NOTRE DAME, Ind. -
The No. 24 University of Notre Dame women's swimming and diving team won 16 of the 20 events to run away from Iowa, 263-106, at the two-day Shamrock Invitational at Rolfs Aquatic Center this weekend. Northwestern also competed at the invitational, but the Irish and Wildcats chose not to count their score since the two teams just dualed a few short weeks ago. The Wildcats squeaked past the Hawkeyes, 186-184, in the other dual result.
Great crowds came out to Rolfs all weekend as a pool-record 609 braved Saturday's elements to give the invitational a two-day total of 1,041 spectators.
With 16 wins in 20 chances, strong performances were the norm for the Irish throughout the weekend.
"I thought we got better as the meet went on," said head coach Brian Barnes. "It was interesting to show up after a day of school and a morning swim yesterday and I thought we were a little rusty last night. However, I thought this morning we showed up and did a heck of a job. I know what I asked this team to do this week and then to head into a three-session meet and compete the way they did, I'm very happy with them. We have work to do in several areas but I'm pretty happy with where we are."
Junior Emma Reaney won four individual events and three relays, grabbed four NCAA B cuts and broke two pool records (200 IM, 800 free relay).
Senior Kelly Ryan picked up three individual wins and two relays, tallied two NCAA B cuts and swam a leg of the pool-record 800 free relay team.
Freshman Katie Miller won the 400 IM and also assisted on the winning 800 free relay team, while junior Bridget Casey claimed the 200 fly title and swam the anchor for the 800 free relay. Miller notched three NCAA B cuts and Casey had one.
"Tonight was more about our seniors than anything," said Barnes. "Watching the team with this senior class, it's a beloved class. It's good to see that in athletics. We are going to miss them tremendously. Today was a sentimental day for all of us. They have represented Notre Dame with great passion and it was good to see them recognized."
The Irish (7-5) close out their regular season at 12 p.m. next Saturday with a dual against Cleveland State at Rolfs Aquatic Center. Notre Dame heads to its first Atlantic Coast Conference meet in a few short weeks (Feb. 19-22).
EVENING SESSION RECAP
Notre Dame turned in another 1-2 sweep in the evening session as senior Kelly Ryan (1:57.57) and freshman Katie Miller (1:58.55) picked up NCAA B cuts in pulling away from the field.
Ryan pulled off wins in back-to-back swims as she took the 100 free crown (50.33) just minutes after winning the 100 back. Joining Ryan on the podium was teammate Catherine Mulquin, who claimed second in 51.56. Notre Dame also secured spots five, six and seven to give the Irish five of the top seven spots in the event.
Reaney finished up her individual portion of the weekend with a win in the 200 breast (2:12.38 - NCAA B cut). Her time was 4.77 seconds faster than the second place finisher. Behind Reaney, the Irish were well represented as senior Lauren Stauder finished third (2:17.83), fellow senior Christen McDonough claimed fourth (2:19.68) and sophomore Danielle Margheret took fifth (2:20.12).
Notre Dame swept the top three spots in the 200 fly as junior Bridget Casey (1:59.30 - NCAA B Cut), Miller (2:01.30) and junior Melissa Scott (2:03.32) went 1-2-3.
The Irish rounded out the meet with a win in the 400 free relay as Reaney, Mulquin, Bradford and Ryan touched the pad first in 3:24.23.
MORNING SESSION RECAP
The Irish kicked off day two in grand fashion with a victory in the 200 medley relay. Mulquin, Reaney, junior Courtney Whyte and Ryan touched the pad in 1:41.22 to give Notre Dame six victories in the first seven events of the weekend. The Notre Dame "B" team earned a runner-up finish as Miller, McDonough, Genevieve Heidkamp and Hannah Bowen completed the race in 1:43.18.
Notre Dame went 1-2 in the 400 IM as Miller swam an NCAA B cut time of 4:17.62 to blow away the field. Teammate Bridget Casey claimed second in 4:23.25 to extend her squad's lead over Iowa.
Reaney helped the Irish continue their winning ways as she claimed the 100 fly title in an NCAA B cut time of 53.99. Teammates Whyte (55.23) and Heidkamp (55.78) took second and third, respectively, to give Notre Dame a sweep in the event. Casey (5th - 56.48) and Sarah Dotzel (6th - 56.75) weren't far behind to give Notre Dame five of the top six finishers.
Junior Suzanne Bessire picked up a runner-up finish in the 200 free as she touched the wall in 1:52.12.
Reaney won her third individual event of the weekend with a victory in the 100 breast (1:00.71 - NCAA B cut). McDonough earned a bronze in the event with a 1:03.58 performance, missing out on second place by .01 seconds.
Ryan looked strong in the 100 back as she won the event in an NCAA B cut time of 54.42. Following closely behind were Irish teammates Mulquin (55.42) and Whyte (55.57), who took second and third, respectively, to give Notre Dame the sweep. The Irish also had performers finish in the sixth, seventh and eighth spots to give the host program six competitors in the top eight.
On the 3-meter board, sophomore Emma Gaboury claimed third (303.25) to lead the way for the Irish.
Notre Dame wrapped up the morning session with a pool record in the 800 free relay. The foursome of Reaney, Ryan, Miller and Casey took down Ohio State's record (7:22.85) from 2011 by .20 seconds (7:22.65).