Feb. 20, 2003
Uniondale, N.Y. – The University of Notre Dame women’s swimming and diving team, behind three victories, is in first place with 176 points after day one of the 2003 BIG EAST Swimming and Diving Championships. Rutgers is a close second with 165 points, followed by Miami (116), Pittsburgh (108) and Virginia Tech (106).
The Irish opened the tonight’s finals on a positive note as the 200 freestyle relay team of sophomore Katie Eckholt, junior Danielle Hulick, senior Heidi Hendrick and sophomore Kristen Peterson took first in 1:33.21, a “B” qualifying time for the 2003 NCAA meet. The Irish, who were seeded fourth coming into the event, outtouched Rutgers relay team by .11 seconds. Miami was third in 1:33.76.
Notre Dame junior Lisa Garcia won her first BIG EAST title by winning the 200 individual medley. Garcia, who set a BIG EAST Championship and Notre Dame record in the morning prelims with a time of 2:01.00, was a little slower in the evening session as she won in 2:01.21. Garcia edged out Pittsburgh’s Carolyne Savini (2:01.68) and Miami’s Manon van Rooijen who was third in 2:02.26. Garcia’s morning time was a “B” qualifier and is under the 2002 NCAA cut.
Hulick won her second title of the night by taking first in the 50 freestyle with a “B” qualifying time of 22.93. Hulick’s time is also below the 2002 cut time, which should put her in good position for the NCAA meet. Virginia Tech’s Jill Turner was second, while Miami’s Christina Williams was third. The two victories tonight were the fourth and fifth conference titles of Hulick’s career.
Tonight’s relay victory was the second BIG EAST crown in Eckholt’s career after winning the same event last season. It was the first conference title for both Hendrick and Peterson.
Miami continued its dominance in the women’s three-meter diving event as Katie Beth Bryant defended her 2002 title with a total of 507.76 points. Notre Dame’s Meghan Perry-Eaton was second with 501.05 points, marking the highest finish in conference history for a Notre Dame diver.
Other outstanding performances on the evening included the 400 medley relay team of Hulick, junior Laurie Musgrave, Garcia and Hendrick, who placed second in an NCAA “B” time of 3:42.33. Rutgers was first in 3:42.25. Junior Marie Labosky was sixth in the 200 IM in 2:03.37, while freshman Courtney Choura was seventh in 2:03.47. Eckholt was sixth in the 50 free in 23.49, while Hendrick was ninth (23.51) and Peterson was 11th (23.80).
The meet continues on Friday with the prelims at 10:30 a.m. and the finals slated for 6:30 p.m.