Nov. 4, 2005
The University of Notre Dame women’s swimming and diving team (1-2) earned its first dual meet victory of the season, and the Carrie Nixon era, with a 138-105 win at Pittsburgh on Friday night. The Irish won seven of 13 events over the Panthers, led by freshman Casey Wagner’s with two freestyle victories in a return to her hometown area (Glenshaw, Pa.).
Wagner won the 200 butterfly in 2:03.35, blitzing her closest competitor by three seconds. She entered the pool later in the meet for the 500 freestyle and touched the wall first in 4:53.80 – which was another three-second victory.
Notre Dame began the meet in strong form for the first time this season. The Irish had yet to being a dual meet this season with a relay victory and suffered close losses at home against #8 California and on the road at Purdue in the first two meets of the season. The team was focused to start well on Friday evening and delivered.
A one-two sweep was orchestrated by head coach Carrie Nixon, led by the team of sophomore Caroline Johnson, junior Julia Quinn, junior Katie Carroll and junior Rebecca Grove, who finished in 3:50.16. Junior Ann Barton, junior Jessica Stephens, Wagner and sophomore Kelly Battle were close behind in second place, finishing with a time of 3:52.05.
Freshman Claire Hutchinson kept the Irish ahead in the dual-meet points race in the second event, coasting to victory in the 1,000 freestyle. Hutchinson’s time of 10:05.33 is a season-best for the rookie out of Baltimore, Md.
Pittsburgh earned its first victory of the meet in the 50 freestyle, but Notre Dame answered with a win the 200 IM by Battle. Battle helped the Irish finish one-two in the event, taking first in 2:06.61 – just ahead of her teammate Stephens in 2:06.69.
After Wagner’s first victory in the 200 fly increased Notre Dame’s lead, Pittsburgh posted its second victory of the meet in the 100 freestyle. Once again, however, Notre Dame was able to answer with a win – this time in the 200 backstroke by Barton (a season-best 2:01.93).
Sophomore Tara Hyer followed up Wagner’s second victory of the meet with a solid second-place effort in three-meter diving. Hyer’s point total checked in at 253.20 – just behind Pittsburgh’s Kristin Caiazzo with 260.25.
If there was any doubt that the Irish did not have control of the meet, the 200 breaststroke ended any possible discussion. Stephens led a one-two-three Notre Dame finish in the event, touching first in 2:20.06. Quinn was just off the pace at 2:20.97 for second place and sophomore Katie Hopkins ended up in third with a time of 2:22.84.
Notre Dame will return home to face Minnesota in dual meet action on Friday, Nov. 11 at 5:00 p.m. in Rolfs Aquatic Center.