Nov. 11, 2005
The University of Notre Dame women’s swimming and diving team (2-2) earned the first home victory of Carrie Nixon’s head coaching career with the Irish on Friday evening in the Rolfs Aquatic Center, besting Minnesota 163-135 in dual meet action. The outcome marks the second consecutive meet victory for the Irish after dropping two close contests to begin the season.
The Irish were led by another outstanding swimming effort from junior Katie Carroll – who broke two pool records while claiming three victories in the meet. Carroll was not alone in the pool, however, as the Irish utilized their deep and talented roster to seize control of the meet and never look back. In all, Notre Dame won 11 of 16 events on the day, with Carroll earning three of those victories in the 200 freestyle (pool record time of 1:48.73), 100 freestyle (50.85) and 100 butterfly (pool record time of 55.28).
Carroll’s accomplishments are extraordinary, typically, pool records are not achieved until later in the season or at championship events. In addition, she posted NCAA “B” cuts (championship qualification consideration times) in all three events. The Toledo, Ohio, native has now posted NCAA “B” cuts in six events – 100 fly, 200 fly, 100 free, 200 free, 200 IM and 400 IM this season. In addition, her 200 freestyle time of 1:48.73 was just .06 faster than the freestyle record she posted against California earlier this season. She previously shared that record with California’s Emily Silver.
While Carroll might be garnering the headlines for the team, Notre Dame has been developing consistent depth early in 2005-06. Among the top performances on Friday was a 23.91 effort in the 50 freestyle by junior Rebecca Grove – a career-best time for the Yorktown Heights, N.Y., native. Notre Dame’s 200 medley relay started the meet off on the right foot (for the second meet in a row) with a 1:45.59 victory. Grove, junior Julia Quinn, junior Jessica Stephens and freshman Christa Riggins ended up as the victorious team.
Quinn’s relay victory, coupled with her winning 200 breastroke effort of 2:18.17, provided two victories on the day for the former Golden Gopher (Quinn transferred from Minnesota during the summer of 2005).
Carroll, Quinn and Grove were not the only multiple-event winners on Friday. Junior Jessica Stephens, who helped the 200 medley relay win the first event, followed up with two individual victories – taking the 100 breaststroke in 1:04.49 and the 200 IM in 2:06.57.
Other event victories for the Irish included freshman Casey Wagner in the 200 fly (2:05.87), sophomore Caroline Johnson in the 100 backstroke (56.88) and sophomore Tara Hyer in one-meter diving (257.17 points). Notre Dame will see Minnesota again very soon. The Irish will take part in the Minnesota Invitational with several other teams Nov. 18-20.