March 14, 2012
ESPN3 – Friday
ESPN3 – Saturday
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Notre Dame junior Jenny Chiang, freshman Emma Reaney and sophomore Kelly Ryan are all set to participate at the NCAA Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships that get underway on Thursday and run through Saturday at Auburn University’s James E. Martin Aquatics Center.
Chiang qualified in the 1-meter dive, but will also dive in the 3-meter, Reaney is competing in the 200 IM and the 100 and 200 breast and Ryan is swimming the 100 and 200 back and the 100 free.
Chiang is advancing to nationals after finishing second on the 1-meter dive at last weekend’s NCAA Zone C Diving meet. There she scored 598.05 points to finish as runner-up. She becomes the first Irish diver to advance to NCAAs since 2009 when Natalie Stitt made it in the 1-meter and finished 32nd.
Reaney’s time of 1:56.42 in the 200 IM won her the BIG EAST crown in the event and qualified her 10th in the country. The Lawrence, Kan., product is also the top freshman in the event. Reaney also won the 100 breast at the BIG EAST (59.83). The time puts her 14th in the country, including the second-highest freshman. Reaney’s best time in the 200 breast is 2:11.42, which gave her a second place finish at BIG EAST and places her 33rd in the country.
Ryan’s best time in the 200 back came at BIG EAST, where she won the event in 1:55.56. The time qualified her 30th in the country. The Hinsdale, Ill., product qualified for the 100 back after she swam 53.32 on the lead leg of the winning 400 medley relay team at the BIG EAST Championships. She is 34th nationally in the event entering the NCAAs. Ryan won the 100 free at BIG EAST in 49.38, which places her 45th nationally.
The Irish have now qualified at least two individuals for the NCAAs every year since 1997. Last year Samantha Maxwell and Kim Holden qualified for the national championships. Maxwell finished 17th in the 100 breast to pace the Irish.
This year marks the first since 2009 that Notre Dame has had three individuals qualify for nationals. That year saw Maxwell, Amywren Miller and Stitt all go.
Reaney is the first freshman to advance to the NCAAs since Maxwell and Miller went in 2008.
The top eight in each event earn All-America honors, while positions 9-16 are named Honorable Mention All-American. If either can earn All-America accolades, they would be the first since Maxwell (HM, 100 breast) and Miller (AA, 50 free) in 2010. In 2009, Maxwell earned All-America honors in the 100 breast and Honorable Mention All-America accolades in the 200 breast.
Fans can watch all three days on ESPN3.com, with a rebroadcast of the finals scheduled for 7 p.m. on Wednesday, March 21 on ESPNU. A link for live stats will also be available on UND.com.