Oct. 23, 2008
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The Notre Dame women’s swimming team will travel to Washington State this weekend (Oct. 24-25) for the Debbie Pipher Memorial Invitational. The battle at Gibb Pool starts Friday at 5 p.m. (PT) and resumes Saturday at noon. Joining Notre Dame and Washington State will be Ohio, Fresno State and Idaho.
Pipher, the head swim coach for Washington State from 1977-97, led the Cougars to an 85-62-1 record during her tenure and later lost her battle with breast cancer in January 2007.
First-year head coach Brian Barnes, who guided the Irish to a record-breaking effort at the Dennis Stark Relays earlier this season, will see his squad in invitational action for the first time as the Irish skipper this weekend.
“We’ve had a terrific week of training during fall break and we’re hoping to cap it off with some good performances this weekend,” Barnes said.
The Fighting Irish are familiar with competition on the West Coast having made a trip to Washington last December. Notre Dame completed competition with a third-place finish out of 12 teams at the Husky Invitational in Federal Way. The Irish finished the three-day competition with 972 points while host Washington (1,439) took the title with and USC placed second (1,290). The highlight of the final day of the Husky Invite for Notre Dame was a first-place finish by Amywren Miller in the 100 Free. Miller cut her season best time of 51.69 by over a second, swimming a new best in 50.37. She was followed by teammate Christa Riggins who tied for second in 50.53.
A clean sweep of the Dennis Stark Relays’ 12 events in front of a packed house at the Rolfs Aquatic Center gave Notre Dame its first victory of the 2008-09 season on Oct. 3, the lone competition thus far for the Irish. The Irish won each of the 10 races and both diving competitions to post 280 points, the highest total of any women’s team in the 25-year history of the event.