March 12, 2004
Notre Dame senior Meghan Perry-Eaton (Brandon, Fla./Bloomingdale H.S.) will take the first step on her quest for an NCAA individual title, participating in the NCAA Zone C Diving Meet Friday and Saturday in Bloomington, Ind. Perry-Eaton, the BIG EAST Most Outstanding Diver in each of the last two years, finished ninth in the NCAA Championships a year ago to be honorable mention All-America. This season, she is undefeated in three-meter diving and has been beaten just once off the lower board.
NCAA ZONE DIVING MEET: A total of 35 divers earn berths to the NCAA Championships, slated for March 18-20 in College Station, Texas. The field is determined by performance at five NCAA zone meets. Each zone sends a minimum of four divers to the NCAA meet, with the zones that had better performances at last year’s NCAAs getting additional entries. In 2004, Zone C, in which Notre Dame competes, will send 11 divers to the NCAA Championships. Those qualifiers are determined by finish in each of the three events – one-meter springboard, three-meter springboard, and platform. Once in the NCAA field, a student-athlete may compete in both the one- and three-meter springboard events, but can only take part in the platform competition if she participated in it at the zone meet.
Friday will feature the one-meter competition, beginning at Noon (EST), while the three-meter event will be Saturday at the same time. Teams that have qualified women’s divers for the Zone C meet are Akron, Ball State, Eastern Michigan, Evansville, Illinois, Illinois-Chicago, Indiana, Marshall, Miami (Ohio), Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Northwestern, Oakland, Ohio State, Purdue, Wisconsin, and Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
PERRY-EATON PUTTING TOGETHER ONE OF THE TOP CAMPAIGNS IN IRISH DIVING HISTORY: Senior Meghan Perry-Eaton (Brandon, Fla./Bloomingdale H.S.) is in the midst of one of the most impressive seasons ever for a Notre Dame diver. To date, she is undefeated in three-meter diving in 2003-04, having topped 11 different teams in dual-meet competition and taken first place in the Texas A&M Invitational, Notre Dame Invitational, Michigan Invitational, and BIG EAST Championships. Perry-Eaton has been beaten just once off the lower board. At the Michigan Invitational, Tealin Keleman of the host team took first place, 8.10 points ahead of the Irish senior. Perry-Eaton got a measure of revenge a few weeks later, defeating Keleman in dual-meet action in the Rolfs Aquatic Center.
Perry-Eaton was named the BIG EAST Championships Most Outstanding Diver for the second consecutive year after sweeping the diving competitions. She held comfortable margins of victory in both events, defeating Miami’s Emily Spychala by 49.25 points in the three-meter competition and by 41.80 points off the one-meter board. Also the 2003 champion off the one-meter board, she is the only non-University of Miami diver since 1996 to win an event in the BIG EAST meet. She also has a pair of runner-up finishes (’02 in 1-meter and ’03 in 3-meter) and a fourth at the conference meet.
Perry-Eaton holds three of the four diving school records, while the last – 10 dives off the one-meter board – is not used in competition any longer, eliminating her chance of breaking Heather Mattingly’s record. Perry-Eaton broke her own school record in six dives off the three-meter board with a score of 335.85 in the Michigan Invitational. Perry-Eaton also holds the Irish records for 11 dives off the three-meter board (586.43) and for six dives in one-meter competition (331.58), as well as the Rolfs Aquatic Center records for six dives off both boards (322.64 in 1m, 333.82 in 3m).
The Notre Dame senior, who could apply for a fifth year of eligibility after competing in just two events as a freshman, finished 20th in the NCAA Championships in three-meter diving a year ago, but earned honorable mention All-America accolades for a ninth-place finish off the one-meter board.
Caiming Xie NAMED BIG EAST WOMEN’S DIVING COACH OF THE YEAR: Notre Dame’s Caiming Xie was named the BIG EAST Women’s Diving Coach of the Year last month after helping Meghan Perry-Eaton be named the BIG EAST Championships Most Outstanding Diver for the second year in a row by sweeping the springboard competitions. She held comfortable margins of victory in both events, defeating Miami’s Emily Spychala by 49.25 points in the three-meter competition and by 41.80 points off the one-meter board. Perry-Eaton, an honorable mention All-American in 2003, has won three conference titles over the last two years (also one-meter diving in ’03) and is the only non-University of Miami diver to capture a BIG EAST diving championship since 1996.
