Feb. 20, 2010
PITTSBURGH, Pa. – Samantha Maxwell and Kim Holden each tacked on a second individual league title to their 2010 BIG EAST Conference Championships resume Saturday evening at Trees Pool while leading Notre Dame to earn its 14th consecutive BIG EAST team trophy. The win extended Notre Dame’s streak – which started in 1997 – as the longest of any team in any league sport.
Maxwell had a hand in four titles at the meet (100 breast, 200 breast, 200 medley relay, 400 medley relay) to earn the BIG EAST Women’s Most Outstanding Swimmer award, as Brian Barnes was named the BIG EAST Women’s Coach of the Year for the second straight season.
“This meet had a little bit of everything from start to finish,” Barnes said. “It started last week with our divers, and the team’s depth really showed over these last few sessions to make it an exciting and enjoyable experience for the program. I could not have been more pleased with everyone’s efforts, and the focus we possessed to close the meet was extraordinary. The team really came together at the right time.”
Notre Dame (773.5) withstood second-place Louisville (718) and West Virginia (525) to top the 11-team field.
Maxwell (2:11.87) won her 200 breast prelim race with a pool record and NCAA B-cut, an automatic qualifying time for last year’s NCAA Championships. She then went 2:11.37 to win the title later in the evening, becoming the fifth Irish swimmer in program history to win three titles in the same event at the BIG EAST meet.
Kim Holden (1:56.22) broke Kelly Hecking’s school record of 1:57.45 in the morning session to take the top seed in the 200 back. Not only did her prelim mark better Hecking’s program best set in 2002, it also set a Trees Pool record. Holden went on to take first-place in 1:55.79 to better each of those marks during the evening’s finals.
200 Back: Holden started the morning with an NCAA B-cut, school and pool record 1:56.22 … she reset each of the records in the evening with a 1:55.79 for her second gold medal of the meet.
100 Freestyle: Amywren Miller (49.41) was seeded second after posting an NCAA B-cut in the prelims … she took the overall silver in 49.33 after a come-from-behind burst in the last 25 yards of the final race … Amy Prestinario (50.63) tallied sixth-place points.
200 Breast: Maxwell’s 2:11.87 in the morning gave her the top seed in the finals … a 2:11.37 in the finals gave her a second individual title for the meet, and for the second straight year Maxwell swept the 100 and 200 breast events … the NCAA B-cut time in the finals was the seventh-best in the nation and reset the pool record … it would have been an automatic qualifying performance in 2009 … Ashlee Edgell (2:15.77) was fifth with an NCAA B-cut … Gwen Blythe tied for first in the consolations with West Virginia’s Robyn Matthews, each touching the wall at 2:17.38.