Feb. 19, 2003
THIS WEEK: The 17th ranked Notre Dame women’s swimming and diving team looks for its seventh consecutive BIG EAST Conference title Thursday-Saturday, March 20-22 in Uniondale, N.Y. The Irish have a 9-1-1 dual-meet record this season.
BIG EAST HISTORY: Notre Dame has been very successful in the BIG EAST Championship meet, winning the last six meets and only failing to win the contest in 1996, the first year Notre Dame was in the BIG EAST Conference. Last year, Notre Dame scored 797.00 points to easily outdistance runner-up Rutgers.
Head coach Bailey Weathers has been named the BIG EAST Coach of the Year five of the last six years, missing the award only in 2000.
The Irish have also had two swimmers win the BIG EAST Most Outstanding Swimmer honors in the past seven years. Linda Gallo won the honor in 1998, while Carrie Nixon stood out among the rest of the field in 2000.
Overall, Notre Dame athletes have won 56 conference titles at the BIG EAST meet. Former Irish swimmers Kelly Hecking and Carrie Nixon finished their careers as the most decorated swimmers in conference history as Hecking claimed 19 titles during her illustrious career, while Nixon had 18.
Current Notre Dame swimmers who have claimed conference titles during their careers include: junior Lisa D’Olier (100 and 200 fly in 2001, 200 and 400 medley relay in 2001 and 2002), sophomore Katie Eckholt (200 free relay in 2002), junior Danielle Hulick (200 and 400 medley relay in 2001, 200 free relay in 2002), junior Marie Labosky (200 individual medley in 2001) and junior Laurie Musgrave (200 medley relay in 2001)
IRISH COMPETING IN BIG EAST MEET: Notre Dame had 26 swimmers and divers qualify for the BIG EAST Championships this weekend. Juniors Lisa Garcia and Marie Labosky have posted the fastest times in their particular events in 2002-03. Garcia has conference-best times in the 200 butterfly and the 200 individual medley, while Labosky stands atop the 400 individual medley list.
Irish swimmers and divers who rank in the top eight of their events coming intot he meet include junior Danielle Hulick (2nd-100 back, 3rd – 50 free), Garcia (3rd-400 IM, 4th-100 fly), freshman Christel Bouvron (5th-100 fly), sophomore Kelli Barton (7th-1,650 free), Labosky (2nd in the 1650, 3rd-200 back, 7th-200 IM), freshman Courtney Choura (7th-100 breast), junior Laurie Musgrave (5th-100 breast, 6th-200 breast), senior Amy Deger (6th-400 IM), sophomore Brooke Taylor (7th-200 fly, 5th-400 IM) and junior diver Meghan Perry-Eaton (3rd in one-meter).
In the relays, Notre Dame’s 200 freestyle relay is seeded second, while the 200 and 400 medley relays are fourth. The 800 freestyle relay is eighth, while the 400 free relay is fourth.
Other Irish athletes who have qualified for the conference meet include: senior Heidi Hendrick, junior Katie Eckholt, sophomore Kristen Peterson, sophomore Sarah Alwen, senior Nicole Kohrt, freshmen Courtney Campbell, Annie Mantey, Kalei Walker and Kara Santelli, junior Lisa D’Olier, sophomore Georgia Healey, junior Kristina Kennedy, sophomore Chrissy Habeeb and junior Katie Philipp.
ABOUT THE IRISH: #17 Notre Dame improved to 9-1-1 in dual-meet action after ending the season with a thrilling meet with Michigan in which the Irish won 153-147. Notre Dame closed out the season with eight consecutive wins after tying Purdue and falling to Indiana in December.
Junior Lisa Garcia has had a stellar season in 2002-03. Garcia has qualified for six events at the BIG EAST meet and has the conference’s best time thus far in both the 200 butterfly and the 200 individual medley. She also has the third best time in the 400 IM and the fourth fastest time in the 100 fly. She has also qualified in the 200 free, where she ranks ninth, and the 100 backstroke.
Junior Marie Labosky also has had a good season as she has the fastest BIG EAST time thus far in the 400 individual medley, second in the 1,650 freestyle and the third-fastest time in the 200 backstroke. She also ranks seventh in the 200 IM.