It was the fourth conference coach-of-the-year award for Caiming, who also gained the honor in the Mid-American Conference in 1994 and ’95 and in ’99 from the BIG EAST. Additionally, he was named the Chinese National Diving Coach of the Year twice (1986 and ’87).
IRISH IN THE NCAA ZONE DIVING MEET: Only two Notre Dame divers have finished high enough in the Zone Diving Meet to qualify for the NCAA Championships: Meghan Perry-Eaton (Brandon, Fla./Bloomingdale H.S.) and 2002 graduate Heather Mattingly. Perry-Eaton was a first-time participant in the NCAAs last season, while Mattingly qualified in each of her four years.
No Irish diver has ever finished first in the zone meet, with a pair of runner-up results by Mattingly on the three-meter board (1999 and 2002) as the best performances in school history. Mattingly also was third in one-meter diving in ’99 and third off the higher board in ’01, while Perry-Eaton was third in last year’s one-meter competition. A summary of Mattingly’s and Perry-Eaton’s results in the zone meet is below.
1999 – Heather Mattingly: 2nd in 3-meter; 3rd in 1-meter 2000 – Heather Mattingly: 4th in 3-meter; 5th in 1-meter 2001 – Heather Mattingly: 3rd in 3-meter, 8th in 1-meter 2002 – Heather Mattingly: 2nd in 3-meter; 4th in 1-meter. Meghan Perry-Eaton: 6th in 1-meter; 13th in 3-meter 2003 – Meghan Perry-Eaton: 3rd in 1-meter; 7th in 3-meter
CARROLL EARNS BID TO NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS: Katie Carroll (Toledo, Ohio/Notre Dame Academy) became the 10th Irish freshman since 1997 to earn a bid to the NCAA Swimming & Diving Championships. Carroll, named the Most Outstanding Swimmer at last month’s conference meet, is one of just four student-athletes ever to win three BIG EAST titles as a freshman. She will compete in the 100-yard freestyle and the 200 and 400 individual medleys in the NCAAs, set for March 18-20 in College Station, Texas.
Carroll secured her berth with an NCAA “A” cut of 2:00.65 in winning the 200 IM at the BIG EAST meet, setting school and conference records. Her time ranks 22nd among NCAA qualifiers in the race. Carroll’s seed time of 50.14 in the 100 free ranks 34th, while her 4:17.85 in the 400 IM stands 35th even though she did not swim the race at the BIG EAST Championships, instead taking first in the 100 butterfly and also garnering an NCAA “B” time in that event.
Carroll was the only Irish swimmer to earn a spot in the field, extending Notre Dame’s streak of consecutive years with a qualifier to nine. Since 1990, 22 different Irish swimmers and divers have garnered a total of 46 invitations to the NCAA Championships, with Notre Dame being unrepresented only in ’95. Ten of those berths have gone to rookies.
A pair of Notre Dame seniors, Lisa Garcia (Denver, Colo./Cherry Creek H.S.) and Marie Labosky (Churchville, Pa./Germantown Academy), just missed the 281-swimmer field, but are among the 21 alternates. Garcia is the ninth alternate, while Labosky is 11th.
The Irish have a chance to get one more qualifier this weekend, when senior Meghan Perry-Eaton (Brandon, Fla./Bloomingdale H.S.) takes part in the NCAA Zone C Diving Meet Friday and Saturday in Bloomington, Ind. The top finishers from that event move on to the NCAA Championships.
NOTRE DAME FINISHES 20TH IN CSCAA DUAL-MEET RANKINGS: Notre Dame was 20th in the final edition of the Collegiate Swimming Coaches Association (CSCAA) Dual-Meet Rankings. The Irish finished with an 8-2 record in dual meets this season, losing only to #12 Indiana and #16 Michigan. Over the past five seasons, Notre Dame holds an amazing 47-4-1 (.913) dual-meet record.
