March 20, 2004
COLLEGE STATION, Texas – The 2003-04 season for the 20th-ranked University of Notre Dame women’s swimming and diving team came to an end Saturday morning. Freshman Katie Carroll (Toledo, Ohio/Notre Dame Academy) tied for 32nd in the 100-meter freestyle on the final day of the 2004 NCAA Division I Championships, missing the evening finals. The Irish finished with 28 points and were tied for 21st heading into the final day of competition.
Carroll, the BIG EAST champion in the event, turned in a time of 55.99 to tie with Sarah Hernandez of Wisconsin. They were .43 seconds from making the consolation final, as 16th-place Jana Kolukanova of Auburn had a time of 55.56.
Kara Lynn Joyce of Georgia was the top qualifier in the event with a mark of 54.40.
Carroll was named honorable mention All-America in both the 200 IM and 400 IM, becoming the first freshman in Notre Dame history gain All-America mention in multiple individual events. She won the consolation final on Thursday in the shorter race to finish ninth in 2:12.28, a mark that would have placed her sixth in the championship final and ranks among the top 20 in the world this year. Carroll broke her own school record, as that mark converts to a yards time of 1:58.52.
On Friday, Carroll was 14th in the 400 IM in 4:42.51. She broke the Notre Dame record for the second time in a day in that race. Her finals time converts to 4:13.12.
Irish senior Meghan Perry-Eaton (Brandon, Fla./Bloomingdale H.S.), who could apply for a fifth year of eligibility after competing in only two meets as a freshman before suffering a season-ending back injury, delivered the highest-ever finish for a Notre Dame competitor in the NCAAs, taking third in one-meter diving on Thursday with 303.90, just 3.30 points behind the champion. Perry-Eaton was 28th in Friday’s three-meter competition.
Notre Dame finished the season 20th in the final CSCAA national dual-meet rankings after going 8-2 and winning its eighth consecutive BIG EAST title, on the strength of seven event championships. The Irish had 14 all-BIG EAST selections, while Carroll was the league’s Most Outstanding Swimmer and Perry-Eaton the Most Outstanding Diver. Both went undefeated in the meet, and Carroll became just the fourth student-athlete ever to win three BIG EAST titles (200 IM, 100 fly, 100 free) as a freshman.
Though the team finish for the Irish in this year’s NCAA meet will not be finalized until Saturday evening, Notre Dame is on pace to be among the top 37 for the ninth consecutive year.