Nov. 9, 2007
PITTSBURGH – The No. 22 women’s swimming and diving team fell to Pittsburgh tonight in a heartbreaker that came down to the final event at the Trees Pool in Pittsburgh, Pa. The Panthers prevailed over Notre Dame, 150-148, despite the Irish capturing nine individual victories. This is the first women’s swimming and diving loss to Pittsburgh in Notre Dame history. The Irish now hold a season dual-meet record of 1-3 and 10-1 all-time record against the Panthers.
In tonight’s first BIG EAST match-up of the 2007-08 season, the Irish swimmers were still able to find success in the pool despite the final outcome. Senior Caroline Johnson (Springfield, MO/Glendale) and freshman Sam Maxwell (Chandler, AZ/Corona del Sol) each swam home two individual titles for Notre Dame. Johnson clocked in first in the 100 and 200 back, setting a season best in the 200 back with 2:04.82. Maxwell earned top-place finishes in the 100 and 200 breast.
The Irish did find a level of success in two events, commanding both the 1,000 free and the 3-meter diving. In each event, the top three spots were swept by Notre Dame swimmers. Junior Claire Hutchinson (Baltimore, MD/McDonogh) led the Irish in the 1,000 free with a time of 10:10.08 to take the crown, followed by junior Casey Wagner (Glenshaw, PA/Shady Side Academy) and sophomore Lexie Shue (Newport Beach, CA/Corona del Mar) in the second and third-place positions.
Junior Laura Rings (Gahanna, OH/Columbus School for Girls) led the 3-meter diving, taking the title with a score of 184.90. Freshman Heidi Grossman (Barrington, RI/Barrington) and sophomore Natalie Stitt (Holland, MI/West Ottawa) followed respectively in the two and thee spots with scores of 161.50 and 159.10.
The meet came down to the final event, the 200 free relay, where the top Notre Dame team was disqualified, hurting the Irish chances to claim the team title. Pittsburgh went on to win the relay, as well as take the second and third-place finishes, to secure the team crown.
The Irish will be back in action in one week when they compete against both Northwestern and Wisconsin in Evanston, Ill. The two-day competition begins on Friday and wraps up on Saturday. It will be the final competition for the Irish in their current five-meet stretch.