Feb. 18, 2012
PITTSBURGH, Pa. - In the final prelims session of the BIG EAST Swimming Championships, the Notre Dame women's team qualified eight for the finals and six for the consolation finals on Saturday morning at Trees Pool.
Leading the charge for the Irish was sophomore Kelly Ryan, who turned in impressive showings in the 100 free and 200 back as she qualified first in both events. Also qualifying for finals were Kim Holden (200 back), Suzanne Bessire (100 free), Amy Prestinario (100 free), Emma Reaney (200 breast), Bridget Casey (200 fly) and Melissa Scott (200 fly).
Notre Dame has multiple qualifiers in the finals of the 200 back, 100 free and 200 fly.
Qualifying for consolation finals were Gracie Fredlake (200 back), Hannah Bowen (100 free), Lauren Scott (100 free), Lauren Stauder (200 breast), Christen McDonough (200 breast) and Courtney Whyte (200 fly).
Saturday night's events get underway at 6 p.m. with the consolation finals of the women's 200 backstroke. Senior recognition will take place at approximately 5:35 p.m. As a reminder to fans, a live stream of the entire meet can be found at BIGEAST.org.
200 Back: Ryan and Holden both qualified for the 200 back finals, as Ryan took first in 1:56.25 and Holden claimed fourth in a season-best time of 1:58.92. Ryan cruised through her heat, as she bested the next best qualifier by 1.80 seconds. Qualifying for the consolation finals was Fredlake, who placed 12th in 2:01.41.
100 Free: Three Irish 100 freestylers qualified for the finals as Ryan (49.95), Bessire (50.67) and Prestinario (50.77) placed first, fifth and seventh, respectively. Qualifying for the consolations were Bowen (12th, 51.13) and L. Scott (13th, 51.18). Bessire, Bowen and L. Scott all registered season bests.
200 Breast: Reaney qualified second for the 200 breast finals as she cruised through the water in a season-best time of 2:12.14. Placing first was Louisville's Gisselle Kohoyda (2:09.02), who set a new meet and pool record topping former Notre Dame great Samantha Maxwell.
Qualifying for the consolation finals was Stauder (10th, 2:16.77) and McDonough (12th, 2:17.11). McDonough's mark was a season best.
200 Fly: Casey touched the pad in third to lead the way for the Irish. Her time of 1:59.82 was a season best. Also qualifying for the finals was M. Scott, who finished sixth in 2:01.00. Qualifying for the consolation finals was Whyte, who placed 11th in a season-best time of 2:02.42. Senior Emily Barton finished 17th in a season-best time of 2:03.94 and is the first alternate in case someone scratches above her.