Jan. 15, 2004
THIS WEEK: The 21st-ranked Notre Dame women’s swimming and diving team travels to Ann Arbor, Mich., Friday-Saturday, January 16-17, 2004, for the Michigan Invitational. Friday night’s session begins at 6:00 p.m. EST, at Canham Natatorium while Saturday’s sessions are at 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Teams competing this weekend include Notre Dame, 17th-ranked Michigan and unranked Illinois. Notre Dame will only score against Illinois as the Wolverines and Irish are scheduled for a dual meet in South Bend on Saturday, Jan. 31.
THE MICHIGAN INVITATIONAL: The Michigan Invitational is a two-day, finals-only event following the format of the NCAA Championships. The pool will be configured in short-course meters which is also what the NCAA Championships will be this season in preparation for the U.S. Olympic Trials and ultimately the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece. The schedule of events is the following:
Friday, January 16 @ 6 p.m.
200 Freestyle Relay
200 Individual Medley
400 Medley Relay
Saturday, Jan. 17 @ 9 a.m.
200 Medley Relay
400 Individual Medley
800 Freestyle Relay
Saturday, Jan. 17 @ 5:00 p.m.
400 Freestyle Relay
ABOUT NOTRE DAME: Notre Dame, ranked 21st in the country, is 4-1 on the season with dual-meet wins over Tampa, Pittsburgh, Bowling Green and Louisville. The only defeat suffered by the Irish was at the hands of 13th-ranked Indiana, 176-124, in Bloomington, Ind., on October 30.
The fall season has been tough for the Irish as a majority of the squad was slowed by a viral infection in November causing a majority of the team to miss over two weeks of training and 11 athletes to skip the Texas A&M Invitational the weekend of Nov. 21-23. The Irish went on to finish seventh out of seven teams at the Texas A&M Invitational against some of the nation’s best, before finally regaining their form in winning the Notre Dame Invitational and the Puerto Rico Winter Training Trip Meet in Encantada, Puerto Rico on January 4.
HEAD SWIMMING COACH Bailey Weathers: Irish head swimming coach Bailey Weathers is in his ninth year at the helm of the Irish roster. During his tenure, Notre Dame has won seven straight BIG EAST Conference crowns and he has been named conference coach of the year five times. Weathers coached 16 different swimmers to All-America honors while at Notre Dame and over 30 swimmers to 63 BIG EAST Championships. He also has coached 17 swimmers to 17 BIG EAST Championship records and every school record has been broken under his tenure. He also has coached seven College Swimming Coaches Association of America All-Academic selections and 12 honorable mention academic All-Americans.
Before coming to Notre Dame, Weathers coached at South Carolina where he was three-time Metro Conference Coach of the Year and had two top-12 NCAA finishes. Before South Carolina, he was at Southern Illinois where he was named the 1986 NCAA Division I Coach of the Year after placing fifth at the NCAA meet. He also has been an assistant coach at the University of Texas and Indiana University, and coaching the Mission Aurora Swim Club in Colorado from 1990-95.
HEAD DIVING COACH Caiming Xie: Caiming Xie is in his ninth season as the head diving coach at Notre Dame for both the men’s and women’s team. During his tenure, he has coached two All-Americans in Heather Mattingly and Meghan Perry-Eaton and was named the 1999 BIG EAST Coach of the Year. Caiming was responsible for the development of Mattingly as she became the first Notre Dame diver to earn All-America honors after placing eighth in the three-meter competition at the 2002 NCAA meet. The next season, Perry-Eaton became the first Notre Dame diver in history to win a BIG EAST Conference title when she defeated Miami’s Katie Beth Bryant to win the one-meter competition. She also was named the 2003 BIG EAST Diver of the Year after placing second in the three-meter event. The then-junior went on to place ninth at the 2003 NCAA meet on the one-meter board.
