Feb. 23, 2002
Uniondale, N.Y.–The University of Notre Dame women’s swimming and diving team won their sixth consecutive BIG EAST conference title, while the men finished fourth after the third and final day of the 2002 BIG EAST Swimming and Diving Championships at Nassau County Aquatic Center in Uniondale, N.Y. The Irish women finished the meet with 797 points. Rutgers was second with 522.5 points. In the men’s race, Pittsburgh won the conference championship with 807 points. Notre Dame finished with 390 points.
Senior Kelly Hecking led the way for the Irish, claiming five Big EAST titles. Her win yesterday in the 100-yard backstroke made her the eighth swimmer in BIG EAST conference history to win the same event four times. On day three, Hecking won her fifth title of the meet in the 200-back in 1:57.70, automatically qualifying her for the NCAA Championships. This win was her 19th career BIG EAST title, most of any swimmer in conference history. Kristen Peterson finished second to Hecking in the 200-back with a time of1:58.41, also a NCAA Championships qualifying time. Danielle Hulick was third in the event.
Three of Hecking’s meet titles came as a member on Notre Dame’s three relay event wins. Each of the three wins, 200 medley (1:41.93), 400 medley (3:30.98), and 200 free (1:32.01), set BIG EAST Championship record times. The 200 medley win on day two by the team of Hecking, Allison Lloyd, Lisa D’Olier, and Carrie Nixon also set a school record. Lloyd also gave the Irish their only other win on day three, winning the 200 breaststroke in 2:15.60.
The other top performers for the Irish women were sophomore Lisa Garcia, who automatically qualified for the NCAA Championships in the 200 fly (1:59.70) today, and senior Nixon, who won four BIG EAST titles over the three days after missing last season with a shoulder injury. These four titles gave her 18 career BIG EAST Championship titles.
In diving, senior Heather Mattingly finished second in the three-meter diving with 538.05 points and sophomore Meghan Perry Eaton earned all-BIG EAST honors with her second place finish in the one-meter diving with 293.30 points.
For the second consecutive season, Women’s Swimming Coach of the Year honors went to Notre Dame’s Bailey Weathers. This marks the fifth time Coach Weathers has had BIG EAST Coach of the Year honors bestowed upon him.
On the men’s side, Jonathan Pierce was the top performer. Pierce’s best performance came on Saturday when he set a school record with his time of 3:56.34 in the 400 individual medley, good for a second place finish. On day three, Pierce finished fourth in the 1650 free (15:32.37). Also today, Jason Fitzpatrick placed fourth in the 200-yard breaststroke (2:03.31).
The top diver for the Irish this weekend was Andy Maggio who finished sixth in the three-meter diving (507.40) and fifth in the one-meter diving (306.40).
Note: For complete results, please visit the following website: www.bigeast.org/sports/swimming/champs02/day3final.asp