The Irish swam against six teams that finished among the top 25 in the CSCAA rankings. Notre Dame faced Indiana (12th; L, 124-176) and Michigan (16th; L, 134-166) in dual meets and competed against #7 UCLA (1st, 2077 points), #10 SMU (3rd, 1450), #13 Texas A&M (2nd, 1570.5), and #18 Florida State (4th, 1337.5) in the Texas A&M Invitational. Notre Dame was seventh with 599 points, competing with a limited roster.
IRISH CLAIM EIGHTH CONSECUTIVE BIG EAST TITLE: On the strength of seven first-place finishes and eight runner-up results, Notre Dame captured its eighth consecutive BIG EAST title at last month’s conference meet. The Irish finished with 725.5 points, while second-place Rutgers had 551 and Virginia Tech was third with 519.5. It was the sixth time in the last seven years that Notre Dame scored more than 700 points. The Irish finished a close third in their first appearance in the meet – in 1996 – just 59 points behind champion Villanova. In 1997, Notre Dame snapped the Wildcats’ five-year stranglehold on the title with a 113.5-point victory over runner-up Miami. Since then, the Irish have won each BIG EAST meet by more than that margin, winning at least six event titles every year.
CARROLL MAKES HISTORY AT BIG EAST MEET: Katie Carroll (Toledo, Ohio/Notre Dame Academy) became just the fourth swimmer ever to win three individual BIG EAST titles as a freshman, taking first place in the 200-yard individual medley, the 100 butterfly, and the 100 freestyle in last month’s conference meet. Carroll, also the anchor of the first-place 200 freestyle relay team, was named the BIG EAST Championships Most Outstanding Swimmer. She joined Linda Gallo (’98) and Carrie Nixon (’02) as the only Irish swimmers to win three individual titles in a meet, as well as the lone Notre Dame competitors to be tabbed the league’s Most Outstanding Swimmer.
Carroll also etched her name in the BIG EAST record book by setting meet and school records in the 200 IM, finishing with an NCAA automatic qualifying time of 2:00.65. She broke the record set by current Irish senior Lisa Garcia (Denver, Colo./Cherry Creek H.S.) in last year’s meet (2:01.00). Carroll became the first swimmer in conference history to win the 200 IM, 100 fly, and 100 free in the same event. Her winning times in the other races were good enough for NCAA “B” cuts (54.29 in 100 fly; 50.14 in 100 free). Carroll also was the top seed heading into the final of each event, meaning she was unbeaten in six individual races.
PERRY-EATON NAMED BIG EAST’S TOP DIVER FOR SECOND STRAIGHT YEAR: Senior Meghan Perry-Eaton (Brandon, Fla./Bloomingdale H.S.) was named the BIG EAST Championships Most Outstanding Diver for the second year in a row after sweeping the springboard competitions in last month’s conference meet. She held comfortable margins of victory in both events, defeating Miami’s Emily Spychala by 49.25 points in the three-meter competition and by 41.80 points off the one-meter board. Also the 2003 one-meter champion, she is the only non-University of Miami diver since 1996 to win an event in the BIG EAST meet and the only Notre Dame diver ever to win the award. She also has a pair of runner-up finishes (’02 in 1-meter and ’03 in 3-meter) and a fourth at the conference meet. Perry-Eaton is undefeated in three-meter diving this season and has lost just once off the one-meter board.
