Feb. 19, 2004
EAST MEADOW, N.Y. – The 20th-ranked University of Notre Dame women’s swimming and diving team posted a trio of victories and three second-place finishes on the first day of the BIG EAST Championships Thursday evening in the Nassau County Aquatic Center. Freshman Katie Carroll (Toledo, Ohio/Notre Dame Academy) led the Irish, setting school and meet records in winning the 200 individual medley and earning an automatic bid to next month’s NCAA Championships.
After one day of competition, Notre Dame, in quest of its eighth consecutive conference title, is in second place with 199 points. Rutgers, runner-up the past two years, leads the meet with 204 points.
Also registering victories for the Irish were senior Meghan Perry-Eaton, who won the one-meter diving for the second consecutive season, and the 200 freestyle relay 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.
Carroll’s time of 2:00.65 in the 200 IM broke the school and BIG EAST Championships record of 2:01.00 set by Lisa Garcia (Denver, Colo./Cherry Creek H.S.) a year ago. Carroll is the first Irish player to register and NCAA “A” time this season, which guarantees her a berth in next month’s NCAA Championships. Once in the field, a student-athlete also can compete in any event in which she has a “B” time, which Carroll holds in the 100 free and 400 IM.
Garcia notched her fourth consecutive top-four finish in the event by coming in second in a season-best 2:01.77. In addition to last year’s victory, Garcia was fourth as a freshman and second in 2002.
Freshman Ann Barton (Scottsdale, Ariz./Desert Mountain H.S.) finished fifth in the 200 IM with a season-best time of 2:03.70. It was her first NCAA “B” time of the season. Senior Marie Labosky (Churchville, Pa./Germantown Academy), the 2001 champion in the race, posted her fourth consecutive top-eight finish, taking eighth in 2:06.75.
Sophomore Courtney Choura (Bridgeville, Pa./Oakland Catholic H.S.) was second in the consolation final to finish 10th with a season-best 2:04.34.
Perry-Eaton, the 2003 BIG EAST Diver of the Year, posted a total of 297.95 points in winning the one-meter diving. The second-place finisher, Emily Spychala of Miami, was 41.80 points behind. Perry-Eaton remains the only non-Hurricane diver to win an event in the BIG EAST meet since 1996.
The Irish opened the meet by winning the 200 free relay for the fifth time in the last six years, finishing in 1:32.66 and earning an NCAA “B” cut.
Notre Dame took second and third in the 50 free. Hulick was the top Irish finisher in 23.43, while Grove was third in 23.48. Both were good enough for “B” times.
The Irish quartet of Hulick, Choura, sophomore Christel Bouvron (Singapore, Singapore/Raffles Girls’ Secondary School), and Carroll finished second in the 400 medley relay in 3:44.81. Rutgers was first in the race, which allowed the Scarlet Knights to take the overnight lead.
The BIG EAST Championships continue Friday and Saturday.