irish with her time of 2:03.14 … Bradford (2:09.10), Scott (2:10.93) and Golic (2:13.29) all competed for the Irish as well.
400 Free Relay: The Irish squad of Ryan, Mulquin, Bessire and Miller finished in third place overall with a time of 3:29.58.
3-meter Diving: Streepey continued on a strong performance at the Dennis Stark Relays with a victory off the 3-meter board, totaling 296.50 points … Gaboury (270.20) also had a top-five finish for Notre Dame.