IRISH MOVING UP THE CHARTS IN BIG EAST HISTORY: The Notre Dame women’s swimming and diving team won its eighth conference title (1997-current) last month, joining the Pittsburgh men’s swimming and diving team as the only squads in any sport to capture eight BIG EAST championships since 1995-96, the year the Irish joined the league. In addition, Notre Dame is inching closer to the all-time conference mark for consecutive titles. The Pittsburgh men’s swimming and diving program holds the record at 10, winning from 1983-92, while the Panther women won nine straight titles from 1983-91. Here is the list for most consecutive BIG EAST titles:
10 – Pittsburgh men’s swimming and diving (’83-’92)
9 – Pittsburgh women’s swimming and diving (’83-’91)
9 – Connecticut women’s basketball (’94-’02)
8 – Notre Dame women’s swimming (’97-present)
8 – Boston College men’s tennis (’81-’88)
8 – Pittsburgh men’s swimming and diving (’97-present)
WEATHERS IN ELITE COMPANY WITH EIGHT STRAIGHT BIG EAST TITLES: Irish mentor Bailey Weathers is one of just five head coaches in any sport to have led his team to eight consecutive BIG EAST titles. After a second-place finish in the conference meet in Weathers’ first season, Notre Dame has won each of the last eight league championships, all by more than 113 points. The only other coaches with eight straight BIG EAST titles are Pittsburgh women’s swimming and diving’s David Belowich (nine straight from 1983-91), Connecticut women’s basketball’s Geno Auriemma (nine, 1994-2002), Boston College men’s tennis’ Mike MacDonald (eight, 1981-88), and Pittsburgh men’swimming and diving’s Chuck Knoles (eight, 1997-present).
IRISH WIN SEVEN TITLES IN BIG EAST CHAMPIONSHIPS: For the third consecutive year, Notre Dame came away with seven conference titles in the BIG EAST Championships. Leading the way was freshman Katie Carroll (Toledo, Ohio/Notre Dame Academy), who became just the fourth swimmer ever to win three individual BIG EAST titles as a freshman. She set Notre Dame and BIG EAST Championships records in winning the 200 IM (2:00.65) before taking first in the 100 butterfly (54.29) and the 100 freestyle (50.14). Senior Meghan Perry-Eaton (Brandon, Fla./Bloomingdale H.S.) won a pair of diving championships, taking the one-meter event with 297.95 points (41.80 ahead of second place) and the three-meter competition with a score of 509.05 (49.25 points better than the field). Notre Dame’s other individual title came from senior Marie Labosky (Churchville, Pa./Germantown Academy), who won the 400 IM for the second year in a row with a time of 4:21.08. The Irish continued their streak of winning at least one relay championship every year since joining the conference, as the team of junior Katie Eckholt (Omaha, Neb./Marian H.S.), senior Danielle Hulick (Galesburg, Ill./Galesburg H.S.), freshman Rebecca Grove (Yorktown Heights, N.Y./Yorktown H.S.), and Carroll opened the meet with a first-place finish in the 200 freestyle with a time of 1:32.66. Notre Dame has won seven or more event titles in each of the last seven seasons.
FOURTEEN IRISH COMPETITORS EARN ALL-BIG EAST HONORS: A total of 14 Notre Dame student-athletes – of the 32 on the roster – earned all-BIG EAST honors at last month’s conference meet by posting at least one top-three finish. Leading the way was freshman Katie Carroll (Toledo, Ohio/Notre Dame Academy), who was all-conference in each of the seven events in which she participated. She became just the fourth swimmer ever to win three individual BIG EAST titles as a freshman (200 IM, 100 fly, 100 free) and also swam on a first-place relay team (200 free) and three more that were runners-up (400 free, 800 free, 400 medley).
Senior Danielle Hulick (Galesburg, Ill./Galesburg H.S.) was all-BIG EAST in four events to finish her career with a total of 13 all-league honors. She was second in the 50 free and also took part in the conference-champion 200 free relay team and the second-place quartets in the 400 medley and 400 free.
Senior co-captain Lisa Garcia (Denver, Colo./Cherry Creek H.S.) had a trio of runner-up finishes to earn all-BIG EAST honors. Throughout her career, she gained all-conference accolades on 11 occasions.
Freshman Rebecca Grove (Yorktown Heights, N.Y./Yorktown H.S.) was a three-time honoree in her first BIG EAST meet, taking third in the 50 free and being part of the league-champion 200 free relay team and the second-place 800 free quartet.
Four more student-athletes garnered all-league honors in two events. Senior Meghan Perry-Eaton (Brandon, Fla./Bloomingdale H.S.) won both springboard diving events en route to being the BIG EAST Most Outstanding Diver for the second consecutive season. In her three conference meets, Perry-Eaton has garnered all-league honors in five of six events. Another senior, Marie Labosky (Churchville, Pa./Germantown Academy), won the 400 IM for the second year in a row and took second in the 200 back. Labosky finished her career as a six-time all-BIG EAST performer.
