Feb. 21, 2014
GREENSBORO, N.C. - Sixteen of the 19 swimmers that competed in morning prelims qualified for the night's finals and all four divers scored points on the 3-meter discipline as the University of Notre Dame women's swimming and diving team wrapped up an impressive third day at the Atlantic Coast Conference Championships Friday.
"The 400 IM set the pace this morning for a very good day for the Irish and the rest of the team gained momentum from their swims," said head coach Brian Barnes. "So many of our swimmers moved up in the finals and had personal bests and all four divers scored points tonight. This team has got something special going on right now and it has been really fun to watch. I'm incredibly proud of this team. It was a fun day and they are highly motivated for tomorrow."
Highlighting the evening's finals was another record-breaking performance by junior Emma Reaney and her relay teammates. Notre Dame opened up the evening session in fine fashion with a blistering second place finish in the 400 medley relay that notched another NCAA A cut and school record (3:33.93) for freshman Catherine Mulquin, Reaney, junior Courtney Whyte and senior Kelly Ryan. The time broke the record from last year (3:34.66) that was set by Ryan, Reaney, Kim Holden and Catherine Galletti. The foursome qualified for the NCAA Championships Wednesday night after breaking the school record and swimming an NCAA A cut in the 200 medley relay.
"The 400 medley tonight and the 200 medley on Wednesday night have been my favorite races all season," said Mulquin. "I think the atmosphere of the huge crowd and all the cheering helped psych us up (as if we needed to be any more excited than we already were). To be able to make NCAAs my freshman year makes me happier than I can even explain. I think starting the meet off with an NCAA A cut set the tone and we have been riding it on all meet. I'm so proud of what we have achieved as a team here at this meet so far, but it honestly doesn't come as much of a surprise to me. We have worked so incredibly hard all year and have been waiting for a great taper meet to finally see the results we have been striving for. The past few weeks, we have been seeing some incredible times from everybody in practice and that has definitely carried over to seeing amazing times during the meet."
Reaney continued making her case for swimmer of the meet Friday night as she broke the ACC record, the ACC meet record and her own school record in the 100 breast by going 58.46. The time was an NCAA A cut and places her among the top two or three breaststrokers in the country. The only two individuals with faster 100 breast times this season are 2012 Olympic gold medalist (4x100m medley relay) Breeja Larson (Texas A&M) and Tennessee standout Molly Hannis.
Elsewhere in the A final of the 100 breast, senior Christen McDonough placed fifth after swimming an NCAA B cut time of 1:00.57.
In the 400 IM, freshman Katie Miller earned all-ACC accolades after she claimed third in an NCAA B cut time of 4:10.92.
On the 3-meter board, none of Notre Dame's four divers qualified for the eight-diver final, but they did all score points for the Irish. Sophomore Lindsey Streepy took 12th (312.90 points), junior Allison Casareto placed 13th (312.10 points), sophomore Emma Gaboury claimed 18th (283.00 points) and freshman Christine Stitcher took 24th (263.90).
Highlighting the consolation finals, Ryan won the B final in the 200 free, swimming a career-best 1:46.42 in the event to take ninth overall.
The Irish sit comfortably in sixth place through 22 events at the championships with 543.5 points. The fourth and final day gets underway at 11 a.m. Saturday with the 200 back. Other prelims will be the 100 free, 200 breast and the 200 fly. The platform and the 1,650 free will also be held during the afternoon.
Team Standings (Through 13 Events)
IRISH AT THE ACC CHAMPIONSHIPS
NCAA A Cuts (4)
ACC Meet Records (2)
INDIVIDUAL RESULTS (FINALS ONLY – Swimming / POINT SCORERS - Diving)
Catherine Mulquin (Freshman)
Katie Miller (Freshman)
Christen McDonough (Senior)
Lindsey Streepey (Sophomore)
Suzanne Bessire (Junior)
Genevieve Heidkamp (Sophomore)
Emma Gaboury (Sophomore)
Allison Casareto (Junior)
Bridget Casey (Junior)
Genevieve Bradford (Sophomore)
Lauren Stauder (Senior)
Danielle Margheret (Sophomore)
Sarah Dotzel (Senior)
Melissa Scott (Junior)
Anna Grainger (Sophomore)
Christine Stitcher (Freshman)
--Russell Dorn, Assistant Media Relations Director