March 16, 2006

Two University of Notre Dame swimmers began the 2006 NCAA Championship on Thursday morning with the first session of preliminary races. Junior All-American Katie Carroll advanced to the consolation finals of the 200 individual medley for the third consecutive season, while freshman Claire Hutchinson finished 38th in the 500 freestyle. The final races will begin at 7 p.m. EDT.

Carroll ended up 13th in the preliminaries of the 200 IM, touching the wall in 2:00.62. That time is the third-fastest in Notre Dame history and marks the fastest NCAA 200 IM effort for Carroll since her freshman season. Last year she advanced to the consolation finals in the 200 IM with a 2:00.74 effort which was rated 11th after the prelims. She eventually finished ninth in the field.

No stranger to the 200 IM consolation final, Carroll has advanced to the race for the third consecutive season. In 2004, she finished 22nd in the preliminaries and eventually placed ninth in the final standings. That season, the NCAA Championship was competed on a short-course meter course and Carroll posted the top two times in Notre Dame history in the 200 IM (1:58.52 and 1:59.55 – both converted times from meters to yards).

Carroll’s specialty, the 400 IM, will be contested on Friday. She also will enter the 200 butterfly on Saturday.

Freshman Claire Hutchinson competed in her first collegiate national championship on Thursday, finishing 38th in the 500 freestyle. Hutchinson’s time of 4:51.91 was just off her season-best effort (4:51.75) for the rookie distance specialist. She also will compete in the 400 IM on Friday and 1,650 freestyle on Saturday.

Keep and eye on for Carroll’s results this evening. Live result scoring is available at