Junior Katie Eckholt (Omaha, Neb./Marian H.S.) was a member of the 200 free relay team that finished first and the 400 free quartet that was second, running her career total of all-league honors on relays to seven. Sophomore Courtney Choura (Bridgeville, Pa./Oakland Catholic H.S.), a three-time honoree in 2003, gained mention in the 100 breaststroke (2nd) and as a member of the 400 medley relay team (2nd).
Six others also gained all-BIG EAST honors. Sophomore Christel Bouvron, who gained mention in three events as a freshman, was part of the second-place 400 medley relay team, while junior Brooke Taylor (Orlando, Fla./Lake Highlands Preparatory School) finished third in the 200 butterfly.
In addition to Carroll and Grove, four other Irish swimmers were all-BIG EAST for the first time in their careers. Junior Georgia Healey (New York, N.Y./Trinity School) was third in the 200 breast, while freshman Jessica Stephens (Bloomsburg, Pa./Bloomsburg H.S.) took the same spot in the 200 butterfly. Rookies Ann Barton (Scottsdale, Ariz./Desert Mountain H.S.) and Ellen Johnson (Toledo, Ohio/Notre Dame Academy) also gained mention as members of the runner-up 800 free relay team.
IRISH IN THE COLLEGE QUICK 50: Notre Dame is represented 12 times in the College Quick 50, the list of the top times in the nation this season in each event. Leading the way is freshman Katie Carroll (Toledo, Ohio/Notre Dame Academy), who is listed in four individual events, while also being part of four relay teams garnering mention. In individual competition, Carroll is 24th in the 200-yard individual medley with a Notre Dame and BIG EAST Championships record of 2:00.65. Her conference-title time of 54.29 in the 100 butterfly ranks 29th, while she is 35th in the 400 IM (4:17.85) – an event in which she did not compete in the BIG EAST meet – and 40th in the 100 free (50.14). Senior Marie Labosky (Churchville, Pa./Germantown Academy) has a pair of individual times in the top 50, coming in 36th in the 200 backstroke (1:59.33) and 48th in the 400 IM (4:19.24). Senior Lisa Garcia (Denver, Colo./Cherry Creek H.S.) ranks 40th in the 200 IM with a mark of 2:01.77.
All five Irish relays are also ranked, with four of them being among the top 30. Leading the way is the 400 free team of junior Katie Eckholt (Omaha, Neb./Marian H.S.), senior Danielle Hulick (Galesburg, Ill./Galesburg H.S.), freshman Rebecca Grove (Yorktown Heights, N.Y./Yorktown H.S.), and Carroll, with a time of 3:23.00 that ranks 24th. The same quartet is 25th in the 200 free with a conference-title time of 1:32.66. Hulick, sophomores Courtney Choura (Bridgeville, Pa./Oakland Catholic H.S.) and Christel Bouvron (Singapore, Singapore/Raffles Girls’ Secondary School), and Carroll are 26th in the 400 medley with a time of 3:44.81, while freshman Ellen Johnson (Toledo, Ohio/Notre Dame Academy), Carroll, Garcia, and junior Ann Barton (Scottsdale, Ariz./Desert Mountain H.S.) rank 27th in the 800 free with a mark of 7:20.12. The time of 1:43.92 in the 200 medley posted by Grove, Choura, Bouvron, and Hulick is 44th.
TEN SWIMMERS, FOUR RELAY TEAMS POST NCAA “B” CUTS: Though Notre Dame has just one swimmer in the field of this year’s NCAA Championships, the Irish had a total of 10 student-athletes and four relay teams post at least one NCAA “B” time at the BIG EAST Championships, meaning that they were considered for a spot in the NCAAs. Leading the way for Notre Dame was freshman Katie Carroll (Toledo, Ohio/Notre Dame Academy), who enters the NCAA meet with one “A” time and seven “B” cuts. Her automatic qualifying performance came in setting meet and school records in winning the 200 individual medley with a time of 2:00.65. Carroll’s other two event victories posted “B” times (54.29 in the 100 fly, 50.14 in the 100 free), while she registered a consideration mark of 4:17.85 in the 400 IM during the regular season, but did not swim it in the conference meet.
