March 21, 2015
GREENSBORO, N.C. – In a photo finish at the wall, University of Notre Dame senior standout Emma Reaney claimed third in the 100 breaststroke Friday night at the NCAA Swimming & Diving Championships to earn All-America honors for the third time in the event.
In a ridiculously close race, four student-athletes finished within .21 seconds of each other. The commentators on ESPN3 originally gave Reaney the win based on the eye test, but the scoreboard awarded Stanford’s Sarah Haase (58.32) a narrow win over Alabama’s Kaylin Burchell (58.38) and Reaney (58.43). Virginia’s Laura Simon finished fourth in 58.53.
“I wasn’t even that nervous for that (the finals), which is good because I swim better when I’m not nervous,” said Reaney.”Off the first wall I was trying to be very streamlined and pointed my foot a little too hard so my foot got a little cramped up. I’m sure if we played back the video we could see my right leg kind of go limp trying to get rid of it. I’m happy with that considering I haven’t been doing a lot of sprinting and I was not that fast this morning and dropping almost a second from this morning is pretty much all I could ask for right now.”
“What Emma didtonightwas totally remarkable and it’s a real tribute to not only Emma’s feistiness but also to the kind of courage and commitment and grit she has to drop .9 from morning to night … that just doesn’t happen,” said interim head coach Tim Welsh. “She did it by being refocusing and committing to the race early. She had a little foot cramp along the way but what she did is a real tribute to her resilience. I think as she goes forward in her career, learning how to rebound from a disappointing swim into a good one, that’s a critical piece to have and she’s got it.”
With her third-place finish, Reaney collected her program-record seventh All-America trophy in her illustrious Irish career and upped her career total of All-America/honorable mention All-America honors to 12, which ties former great Carrie Nixon (2 AA/10 HM AA) for the most in program history.
She has earned All-America honors three times in the 100 breast, finishing fifth as a sphomore and third as a junior.
Reaney will look to defend her national championship in the 200 breaststroke Saturday.
“I think the thing that’s really giving me confidence going intotomorrowis my split on the 200 IM, which was in the middle of a very difficult race and I was still able to go a 32 low so its good for my endurance and I’m excited,” said Reaney.
Elsewhere on day two, senior Allison Casareto had a solid showing on the 3-meter to close out her Irish career, as she finished 18th (320.55) to miss out on earning honorable mention All-America honors for the second day in a row by just 2.10 points.
“I thought Allison competed very well and I thought she approached this meet, especially today, which is not always her favorite event, but she approached it as a real competitor, and she went after all of her dives,” said Welsh. “She had a great first NCAA meet and a grand finale.”
Senior Courtney Whyte opened her final NCAA meet with a pair of 46th-place finishes in the 100 fly (53.51) and the 100 back (54.67).
“I swam the 100 fly and back this morning and I was right off my best time in both of them so I was pretty happy with it considering I’ve mostly been focusing on the 200 fly this year,” said Whyte. “I’m looking forward to swimmingtomorrowbecause both at Texas and at ACCs the third day was my best day.
“Since it’s my 2nd NCAAs I think I’m a lot more comfortable here than I was last year. Last year I was kind of nervous and wasn’t sure if I was fast enough to be here, but its definitely easier the second time around.”
“Courtney’s first two swims were excellent and I thought comparable to the 100’s she’s done before but she’s never done them in the same meet before,” said Welsh. “To get both of those swims here in the first hour and her first swims at this NCAAs, I thought that was really well done.”
20th – Notre Dame: 40 Points
200 IM (4th– 1:55.13):Emma Reaney100 Breast (3rd – 58.43): Emma Reaney
HONORABLE MENTION ALL-AMERICANS (1)
1-Meter Dive (9th– 325.20):Allison Casareto
200 IM (4th– 1:55.13)
1-Meter Dive (9th– 325.20)
3-Meter Dive (18th – 320.55)
Senior Courtney Whyte
100 Fly (46th – 53.51)
100 Back (46th – 54.67)
–Russell Dorn, Assistant Media Relations Director