NOTRE DAME HAS 20 BIG EAST QUALIFIERS SO FAR: Notre Dame has 20 women who have qualified for the BIG EAST Championships February 19-21 in Long Island, N.Y. Leading the way is freshman Katie Carroll who has achieved automatic qualifying times in six events thus far in 2003-04 including the 50 and 100 freestyle, the 100 and 200 butterfly and the 200 and 400 individual medley. Freshman Ellen Johnson has five automatic times in the 100, 200 and 500 freestyle and the 100 and 200 backstroke, as does freshman Ann Barton in the 200 backstroke, 100 and 200 butterfly and 200 and 400 individual medley.
Senior Danielle Hulick has posted four “A” times in the 50 and 100 freestyle and the 100 and 200 backstroke, while sophomore Courtney Choura has four in the 100 free, 100 and 200 breaststroke and 200 individual medley. Senior Lisa Garcia also has four “A” times in the 200 freestyle, 100 and 200 butterfly and 200 IM, while freshman Jessica Stephens has qualified in the 100 and 200 breaststroke, 100 butterfly and 200 individual medley.
Other qualifiers for the BIG EAST meet include freshman Abby Strang (500 and 1,650 free and 400 IM), junior Kelli Barton (1,650 free, 200 breaststroke, 400 IM), junior Sarah Alwen (100 and 200 back), senior Marie Labosky (200 back, 200 IM), freshman Kiley Gooch (200 back), junior Kristen Peterson (200 back), senior Laurie Musgrave (100 and 200 breaststroke), freshman Annie Sweeney (100 breast), junior Georgia Healey (200 breast), sophomore Christel Bouvron (100 and 200 fly), junior Brooke Taylor (200 fly), senior Meghan Perry-Eaton (one- and three-meter diving) and junior Samantha Raneri (three-meter diving).
Five other athletes including junior Katie Eckholt, freshman Krissy Archer, freshman Rebecca Grove, sophomore Annie Mantey and senior Lisa D’Olier have achieved “B” times thus far, but will have to swim one “A” time to qualify for the meet.
IRISH IN THE BIG EAST RANKINGS: Notre Dame has a number of swimmers who currently rank in the top 10 of the conference including freshman Katie Carroll who has the top time in both the 100 butterfly (55.67) and the 400 individual medley (4:24.38). She also has the second-fastest times in the 200 IM (2:03.31) and the 200 butterfly (2:03.23).
Senior Lisa Garcia has the fourth-fastest times in the conference in the 100 fly (56.40) and 200 fly (2:03.55) and is sixth in the 200 IM (2:05.18). Senior Marie Labosky is fourth in the 200 backstroke (2:01.78) and seventh in the 200 IM (2:05.42). Sophomore Courtney Choura is fourth in the 100 breaststroke in 1:04.67, while senior Danielle Hulick is fourth in the 50 free and ninth in the 100 backstroke (57.67). Junior Kelli Barton is fourth in the 400 IM (4:26.82), while freshman, and Kelli’s sister, Ann Barton is fifth in the 100 butterfly (56.75) and the 200 backstroke (2:02.67). Sophomore Christel Bouvron is fifth in the 100 butterfly (56.75) and 200 butterfly (2:03.60), while senior Laurie Musgrave is eighth in the 200 breaststroke (2:22.51). Freshman Ellen Johnson ranked ninth in the 200 freestyle (1:52.23) and 10th in the 200 back (2:04.50). Junior Sarah Alwen is ninth in the 1,650 with a time of 17:13.86, while Meghan Perry-Eaton is near the top in both the one- and three-meter diving events.
Meghan Perry-Eaton REMAINS UNDEFEATED IN 2003-04: Senior diver Meghan Perry-Eaton is well on her way to earning her second consecutive BIG EAST Diver of the Year honor as she remains undefeated in 2003-04. The native of Brandon, Fla., has swept both boards against North Carolina State, Pittsburgh, Louisville, Bowling Green, Wyoming and Northeastern and also was victorious at the Texas A&M Invitational this season. Perry-Eaton has recorded season-high scores of 315.82 for six dives against Pittsburgh on the one-meter board and 334.40 against Wyoming and Northeastern on the three-meter event.