Carroll was a member of all four relay teams that hit “B” cuts at the BIG EAST meet. She followed junior Katie Eckholt (Omaha, Neb./Marian H.S.), senior Danielle Hulick (Galesburg, Ill./Galesburg H.S.), freshman Rebecca Grove (Yorktown Heights, N.Y./Yorktown H.S.) into the water in helping the 200 free relay team to a first-place finish in a “B” time of 1:32.66. The same quartet was second in the 400 free with a “B” time of 3:23.00. Hulick and sophomores Courtney Choura (Bridgeville, Pa./Oakland Catholic H.S.) and Christel Bouvron (Singapore, Singapore/Raffles Girls’ Secondary School) combined with Carroll in the 400 medley for a “B” time of 3:44.81 in a runner-up finish, while freshman Ellen Johnson (Toledo, Ohio/Notre Dame Academy), Carroll, Garcia, and junior Ann Barton (Scottsdale, Ariz./Desert Mountain H.S.) were second in the 800 free with a mark of 7:20.12, also good for a “B” cut.
Hulick and Barton also registered three individual “B” times at the BIG EAST Championships. The senior had them in the 50 free (2nd in 23.43), 100 free (51.15), and 100 back (56.81), while the rookie swam the 200 IM (2:03.70), the 200 free (1:50.41), and 200 back (2:01.72).
In addition, senior Marie Labosky has a trio of “B” times. She managed consideration cuts in the 400 IM (1st in 4:19.81) and 200 back (2nd in 1:59.33) after having posted one in the 200 IM (2:03.87) during the regular season.
Garcia, Grove, and Johnson all had two “B” cuts each. The senior co-captain posted them in the 200 IM (2nd in 2:01.77) and 200 fly (2nd in 2:01.18), while Grove’s came in the 50 free (23.48) and 100 back (56.67). Johnson swam a “B” time in the 200 free (1:50.56) and hit one in the 200 back (2:01.29) during the regular season.
Choura and juniors Georgia Healey (New York, N.Y./Trinity School) and Brooke Taylor (Orlando, Fla./Lake Highland Preparatory School) also had individual “B” times. Choura’s came in a runner-up finish in the 100 breaststroke (1:03.62), while Healey got one in the 200 breast (2:18.22), and Taylor’s was in the 400 IM (4:23.57).
DUAL-MEET DOMINANCE: Notre Dame finished the regular season with an 8-2 record in dual meets, losing only to #13 Indiana and #16 Michigan. Over the past five seasons, the Irish hold an amazing 47-4 (.922) dual-meet record, including 10-0 campaigns in 1999-2000 and 2001-02. In eight years as the Irish head coach, Bailey Weathers holds an 80-17 (.825) record in dual meets.
PERRY-EATON BREAKS OWN SCHOOL RECORD: Senior Meghan Perry-Eaton (Brandon, Fla./Bloomingdale H.S.) broke her own Notre Dame record in three-meter diving (six dives) on Jan. 17 in the Michigan Invitational. Her score of 335.85 bettered her previous career-best of 333.82. Perry-Eaton is undefeated this season off the three-meter board, and has lost just once in competition on the lower board this season.
The BIG EAST Championships Most Outstanding Diver in each of the last two years, Perry-Eaton finished 20th in the NCAA Championships in three-meter diving a year ago, but earned honorable mention All-America accolades for a ninth-place finish off the one-meter board. She is the only non-University of Miami diver to win an event at the BIG EAST Championships since 1996, taking first off the one-meter board in ’03 before sweeping the springboard competitions this season. Perry-Eaton also holds the Irish records for 11 dives off the three-meter board (586.43) and for six dives in one-meter competition (331.58), as well as the Rolfs Aquatic Center records for six dives off both boards (322.64 in 1m, 333.82 in 3m).
