March 5, 1999
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The Notre Dame womens swimming team will send its largest contingent ever to the NCAA championships as seven Irish swimmers qualified for the meet as the selections were released on Friday. Senior Brittany Kline, juniors Shannon Suddarth and Liz Barger, sophomores Carrie Nixon and Kristen Van Saun and freshmen Kelly Hecking and Allison Lloyd will represent Notre Dame at the NCAA championships, which will be held March 18-20 at the University of Georgia in Athens, Ga.
Kline will be one of three Notre Dame swimmers in the 100-yard breaststroke and will swim the event for the second consecutive year after finishing 25th in 1998. Kline enters the championship meet with a time of 1:02.38, the 12th fastest time of the field. Lloyd has the 17th best time of 1:02.49, while three-time All-American Suddarth qualified for the 100-yard breaststroke for the third straight year after placing eighth in 1998 and 22nd in 1997.
Lloyd and Suddarth also will swim the 200-yard breaststroke. Suddarth is a two-time All-American in the 200 with an 11th-place finish in 1998 and a 13th in 1997. She enters the race for the third time with the 18th fastest time of 2:15.23. Lloyds time of 2:16.62 is 27th.
Van Saun will be making her first appearance in the NCAA championship and has the 14th fastest time in the 500-yard freestyle in 4:47.63. She also will swim the 200-yard freestyle where her time of 1:49.29 is 36th.
Nixon enters the 50-yard freestyle with the sixth best time of the 51 swimmers in the meet with her time of 22.62. She placed 27th in the 50 freestyle as a freshman. Nixon also will swim the 100-yard freestyle where her time of 49.89 is 16th. Nixon qualified for the 100-yard butterfly as well.
Hecking and Barger qualified for the meet based on their performance in the 400-yard medley relay, which qualified for the meet with the 12th best time in 3:43.17. Hecking (backstroke), Suddarth (breaststroke), Barger (butterfly) and Nixon (freestyle) earned an automatic spot in that event. Barger will make her first appearance and swim the 100- and 200-yard butterfly, while Hecking will swim the 100- and 200-yard backstroke.
Only 13 schools will send more swimmers to the meet than Notre Dame. The Irish will be looking for their highest team finish ever at the NCAA championships, after placing 23rd with four swimmers in 1998, both tops in the programs history.