Last year, the senior became the first Notre Dame diver to claim BIG EAST Diver of the Year honors after winning the one-meter board and placing second on the three-meter event. Her victory on the one-meter event was also the first individual diving win for an Irish athlete at a BIG EAST Championship. Perry-Eaton then went on to finish ninth on the one-meter board at the NCAA meet, earning honorable mention All-America honors.
THE FRESHMAN CLASS GETTING NOTICED: The freshman class has also made an immediate impact for the Irish in 2003-04. Against Tampa, six different freshmen were credited with wins, while two others would have claimed victories if they did not swim exhibition. Winners against Tampa included Ann Barton, Katie Carroll (twice), Kiley Gooch, Rebecca Grove, Jessica Stephens and Abby Strang. Other winners would have included Grove and Ellen Johnson if they had not been competing exhibition.
The freshmen also performed well against Indiana as Barton and Carroll both were winners for the Irish and Carroll continued her impressive season with wins in the 100 butterfly and 200 individual medley against Pittsburgh. In the tri-meet against Bowling Green and Louisville, Carroll and Johnson won two events, while Barton, Grove and Stephens finished first in their races as well.
At the Puerto Rico Winter Training Trip Meet, Carroll won the 100 freestyle shattering the meet record in the process, while Barton also accomplished the same feat in the 200 backstroke (Barton also placed second in the 100 backstroke). Carroll was also a part of the 200 medley relay which set a meet record in Puerto Rico.
Other who make up the freshman class include Krissy Archer, who has a “B” time for the BIG EAST meet; diver Tyne Feheley who saw her first action of the year against Wyoming and Northeastern in Mission Viejo, Calif., Grace Galagan, Meghan Linnelli and Annie Sweeney, who has qualified for the BIG EAST meet in the 100 breaststroke.
Christel Bouvron WINS SIX MEDALS AT SEA GAMES: Sophomore Christel Bouvron won six medals including three golds, two silvers and a bronze at the 2003 Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games) in early December in Hanoi, Vietnam. The sophomore won an individual gold in the 200 butterfly and was a member of the gold-medal winning 4×100 medley relay and the 4×100 freestyle relay, while winning silver in the 4×200 freestyle relay. She also won a silver medal in the 400-meter freestyle and a bronze in the 100 butterfly.
In the 4×100 medley relay, the Singapore team of Bernardette Lee Jing Fei, Nicolette Teo Wei Min, Bouvron and Joscelin Yeo Wei Ling finished first in 4:20.49, while Bouvron swam the second leg of the winning 4×100 freestyle team posting a winning time of 3:54.47. In the 4×200 freestyle relay, Bouvron swam the leadoff leg as Singapore finished second in a time of 8:38.78.
Individually, Bouvron finished first in the 200 butterfly in 2:17.72, while she also earned a silver medal in the finals of the 400 freestyle with a time of 4:24.23. Bouvron also claimed third in the 100 butterfly with a time of 1:04.50.
