Dec. 1, 1999
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The Notre Dame men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams will play host to the Notre Dame Invitational, December 2-4 at the Rolfs Aquatic Center. Preliminaries will begin at 10 a.m., with finals taking place at 6:30 p.m. each night. This year’s edition of the Notre Dame Invitational will include 10 women’s teams and nine men’s teams from around the country.
Men’s Swimming and Diving Defeat Western Ontario — In the longest running collegiate series between a school from the United States and one from Canada, the Notre Dame men’s swimming team captured their first dual-meet win of the year against Western Ontario, November 19. The Irish won the meet with a score of 116-76 to improve to 34-1 all-time against the Mustangs.
Taking individual wins for the Irish were James Scott-Browne (Seattle, Wash.) in the 100 freestyle, Jonathan Pierce (Newburgh, Ind.) in the 200 freestyle, Ray Fitzpatrick (Doylestown, Pa.) in the 200 individual medley, John Lubker (Roswell, Ga.) in the 200 butterfly, David Horak (Dumfries, Va.) in the 100 freestyle and Jason Colettis (Walpole, Ma.) in the 200 backstroke. Seven different swimmers tallied wins for the Irish in this meet, including the 400 medley relay team of Greg Juszli (Hudson, Ohio), Matt Hedden (Westerville, Ohio), Rob Fetter (Lakeland, Fla.) and Matt Grunewald (Centerville, Ohio). Notre Dame also swept the top three spots in several events, including the 400 medley relay, 1000 freestyle, 200 butterfly and 200 backstroke.
Women’s Swimming and Diving — Junior Carrie Nixon (Ouray, Colo.) led the 22nd-ranked Notre Dame women’s swimming and diving team to a fourth-place finish with 578 points at the Minnesota Invitational, November 19-21. On the first day of competition Nixon swam a time of 23.04 in the preliminaries of the 50 freestyle to provisionally qualify for the NCAA championships and then swam a converted short course meter time of 22.98 in the finals to win the event with the fastest time in the country as of November 29. On Saturday, Nixon recorded a NCAA “B” qualifying time of 55.56 in the prelims of the 100 butterfly, which was just .04 seconds off the university record in that event of 55.52 held by teammate Elizabeth Barger (Littleton, Colo). Nixon placed second in the finals of that event in a time of 1:01.9. On the final day of competition, Nixon won the 100 freestyle with a converted time of 50.39 to provisionally qualify for her third event in 1999.
Besides Nixon, the Irish recorded several other NCAA “B” qualifying times. Recording “B” qualifying times were Alison Newell (Parker, Colo.) in the 200 butterfly and the 500 freestyle and Kristen Van Saun (Lawrence, Kan.) in the 500 and 1650 freestyle. Sophomore Kelly Hecking (Rutherford, N.J.) had a good meet for the Irish winning the 100 backstroke, finishing third in the 200 backstroke, and participating in the second place Notre Dame 200 medley relay team along with Shannon Suddarth (Topeka, Kan.), Newell, and Nixon.
Minnesota successfully defended their title from last year by again winning their own invitational. The Golden Gophers finished with 847 points followed by repeat runner-up Wisconsin with 695.50 and Illinois with 632.
In addition to participating in this week’s Notre Dame Invitational, three women’s swimmers, Nixon, Suddarth and sophomore Brooke Davey (Hopewell Junction, N.Y.) will participate in the U.S. Open sponsored by United States Swimming in San Antonio, Texas, Thursday through Saturday.
Irish Diving — Because diving is a separate sport in Canada, the Notre Dame men’s divers were not in action against Western Ontario, but will return to action in the Notre Dame Invitational.
The women’s diving team traveled to the Minnesota Invitational with Heather Mattingly (Houston, Texas) continuing to impress by placing second in the three-meter competition with 490.15 points and third in the one-meter competition with 411.05 points. Gina Ketelhohn (Brown Deer, Wis.) also did well, placing eighth in both the one- and three-meter competitions. The Irish women will also be in competition at the Notre Dame Invitational, December 2-4.