Jan. 13, 2006
The University of Notre Dame women’s swimming and diving team is back in the competition pool, looking to drive toward the finish of the 2005-06 season after a winter break dedicated to training. The team returned to action in a big way on Friday, Jan. 13, with the Irish facing off against regional rivals No. 15 Michigan and Illinois.
Notre Dame, ranked 20th in the latest release of the College Swimming Coaches Association of America’s top 25 poll (Jan. 12), won three of the six events competed in the first day of the triangular meet. Competition will continue on Saturday, Jan. 14, with a morning swim at 9:30 a.m. followed by an evening session at 5:00 p.m.
Notre Dame’s dual freshman distance threat delivered in the second event of the evening, as Casey Wagner and Claire Hutchinson finished one-two in the 500 freestyle. Wagner touched the wall in 4:53.95, while Hutchinson posted a season-best time of 4:55.18.
The Irish then made it two wins in a row for the 200 individual medley. Junior All-American Katie Carroll, who has already qualified to compete in the 200 IM at the NCAA Championship this season, took first place in 2:03.71. She was followed by classmates Jessica Stephens in fourth (2:08.23) and Ann Barton in sixth (2:09.12). Sophomore Kelly Battle finished seventh in 2:09.20.
Michigan’s Lindsey Smith broke Notre Dame’s win streak in the next event, the 50 freestyle, but junior Rebecca Grove was right there with the Wolverine sprinter, finishing second in 23.75 (Smith won in 23.63).
Notre Dame fell behind in the points race over in the diving well, as Michigan pulled off a one-two-three sweep in the one-meter event. Sophomore Tara Hyer did finish fourth with 229.40 points.
The Irish then came through to cap the evening in fine fashion, winning the 400 medley relay by a second over Michigan. The team of sophomore Caroline Johnson, junior Julia Quinn, Carroll and Grove finished in 3:48.96 – the team’s second-best effort of the year.
TEAM SCORING AFTER DAY ONE –
1. Michigan, 383 pts.
2. Notre Dame, 341 pts.
3. Illinois, 297 pts.
Saturday’s Schedule –
9 a.m. session –
200 Medley Relay
400 Individual Medley
800 Freestyle Relay
5 p.m. session –
400 Freestyle Relay