March 23, 2002
The University of Notre Dame women’s swimming and diving team wrapped up its 2001-02 season in the third and final day of competition in the NCAA Championship on Saturday evening. Two of the most decorated swimmers in Irish history jumped in the pool for their final races as members of the Notre Dame team and finished with two more honorable mention All-America honors on their resume.
Seniors Carrie Nixon and Kelly Hecking competed in the consolation finals of the 100 freestyle and 200 backstroke, respectively, on Saturday evening. Nixon’s 49.47 time in the 100 free placed her 10th in the field, just one spot off her NCAA career-best from the 2000 meet. Nixon ends her Notre Dame career with two top-seven finishes in the 50 freestyle (fourth in 2000, seventh this season) and 10 All-America or honorable mention All-America finishes in her four years of competition.
Hecking ended up fourth in the consolation finals and 12th overall in the 200 backstroke (1:57.90). It was the fourth consecutive year the Rutherford, N.J., native has competed at the NCAA Championship meet and the 12th-place finish will do down as the highest of her career in the 200 backstroke. Hecking earned individual honorable mention All-America honors in each season while competing for Notre Dame.
While two Irish seniors were ending their NCAA Championship careers, freshman Kelli Barton began hers with a 29th-place finish in the 1650 freestyle (16:48.91).
Nixon, Hecking and Barton also joined freshman Kristen Peterson in the consolation finals of the 400 freestyle relay. The Irish moved up one spot from the preliminaries, taking 15th place in 3:24.18.
As a team, the Irish ended up 19th in the NCAA Championship field.