Feb. 22, 2003
Uniondale, N.Y. – The University of Notre Dame women’s swimming and diving team, won its seventh straight BIG EAST Conference title, finishing with 730 points at the 2003 BIG EAST Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships. Notre Dame had 730 points, followed by Rutgers with 580. Miami was third with 469 points, followed by Virginia Tech (411) and Pittsburgh (396).
Notre Dame has now won seven consecutive conference titles, the most of any sport in Irish history. The last time Notre Dame did not win the conference meet was in 1996, its first year in the BIG EAST conference, when it placed third.
Notre Dame was led by junior Lisa Garcia who won her second individual event of the meet, taking the 200 butterfly in 2:01.02, an NCAA “B” qualifying time. Garcia’s teammate sophomore Brooke Taylor was third in 2:01.37, also a “B” qualifying time.
The 400 freestyle relay of sophomore Katie Eckholt, sophomore Sarah Alwen, senior Heidi Hendrick and junior Danielle Hulick placed first in 3:21.81, an NCAA “B” qualifying time. For Eckholt and Hendrick it was their second BIG EAST titles in 2003, while Hulick won her third championship and Alwen her first.
Also, diver Meghan Perry-Eaton, who became the first diver in Notre Dame history to win a BIG EAST title was named the 2003 women’s diver of the meet. Perry-Eaton was first on the one-meter board and second in the three-meter event.
In the 200 backstroke, Notre Dame had five of the top 10 finishers as Hulick was fourth in 2:00.27, a “B” cut. Junior Marie Labosky, who won the 400 IM on Saturday, was fifth in 2:00.75 in a “B” time. Alwen was seventh in 2:01.43, while freshman Kara Santelli won the consolation heat in 2:01.68 and sophomore Kristen Peterson was 10th in 2:01.70.
Hendrick placed sixth in the 100 freestyle in a “B” time of 51.05, while Eckholt continued her strong meet by winning the consolation final in a time of 51.55.
In the 200 breaststroke, freshman Courtney Choura, who had the top qualifying time during the morning prelims, finished second in a “B” time of 2:18.23. Villanova’s Maddy Crippen was first in 2:17.36. Junior Laurie Musgrave was fourth in 2:19.21.
Overall, Notre Dame had seven event winners on the weekend as Garcia won both the 200 individual medley and the 200 fly, Labosky won the 400 IM, Perry-Eaton won the one-meter diving event, Hulick won the 50 freestyle and the 200 and 400 freestyle relays were also victorious. Notre Dame also had a number of swimmers achieve “B” qualifying time and will have to wait word from the NCAA if they will receive an invitation to the 2003 NCAA meet March 20-23 in Auburn, Ala.