CONVERT ME: Because it is an Olympic year and all Olympic swimming events are in meters, the 2004 NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships will be contested in meters, as opposed to yards. In order to prepare for that, Notre Dame swam a number of meets this season in meters, rather than yards. The Michigan Invitational, as well as the dual meet against Michigan, and the finals of the Texas A&M Invitational were contested in short-course meters, while the Second Annual Puerto Rico Winter Training Trip Meet featured long-course meters. The meters times recorded by Irish competitors are valid for gaining entry into the BIG EAST and NCAA meets (using a conversion factor), but they are not eligible to challenge any school records, which are kept in yards.
SIDETRACKED BY ILLNESS: Notre Dame had a viral infection affect a number of its student-athletes in the fall semester, causing a majority of the team to miss over two weeks of training and 11 athletes to skip the Texas A&M Invitational, the most competitive meet on the Irish schedule. A number of season bests were established at that meet, which featured five teams that finished the season ranked among the nation’s top 20 — #7 UCLA, #10 SMU, #13 Texas A&M, #18 Florida State, and #20 Notre Dame. Because of the viral infection, the Notre Dame Invitational, traditionally a good venue for establishing fast times, was an optional event for the Irish.
BOUVRON WINS SIX MEDALS IN SOUTHEAST ASIA GAMES: Sophomore Christel Bouvron (Singapore, Singapore/Raffles Girls’ Secondary School) won six medals, including three golds, two silvers and a bronze at the 2003 Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games) in early December in Hanoi, Vietnam. She won an individual gold in the 200 butterfly and was a member of the gold-medal winning 400 medley relay and the 400 freestyle relay, while winning silver in the 800 freestyle relay. Bouvron, who competed for her native Singapore in the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia, also won a silver medal in the 400-meter freestyle and a bronze in the 100 butterfly.
In the 400 medley relay, the Singapore team of Bernardette Lee Jing Fei, Nicolette Teo Wei Min, Bouvron and Joscelin Yeo Wei Ling finished first in 4:20.49, while Bouvron swam the second leg of the winning 400 freestyle team posting a winning time of 3:54.47. In the 800 freestyle relay, Bouvron swam the leadoff leg as Singapore finished second in a time of 8:38.78.
Individually, Bouvron finished first in the 200 butterfly in 2:17.72, while she also earned a silver medal in the finals of the 400 freestyle with a time of 4:24.23. Bouvron also claimed third in the 100 butterfly with a time of 1:04.50.
IT TAKES TWO: In returning to a Notre Dame women’s swimming and diving tradition, the Irish are led by a pair of co-captains in 2003-04 — seniors Lisa Garcia (Denver, Colo./Cherry Creek H.S.) and Laurie Musgrave (Littleton, Colo./Arapahoe H.S.). Last season, Notre Dame had tri-captains for just the fourth time in the 23-year history of the program.
IRISH HEAD COACH: Head coach Bailey Weathers is in his ninth year at the helm of the Irish program. During his tenure, Notre Dame has won eight consecutive BIG EAST Conference crowns, posted an 80-17 (.825) record in dual meets, and he has been named conference coach of the year five times. He is one of just five coaches ever to win eight consecutive BIG EAST championships in any sport. Weathers has coached 16 different swimmers to All-America honors while at Notre Dame and over 30 student-athletes to 70 BIG EAST titles. He also has coached 18 swimmers to 18 BIG EAST Championships records and every school record has been broken under his tenure. He has coached seven College Swimming Coaches Association of America All-Academic selections and 12 honorable mention academic All-Americans.Before coming to Notre Dame, Weathers coached at South Carolina, where he was a three-time Metro Conference Coach of the Year and had two top-12 NCAA finishes. Before South Carolina, he was at Southern Illinois where he was named the 1986 NCAA Division I Coach of the Year after placing fifth at the NCAA meet. He also has been an assistant coach at the University of Texas and Indiana University, and coaching the Mission Aurora Swim Club in Colorado from 1990-95.
