Feb. 18, 2012
PITTSBURGH, Pa. - Notre Dame won three events, including breaking the school record in the 400 free relay, on the final night of competition at the 2012 BIG EAST Women's Swimming and Diving Championships held at Trees Pool on the campus of the University of Pittsburgh.
Louisville repeated as conference champions as it out-distanced the field, scoring 758.5 points. The Irish finished second with 593.5 points.
Sophomore Kelly Ryan starred for the Irish on the final night of competition, pulling off the impressive double victory in the 200 back and 100 free, while also swimming the lead leg on the record-breaking 400 free relay team. With barely 10 minutes to spare between the two individual races, the Hinsdale, Ill., product won the 200 back in a Trees Pool record time of 1:55.56, before taking the 100 free (49.38) for the second consecutive year. The two titles makes her just the 16th Irish swimmer to win an event twice at the conference meet. Ryan now has four individual titles for her career, which puts her in a tie for seventh in Notre Dame history. She has eight BIG EAST titles and 13th all-BIG EAST scrolls under her belt through two years with the Irish.
Prestinario, who swam a blazing 49.02 leg on the 400 free relay team, also earned a runner-up finish in the 100 free. She closes out her BIG EAST career with 15 all-BIG EAST awards and four relay titles.
Reaney closed out a brilliant meet with a runner-up finish in the 200 breast. For the meet, the Lawrence, Kan., native earned all-BIG EAST accolades in seven events, three individual and four relays, while winning four titles, two individual and two relay. Reaney won the 200 IM and the 100 breast, and swam a leg on the winning 400 free and medley relay squads. She finished second in the 200 breast and earned third place finishes on the 800 free and 200 medley relay teams.
Junior Kim Holden and Bessire close out the meet with four and three all-BIG EAST citations, respectively.
Elsewhere in the evening action, Lauren Scott (100 free), Hannah Bowen (100 free), Christen McDonough (200 breast), Lauren Stauder (200 breast) and Gracie Fredlake (200 back) also scored points for the Irish in consolation finals.
200 Back: Ryan won her first career 200 back title as she set a new Trees Pool record with a season-best time of 1:55.56. The time broke the record of teammate Holden, who set the mark in 2010. The sophomore led from start to finish as she beat her closest opponent by just under two seconds. The victory was the eighth 200 back title for Notre Dame in the BIG EAST.
Two-time champion Holden placed eighth in the finals (2:01.06). In the consolation finals, Fredlake took fifth in the heat and 13th overall in 2:01.40.
100 Free: Ryan pulled off the impressive double victory in the 200 back and 100 free as she won the latter in 49.38. Teammate Prestinario followed right behind, taking second in 50.12. Bessire claimed fifth in a season-best time of 50.46. In the consolation finals, L. Scott took 14th in 51.44, while Bowen finished 16th in 51.58.
200 Breast: Reaney had a strong showing in the 200 breast, taking second in 2:11.42. However, Louisville's Gisselle Kohoyda blazed to a meet and pool record in 2:07.69 to take the title.
In the consolation finals, McDonough (2:13.86) and Stauder (2:14.35) took first and second, respectively, to finish ninth and 10th overall.
200 Fly: Freshman Bridget Casey lowered her season best to 1:59.22 in the 200 fly to finish fourth. M. Scott came in eighth in 2:02.38. In the consolation finals Whyte finished eighth and 16th overall in 2:03.73.
400 Free Relay: The 400 free relay team repeated as the foursome of Ryan, Prestinario, Bessire and Reaney breezed past Louisville (3:21.86) to win by almost three seconds. Notre Dame's time of 3:18.93 broke the school record of 3:19.38 that was set in 2008 by Megan Farrell, Christa Riggins, Lauren Parisi and Amywren Miller.
BIG EAST Swimming and Diving Recap (Consolation Finals and Finals Results Only)