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Three Victories, One School Record Propel No. 20 Irish Into Lead At BIG EAST Championships

Feb. 20, 2004


EAST MEADOW, N.Y. – Behind three first-place finishes, the 20th-ranked University of Notre Dame women’s swimming and diving team jumped into the lead on the second day of the BIG EAST Championships in the Nassau County Aquatic Center. Senior Meghan Perry-Eaton (Brandon, Fla./Bloomingdale H.S.) and freshman Katie Carroll (Toledo, Ohio/Notre Dame Academy) each posted their second victories in as many days, while senior Marie Labosky (Churchville, Pa./Germantown Academy) won the 400 IM for the second consecutive season and the 800 freestyle relay team set a Notre Dame record.

Perry-Eaton became the first Irish diver ever to win both the one- and three-meter competitions in the BIG EAST meet, while Carroll took first in the 100 fly after winning the 200 IM on Friday.

Heading into the final day, the Irish have 503.50 points, while second-place Rutgers has 419. Notre Dame has won each of the last seven BIG EAST Championships.

Carroll stayed perfect in her first career BIG EAST meet, winning the 100 fly as the No. 1 seed with a time of 54.29. She was the top qualifier and winner of the 200 IM on Thursday, meaning she is unbeaten in four races in the meet. Another victory on Saturday would make her just the 22nd competitor in conference history – and third from Notre Dame – to win three events in one meet. Carroll is entered in both the 100 free and 200 fly on Saturday, but will scratch out of one of them. The time was a season-best for Carroll, who gained an automatic berth to next month’s NCAA Championships with an NCAA “A” time in the 200 IM. She has “B” times in the 100 free, 100 fly, and 400 IM, meaning she could also swim up to two of those in the NCAAs.

Carroll’s finish led one of the strongest events of the day for the Irish. Freshman Jessica Stephens (Bloomsburg, Pa./Bloomsburg H.S.) finished third with a season-best time of 55.51, and senior co-captain Lisa Garcia (Denver, Colo./Cherry Creek H.S.) took fourth in 55.55. It was the fourth consecutive top-five finish for Garcia, who was fifth as a freshman, second in 2002, and third last year. Sophomore Christel Bouvron (Singapore, Singapore/Raffles Girls’ Secondary School) was eighth in the race with a time of 56.82.

Perry-Eaton, the 2003 BIG EAST Diver of the Year, became the first non-Miami diver to win the three-meter competition in the meet since 1995. She is undefeated off the three-meter board this season, having defeated 11 teams in dual-meet competition and also taking first in the Texas A&M Invitational, the Notre Dame Invitational, and the BIG EAST Championships.

Labosky won the 400 IM for the second year in a row, finishing in 4:21.08. She was followed by juniors Kelli Barton (Scottsdale, Ariz./Chaparral H.S.) in fifth (4:25.57) and Brooke Taylor (Orlando, Fla./Lake Highland Preparatory School) in eighth (4:28.21). Freshman Kiley Gooch (Carmel, Ind./Carmel H.S.) was 10th in 4:26.80.

In the final event of the evening, the 800 free relay, Notre Dame broke the second-oldest mark in the Irish record book by more than two seconds, finishing second in 7:20.12. Freshmen Ellen Johnson (Toledo, Ohio/Notre Dame Acadmy) and Carroll, Garcia, and freshman Ann Barton (Scottsdale, Ariz./Desert Mountain H.S.) broke the 7:22.17 mark set by Alison Newell, Kristen Van Saun, Katie Collins, and Linda Gallo in the 1998 BIG EAST Championships.

Choura finished second for the second consecutive year in the 100 breasttroke, achieving an NCAA “B” cut of 1:03.62. Junior Georgia Healey (New York, N.Y./Trinity School) finished seventh after making the consolation finals in each of the last two years. Her time of 1:04.51 was her best in 2003-04.

Notre Dame finished fourth in the first event of the evening, the 200 medley relay. The Irish team of Grove, Choura, Bouvron, and Hulick posted a time of 1:43.92.

In the 100 back, Grove was fourth in 56.67, which was a season best and an NCAA “B” time. Senior Danielle Hulick (Galesburg, Ill./Galesburg H.S.) took fifth in 56.81, while junior Sarah Alwen (Cairo, Egypt/Cairo American College) was eighth with a time of 57.10. Junior Kristen Peterson (Wichita, Kan./Bishop Carroll H.S.) finished 11th in 57.44

Johnson finished sixth in the 200 free in 1:51.27. Ann Barton won the consolation final to finish ninth in 1:50.41, which would have been good enough for third place in the championship final. Her time was an NCAA “B” cut, which means she will be considered for a berth in next month’s NCAA Championships. Alwen was 13th in 1:52.35.

In the 100 breast, Stephens was 13th with a season-best time of 1:05.22, while freshman Annie Sweeney (Los Gatos, Calif./Archbishop Mitty H.S.) was 15th in 1:06.06.