Oct. 31, 2008
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – It was all treat and no trick for the 24th-ranked Notre Dame women’s swimming and diving team Friday as the squad faced BIG EAST Conference rival Pittsburgh. In front of a lively crowd at the Rolfs Aquatic Center the Irish won each of the evening’s 16 events while defeating the Panthers, 223-77.
After sweeping the Dennis Stark Relays to open the season, the Irish have yet to drop a single event in their home pool and now sport a 1-0 record in dual meets.
“We’re not backing down from competition,” Irish head coach Brian Barnes said. “We came into this meet very tired and the team responded well. At this point in the season we’re more excited about our potential than anything, but there are plenty of promising things going on in the pool right now.
“We worked hard this week and had a tough practice last night, and I’m very proud of how they bounced back and performed today.”
Lauren Sylvester had a pair of wins in the distance freestyle events with Katie Casey topping the pack in the 200 and 100 Fly. Lauren Parisi won two individual events and teamed with for a relay victory. With two individual wins and two golden relay performances, Amywren Miller was matched by Samantha Maxwell’s three solo wins and one relay title.
Notre Dame has one week to catch its breath before battling Purdue on Nov. 8 (Saturday) at the Rolfs Aquatic Center. The meet begins at 2 p.m. (ET).
200 Medley Relay: The event opened with an even spread throughout the field … Maxwell helped give definition to the Irish lead during the breaststroke leg … a close race for second place ensued during the freestyle between Kristen McMullan of Pitt and Delia Cronin … Cronin held her advantage briefly but fell by less than half of a second (1:47.69) … Parisi, Maxwell, Colleen Fotsch and Miller were first in 1:43.89.
1,000 Free: Sylvester (10:00.55) and Pitt’s Katie Cutrell (10:01.87) swam evenly throughout the first half of the race with the two turning within a tenth of a second at the completion of the 500-yard mark … the duo continued their even battle exchanging slight advantages into the final 100 yards … Sylvester took a one-yard lead with Cutrell attempting to close, but the gap remained … Casey Wagner (10:20.61) secured third place for the Irish.
200 Free: Lisa McDonnell of Pitt popped to an early lead during the first lap and had to work to hold it through the 100-yard mark … Megan Farrell began to chase down McDonnell with Amy Prestinario moving in fast … the three battled for first in a tight race during the final length … Prestinario (1:51.77) and Farrell (1:52.08) finished on top and claimed first and second honors, respectively.
100 Back: Fotsch gained a sight lead off the second turn … Parisi took the lead in the last length and finished with a winning time of 57.53 … downstream, Fotsch (58.14) and Megan Bender (57.95) of Pitt fought for second with Bender coming out on top.
100 Breast: Maxwell dominated the race in 1:02.67 … Gwen Blythe (1:06.88) just missed out on second place.
200 Fly: Casey led the Irish in the middle of the pool with a 2:02.74 performance while teammate Emily Barton (2:05.28) followed close behind … Pitt’s Cookie McIntyre and Tamara Lelli fought with Kellyn Kuhlke (2:08.71) for third going in to final lap even with one another … the positions became increasingly more defined as the final length took its toll on the athletes … McIntyre moved ahead and sealed up third place for the Panthers.
50 Free: Miller (23.21) was able to secure a fairly significant lead despite the short span of the race, finishing by more than one second ahead of Cronin (24.35).
100 Free: Miller flew through to post a time of 51.39 for first place … Prestinario (52.87) was able to fend off a Panther pursuer long enough to seal second.
200 Back: The Irish got out to a good start with Farrell and Parisi taking control in the first 100 yards … Bender started to close in on Farrell in the final 50, but quickly ran out of space … Parisi (2:03.44) and Farrell (2:04.77) took the top two spots.
200 Breast: Maxwell commenced the event with an early lead in the first lap and commanded the rest of the race finishing with a time of 2:16.42 … Barton and Blythe opened a clear battle with Bender and McIntyre for second and third place out of the midway mark … Blythe (2:25.10) was third and Barton took fifth (2:27.27).
500 Free: At the half, Sylvester had developed four-yard lead over the field … she eventually claimed first-place honors with a time of 4:56.11 … Wagner (5:01.09) gained a slight lead for second place while Zeina Shanata (5:02.64) and Pitt’s Katie Cutrell (5:02.32) trailed closely behind battling for third-place distinction … Shanata made a final move against Cutrell in the concluding lap but ran out of open water.
100 Fly: Casey pushed forward in the field and brought the Irish victory in a time of 56.61 … Kuhlke followed with a 57.38 … Fotsch (58.56) made a run at Lelli (58.32) for third but came up less than three tenths of a second short.
200 IM: Heading into the backstroke leg, the four Notre Dame swimmers in the water were sweeping the field … their lead became more evident throughout the breaststroke portion of the event … Notre Dame’s lead finisher, Maxwell, finished in 2:06.15.
400 Free Relay: The Fighting Irish came to an early lead … during the second leg of the race, Christa Riggins and Parisi opened a chase on Pitt’s Elena Spak for silver … by the end of the leg, Parisi had pulled ahead … the field remained relatively static until the final leg of the race … Miller, Cronin, Prestinario and Farrell touched first in 3:29.13.
1-meter Diving: Grossman (267.14) repeated with a win from 1-meter above the water … Hirt was third with 225.21 points.