NOTRE DAME RANKED #21: The Irish women’s swimming and diving team remains ranked 21st in the December 12 Collegiate Swimming Coaches Association Poll. Defending national champion Auburn received all eight first-place votes and is first with 200 points, followed by Georgia, Florida, Stanford and Texas. Here is the complete poll:
Rank, Team Points
1. Auburn (8) 200
2. Georgia 192
3. Florida 184
4. Stanford 176
5. Texas 168
6. Arizona 160
7. Southern Cal 151
8. California 145
9. SMU 135
10. UCLA 129
11. Wisconsin 120
12. Indiana 110
13. North Carolina 104
14. Texas A&M 96
15. Penn State 88
16. Michigan 73
Arizona State 73
18. Virginia 67
19. Florida State 58
20. Maryland 47
21. Notre Dame 33
22. Missouri 30
23. Minnesota 24
24. Hawaii 15
25. Washington 9
IRISH MOVING UP THE CHARTS IN BIG EAST HISTORY: The Notre Dame women’s swimming and diving team has won seven consecutive conference titles (1997-current) and are inching ever closer to the all-time consecutive conference title mark. The Pittsburgh men’s swimming and diving program holds the record at 10, winning from 1983-92, while the Panther women won nine straight titles from 1983-91. Here is the list for most consecutive BIG EAST titles:
10 – Pittsburgh men’s swimming and diving (’83-’92)
9 – Pittsburgh women’s swimming and diving (’83-’91)
9 – Connecticut women’s basketball (’94-’02)
8 – Boston College men’s tennis (’81-’88)
7 – Pittsburgh volleyball (’88-’94)
7 – Notre Dame women’s soccer (’95-’01)
7 – Notre Dame women’s swimming (’97-active)
IRISH SIGN FOUR SWIMMERS IN EARLY SIGNING PERIOD: Notre Dame signed four athletes to National Letters of Intent during the early signing period including Caroline Johnson, Katie Hopkins, Raine Paulson-Andrews and Laura Rings.
Hopkins, from Ellicott City, Md., was named all-Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland in 2001, and was a National Catholic Champion at Notre Dame Preparatory School. For her efforts, Hopkins was named the Baltimore Sun Athlete of the Year last season. Swimming the 100 and 200 breaststroke and the 200 butterfly, Hopkins has a best-time of 2:17.33 in the 200-yard breaststroke.
Johnson, from Springfield, Mo., is an eight-time high school All-American in the 50 and 100 freestyle and the 200 medley and 400 freestyle relay teams at Glendale High School. Swimming the butterfly, backstroke and freestyle events, Johnson is the Missouri state recordholder in the 50- and 100-freestyle events and is a four-time Missouri state champion while swimming for Springfield Aquatics. In 2002, she earned Missouri Swimmer of the Year accolades and was the National Club Swimming Association’s Junior National Champion in the 50-meter backstroke. She also qualified for the US Open Championships in the 50 and 100 freestyle and the 100 backstroke.
Paulson-Andrews is from Montego Bay, Jamaica, and attends Gulliver Preparatory in Miami, Fla., where she swims the sprint freestyle and individual medley events. A member of the Jamaican National Team since the age of 11 where she trained at Doctors Cave Beach, Paulson-Andrews has won many gold and silver medals at the Carifta Games, the Caribbean Islands Swimming Championships (CISC) and the Central American and Caribbean Swimming Confederation Games (CCCAN). In 2003, she won the gold in the 50 freestyle at the CCCAN. She also competed in the US Open and the Pan American Games in 2003.
From Gahanna, Ohio, Rings is an all-state diver from The Columbus School for Girls. A member of the U.S. Elite Diving Academy, she is a three-time all-state honoree and won All-America honors in2003. She earned most valuable player honors and set the school record in diving last season. As a junior, Rings was fifth at the Ohio state diving meet, after placing seventh as a freshman and sixth as a sophomore. A two-time captain, Rings also competed at the 2003 US Senior Nationals where she placed 13th in the synchronized three-meter diving event. She also was ninth on the three-meter board at the Zone A Summer Championships in 2003.
UP NEXT: Notre Dame is headed into the home stretch as the Irish prepare for the 2004 BIG EAST Championships. After the Michigan Invitational this weekend, the Irish travel to East Lansing, Mich., on January 30 for a double-dual meet against Michigan State and Ohio State, before returning home on January 31 to face Michigan at the Rolfs Aquatics Center. Notre Dame then will host Oakland University on February 7 at home before heading to the BIG EAST meet on February 19.