Jan. 27, 2006


The University of Notre Dame women’s swimming and diving team eased ahead of its two competitors at the 2006 Shamrock Invitational on Friday evening. After the first six scored events, the Irish are ahead of Oakland 87-22 and lead Louisville 78-32.

The Shamrock Invitational has been revamped for the 2006 season. Formerly a last-chance meet for the Irish men’s and women’s teams to qualify for either the BIG EAST Championship or the NCAA Championship, the Shamrock has been transformed into a dual-meet invitational. All competing teams are being scored in dual meet formats against each other.

In the final home meet of the season for the Irish and senior Courtney Choura, Notre Dame appeared to be in fine form as it focuses on the upcoming BIG EAST Championship – which begins Feb. 15 in Long Island, N.Y. The Irish easily won all five swimming competitions on the evening and finished two-three in the lone diving competition of the evening.

Individual winners for Notre Dame included freshman Casey Wagner in the 500 freestyle, who reached an NCAA “B” qualification time of 4:52.36. Junior Katie Carroll held off teammate Jessica Stephens to win the 200 IM, finishing in 2:03.24. Stephens improved her season-best time and NCAA “B” cut effort, taking second in 2:03.63.

Notre Dame dominated the 50 freestyle, led by junior Rebecca Grove in 23.59. She was followed (in order) by Caroline Johnson (24.17), Christa Riggins (24.19) and Katie Guida (24.42).

The women’s diving team performed well on Friday evening, as sophomore Tara Hyer finished second with 260.10 points, followed by freshman Lucy Hirt with 259.40 points.

Finally, the Irish relays began the meet, and finished day one, with two impressive victories. The team of Carroll, Riggins, Guida and Grove won the 200 freestyle relay in 1:35.66 in the first event of the evening. The 400 medley relay team was also successful, taking first in 3:49.69 (team of Caroline Johnson, Julia Quinn, Carroll and Grove).

The Shamrock Invitational continues tomorrow (Saturday, Jan. 28) morning at 9:30 a.m. and finishes up with a session at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday evening.