Jan. 28, 2006
The University of Notre Dame women’s swimming and diving team ended head coach Carrie Nixon’s first dual-meet season on a high note, defeating Louisville and Oakland to finish with a 5-2 record in 2005-06. After dropping the first two meets of the season, the Irish rebounded to win five consecutive dual-meet matchups to end the year. The final scores from the Shamrock Invitational were Notre Dame 258 – 109 over Oakland and 218 – 148 over Louisville.
The Shamrock Invitational was 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.
Notre Dame wrapped up both dual meet victories in Saturday morning’s session, winning five of the eight events competed. Junior Katie Carroll continued to dominate the pool, winning both the 400 IM (4:22.50) and 200 freestyle (1:50.66), while also helping the 800 freestyle relay to a victory. Sophomore Caroline Johnson won the 100 backstroke (58.79) and the 200 medley relay team also earned a victory in 1:45.99 (team of Caroline Johnson, Julia Quinn, Jessica Stephens and Rebecca Grove).
With the dual-meet victories wrapped up before the evening session, Notre Dame either scratched or placed many of their competitors in exhibition races. Top finishes for the Irish included junior Abby Strang taking third in the 1,650 freestyle (17:35.52), sophomore Morgan Bullock finishing second in the 200 backstroke (2:09.28), sophomore Katie Guida placing second in the 100 freestyle (53.45) and freshman Claire Hutchinson finishing third in the 200 butterfly (2:06.98).
Senior Courtney Choura, swimming in her final home meet, also posted a top finish by touching the wall second in the 200 breaststroke (2:21.48). Choura and senior manager Shannon Trevino were honored before Saturday’s final session.
The Irish will now turn their entire focus to preparing for the 2006 BIG EAST Championship, which begins Feb. 15, in Long Island, N.Y.