Junior Danielle Hulick has also qualified for four events at the BIG EAST meet and has the second-best time in the 100 backstroke, while junior diver Meghan Perry-Eaton has the third best score in the one-meter diving event.
HEAD COACH BAILEY WEATHERS: Irish head coach Bailey Weathers is in his eighth season as head coach of the Irish women. Weathers has taken Notre Dame to new heights as the Irish have won six consecutive BIG EAST titles under his direction. For his efforts, Weathers has earned BIG EAST Coach of the Year honors five of the last six seasons.
Notre Dame has also achieved a new presence on the national level as the Irish qualified nine athletes for the 2002 NCAA Championships. Overall, Weathers has coached 15 swimmers to All-America honors, 24 swimmers to 56 BIG EAST event championships and 16 swimmers to 16 BIG EAST Championship meet records and every school record has been broken under Weathers’ tenure.
The Irish have also gotten it done in the classroom as he has tutored seven CSCAA All-Academc selections and 12 honorable mention All-Academic honorees.
HEAD DIVING COACH CAIMING XIE: Irish head diving coach Caiming Xie is in his eighth year with the program. Xie was named the 1999 BIG EAST Diving Coach of the Year and was instrumental in former Irish diver Heather Mattingly earning All-American honors on the three-meter board at the 2002 NCAA Championships after she placed eighth.
ABOUT THE COMPETITION: Boston College won its last eight dual meets of the season to finish 12-3. Diver Melissa Kull of Connecticut has top five scores in both the 1- and 3-meter event, while Georgetown’s Juliana Bonilla holds the top total in the league at 1-meter. Both are six-dive totals. Miami returns Manon van Rooijen, the 2002 BIG EAST Most Outstanding Swimmer, who set championship records in the 100 and 200 freestyle last year.
Pittsburgh’s Ryan Redman and Cynthia Snyder have the top two times in the 100 breaststroke this year. The Panthers also have the top times in the 200 freestyle (1:34:40) and 200 IM (1:43.20) relays. Rutgers is ranked 25th in the latest CSCAA poll and freshman Kelly Harrigan has one of the top 20 times in the country in the 200 backstroke (1:58.72), while senior Michelle DeFreese is the defending champion in the 100 butterfly. Senior Melissa Kolackovsky broke the St. John’s record in the 100 fly (58.72) and sophomore Adi Segal set a record in the 200 butterfly (2:07.33). Seton Hall is led by seniors Erin Burke (100 butterfly) and Jessica Socha (50 and 100 freesyle) who are looking to improve upon last season’s finishes.
Syracuse’s Elyse McDonough won all 14 individual dual-meet events she competed in. She has won 24 of her last 25 dating back to November 3, 2001. Villanova has two NCAA qualifiers in Maddy Crippen (400 IM) and Becky Koch (100, 200 and 500 freestyle). Crippen has won nine BIG EAST titles, which is second most all time (Kristel Tellegen, Miami – 12). Virginia Tech’s Jill Turner captured 12 first-place finishes and set a school record with her league-best time in the 50 freestyle (23.12). Devlyn Quinn won seven individual events for West Virginia and diver Kristen Moffatt set a team record with a score of 293.7 in the 3-meter event. (courtesy of www.bigeast.org)
THREE HAVE B-CUT FOR NCAA MEET: Three Irish swimmers have recorded B-times for the 2003 NCAA meet March 20-22 in Auburn, Ala. Junior Danielle Hulick has recorded a B-time in the 100 backstroke, while junior Lisa Garcia has B-times in the 200 butterfly and the 200 IM and Marie Labosky in the 400 IM.
IRISH RANKED NO. 17 IN NATION: Notre Dame is ranked No. 17 in the most recent College Swimming Coaches Association of America Division I bi-weekly rankings (Feb. 13). The only other BIG EAST team ranked is Rutgers, who is 25th.
Rank, Team (First-place votes) Pts.
1. Auburn (8) 2. Florida 3. Georgia 4. Texas 5. SMU 6. Arizona 7. California 8. Stanford 9. USC10. Wisconsin11. North Carolina12. UCLA13. Virginia14. Penn State15. Arizona State16. Indiana17. Notre Dame18. Alabama19. Michigan20. Maryland21. Missouri22. Texas A&M23. Washington24. Florida State25. Princeton Purdue Rutgers