Feb. 21, 2002
Uniondale, N.Y. – The University of Notre Dame women’s swimming and diving team is in first place, while the men are in sixth after day one of the 2002 BIG EAST Swimming and Diving Championships at Nassau County Aquatic Center in Uniondale, N.Y. The Irish women, who are looking for their sixth consecutive conference title, finished day one with 243 points. Miami is second with 173 points. In the men’s race, Pittsburgh is first with 250 points. Notre Dame has 97 points.
Irish senior Carrie Nixon won the 50 freestyle today in 22.73. Nixon also automatically qualified for the NCAA Championships in the morning preliminaries after swimming the same time to qualify first for tonight’s final. Tonight’s win marked the 15th BIG EAST title in Nixon’s career, the most of any swimmer in conference history. After missing last season with a shoulder injury, Nixon came back tonight to earn her third win at the BIG EAST meet in the 50 free.
Nixon also went on to earn her 16th and 17th career wins when the Irish took first in the 200 freestyle relay and 400 medley relay. The team of Danielle Hulick, Kelly Hecking, Katie Eckholt and Nixon, set a BIG EAST Championship record in the 200 freestyle relay with a time of 1:32.01, bettering the old record of 1:32.40 set by West Virginia in 2001. Also, the 400 medley relay team of Hecking, Allison Lloyd, Lisa D’Olier and Nixon set a BIG EAST record, winning in a time of 3:40.98 and breaking the old record of 3:41.66 set by the Irish last season. With the two relay wins, Hecking won her 15th and 16th career BIG EAST titles.
Other top performers for the Irish women were sophomore Lisa Garcia in the 200 individual medley, who was second, and sophomore Meghan Perry Eaton, who earned all-BIG EAST honors after placing second in the one-meter diving event with 293.30 points. Senior Heather Mattingly was fourth in diving with 275.70 points.
On the men’s side, senior Jonathan Pierce led three Irish swimmers in the finals of the 500-yard freestyle by finishing fifth in 4:31.72. Matt Obringer (4:31.92) was sixth for the Irish, while Matthew Bertke was seventh (4:35.97).
In diving, Andy Maggio was sixth with 507.40 points, while Joe Miller was eighth with 453.65 points.
The BIG EAST Championships continue Friday with preliminaries at 10:30 a.m. and the finals at 6:00 p.m.
Note: For complete results, please visit the following website: www.bigeast.org/sports/swimming/champs02/day1final.asp