January 15, 1999


NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The 23rd-ranked Notre Dame women’s swimming and diving team is ahead of both Illinois (107.5-76.5) and Ohio State (115-65) after day one of a double-dual meet held at the University of Illinois, Jan. 15-16.

Leading the way for the Irish was triple-event winner Carrie Nixon (Ouray, Colo.) who won the 50 freestyle, 200 individual medley and was the anchor leg on the winning 200 medley relay team. Nixon won the 50 freestyle with a time of 23.81 and edged out Illinois sophomore Anna Christiansen an event later in the 200-yard individual medley with a time of 2:07.49. The 200 medley relay team of Kelly Hecking (Rutherford, N.J.), Elizabeth Barger (Littleton, Colo.), Brittany Kline (Crystal Lake, Ill.) and Nixon began the competition with a win in 1:46.44, a new team season high.

Barger also starred for the Irish on an individual level by setting a new Illinois pool record and team season-high in the 200-yard butterfly in a time of 2:02.81. Barger broke the four-year-old record of 2:03.80 by almost a full second and also edged out her nearest competitor, teammate Alison Newell (Parker, Colo.), by more than a second at tonight’s meet.

Other winners for the Irish included Kristen Van Saun (Lawrence, Kan.) in the 1000 freestyle and Hecking in the 100 backstroke. Overall, the Irish picked up six wins in 10 events, while Illinois won three and Ohio State claimed the top spot in the one-meter diving competition.

The three teams return for the second day of competition at Illinois at noon (CST) on Saturday, January 16.