March 4, 2005
Notre Dame junior two-time Olympian Christel Bouvron (Singapore, Singapore/Raffles Girls’ Secondary School) and sophomore Katie Carroll (Toledo, Ohio/Notre Dame Academy) earned invitations to the 2005 NCAA Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships, slated for March 17-19 at Purdue University, when the field was announced on Friday. Carroll, honorable mention All-America in both individual medleys last year, will make her second trip to the national championships in as many years, while Bouvron will become the 23rd different Irish student-athlete to compete in the meet, all since 1990.
Notre Dame now has qualified at least one student-athlete to the NCAA meet in each of the last 10 years, every campaign since current head coach Bailey Weathers took the reins of the program. It is the ninth consecutive season that the Irish will have multiple student-athletes in the meet. Notre Dame is in an elite group of only 35 schools to have multiple swimmers in this year’s field. Since 1990, the Irish have garnered a total of 49 invitations to the NCAA Championships, with Notre Dame being unrepresented only in 1995.
Additionally, freshman Caroline Johnson (Springfield, Mo./Glendale H.S.) just missed making it a trio of Notre Dame swimmers in the meet, as she was tabbed the 18th alternate.
Bouvron, who last month won the BIG EAST Conference title in both races, will swim the 100- and 200-yard butterfly at the NCAAs. She earned her invitation via her time in the longer event (2:00.07), which currently ranks 31st in the nation. Bouvron, who competed in both the 2000 and ’04 Olympics for her native Singapore, is seeded 40th in the 100 fly with a season-best mark of 54.75. She is the first non-American from Notre Dame ever to earn a trip to the NCAAs, as well as the sixth Irish swimmer to qualify for the meet in her junior year after missing it in her first two campaigns.
Carroll is the seventh Notre Dame student-athlete to qualify for the NCAAs in both of her first two years. The announcement was anti-climactic for her, as she guaranteed herself a spot in the field with an NCAA automatic-qualifying-time of 4:15.55 in the 400 individual medley at the BIG EAST meet. She was the conference champ in both IMs and is seeded 19th in the longer race (after finishing 14th in 2004) and 26th in the 200 IM (season-best 2:01.35; 9th in `04). Carroll will make it two Irish competitors in the 200 butterfly (in which she finished third at the conference meet), going in with the slowest seed time (2:01.61) of the 45 competitors entered in the race.
The Irish have a chance to get more qualifiers next weekend, when fifth-year senior Meghan Perry-Eaton (Brandon, Fla./Bloomingdale H.S.) and freshman Tara Hyer (Tampa, Fla./Academy of the Holy Names) take part in the NCAA Zone C Diving Championships, slated for March 11-12 at Purdue’s Boilermaker Aquatic Center. The top finishers from that event move on to the NCAA Championships. Perry-Eaton will be seeking her third consecutive trip to the NCAAs, where she finished third in one-meter competition in 2004, the highest-ever placing for an Irish competitor.
Johnson’s best chance for a spot in the field was in the 100 backstroke, in which her season-best time of 55.52 was .12 seconds off the last qualifier taken.