IRISH HEAD DIVING COACH: Caiming Xie is in his ninth season as the head diving coach at Notre Dame for both the and women’s and men’s teams. During his tenure, he has been responsible for the development of the only two diving All-Americans in Irish history – Heather Mattingly and Meghan Perry-Eaton. Mattingly earned All-America mention three times, highlighted by an eighth-place finish in the 2002 NCAAs. The next season, Perry-Eaton became the first Notre Dame diver in history to win a BIG EAST Conference title when she defeated Miami’s Katie Beth Bryant to take the one-meter competition. She also was named the 2003 BIG EAST Championships Most Outstanding Diver after placing second in the three-meter event. The then-junior went on to place ninth at the 2003 NCAA meet on the one-meter board. This season, she followed that up with another league Most Outstanding Diver award, sweeping the springboard events. Perry-Eaton is undefeated off the three-meter board and has just one loss in one-meter competition. On the men’s side, Caiming has coached the top two divers in Notre Dame history: Herb Huesman and Andy Maggio . He has been named his conference’s top diving coach on four occasions, including in the BIG EAST in 1999 and 2004. Caiming also has a great deal of international coaching experience, serving as diving coach for the Chinese Olympic and national team from 1977-90, being recognized as the Chinese National Diving Coach of the Year twice (1986 and ’87). His divers have won a number of medals in international events, including a gold in the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain by Sun Shu-Wei.
IRISH SIGN FOUR SWIMMERS IN EARLY SIGNING PERIOD: Notre Dame signed four athletes to national letters of intent during the early signing period: Caroline Johnson, Katie Hopkins, Raine Paulson-Andrews and Laura Rings.
Hopkins, from Ellicott City, Md., was named all-Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland in 2001, and was a National Catholic Champion at Notre Dame Preparatory School. For her efforts, Hopkins was named the Baltimore Sun Athlete of the Year last season. Swimming the 100 and 200 breaststroke and the 200 butterfly, Hopkins has a best-time of 2:17.33 in the 200-yard breaststroke.
Johnson, from Springfield, Mo., is an eight-time high school All-American in the 50 and 100 freestyle and the 200 medley and 400 freestyle relay teams at Glendale High School. Swimming the butterfly, backstroke and freestyle events, Johnson is the Missouri state recordholder in the 50- and 100-freestyle events and is a four-time Missouri state champion while swimming for Springfield Aquatics. In 2002, she earned Missouri Swimmer of the Year accolades and was the National Club Swimming Association’s Junior National Champion in the 50-meter backstroke. She also qualified for the US Open Championships in the 50 and 100 freestyle and the 100 backstroke.
Paulson-Andrews is from Montego Bay, Jamaica, and attends Gulliver Preparatory in Miami, Fla., where she swims the sprint freestyle and individual medley events. A member of the Jamaican National Team since the age of 11 where she trained at Doctors Cave Beach, Paulson-Andrews has won many gold and silver medals at the Carifta Games, the Caribbean Islands Swimming Championships (CISC) and the Central American and Caribbean Swimming Confederation Games (CCCAN). In 2003, she won the gold in the 50 freestyle at the CCCAN. She also competed in the US Open and the Pan American Games in 2003.
From Gahanna, Ohio, Rings is an all-state diver from The Columbus School for Girls. A member of the U.S. Elite Diving Academy, she is a three-time all-state honoree and won All-America honors in2003. She earned most valuable player honors and set the school record in diving last season. As a junior, Rings was fifth at the Ohio state diving meet, after placing seventh as a freshman and sixth as a sophomore. A two-time captain, Rings also competed at the 2003 US Senior Nationals where she placed 13th in the synchronized three-meter diving event. She also was ninth on the three-meter board at the Zone A Summer Championships in 2003.
KEEPING UP WITH NOTRE DAME SWIMMING & DIVING: For the fastest results of Notre Dame swimming and diving meets, call the Notre Dame Sports Hotline at (574) 631-3000 and choose #7. The hotline provides schedule and results information for all 26 varsity sports and serves as a supplement to the meet previews and recaps provided on the official athletic website, www.und.com. The hotline is the first medium updated with the results of each Notre Dame men’s swimming and diving meet. In addition, media members and fans may be added to the sports information e-mail release list by contacting Bo Rottenborn at Rottenborn.firstname.lastname@example.org. He also can provide any needed information about the Irish swimming and diving program.