January 12, 1999


HONOLULU – The 23rd-ranked Notre Dame women’s swimming and diving team came back to the mainland as winners of the 24th annual Rainbow Invitational, Jan. 2-3. The Irish claimed first place with 151.5 points, defeating second place Illinois by a little over 25 points, and finishing ahead of seven other teams including 10th-ranked Michigan.

The Irish were led by event winners Heather Mattingly (Houston, Texas), who won both the one-meter and three-meter diving contests, sophomore Kristen Van Saun (Lawrence, Kan.) and the 200 and 400 medley relay teams.

Mattingly, a freshman, won the one-meter event in front of teammate Francie McCoppin (Sierra Madre, Calif.) with 275.55 points and defeated Texas A&M’s Danielle Guarneri with 293.15 points on the three-meter board. Van Saun, meanwhile, won her second 500-yard freestyle race of the season with a time of 4:59.95. The 400 medley relay team of Kelly Hecking (Rutherford, N.J.) , Allison Lloyd (Fort Wayne, Ind.), Elizabeth Barger (Littleton, Colo.) and Carrie Nixon (Ouray, Colo.) also set both a meet and pool record with a winning time of 3:51.68.

Other Notre Dame swimmers with notable efforts included Lloyd, who set a team season high in the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:05.36, and Nixon who notched another team season high (2:07.43) en route to a third-place finish in the 200 individual medley. The Irish also got second-place finishes from McCoppin (one-meter diving), Barger (100 butterfly), Hecking (100 and 200 backstroke) and Lloyd (200 breaststroke).

The Notre Dame women’s swimming and diving team will travel to Illinois Jan. 15-16 for a meet with both Illinois and Ohio State.