March 20, 2014
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - After making the finals of the 200-yard individual medley for the first time in her three-year NCAA Championships career, University of Notre Dame women's swimming standout Emma Reaney claimed seventh in the event final Thursday night with a time of 1:56.15.
The finish locked up her first All-America scroll in the event after claiming honorable mention All-America accolades in the stroke as a freshman and sophomore.
With her All-America trophy in hand, Reaney continues to write her name in the Irish record book as she is now one of just five swimmers in program history to rack up eight or more All-America or honorable mention All-America citations. She is also second in school history with three All-America trophies, trailing only Tanya Williams' five that she earned from 1990-93.
In her first two NCAA meets Reaney missed out on the finals of the 200 IM only to come back in the night session and win the consolation swim. This year one of her goals was to come out in the morning session and punch her ticket to the finals. She did just that with a fourth-place swim in the prelims (1:55.01) to clinch her spot in the main event Thursday night.
"It was such a `monkey off my back' as Kate (assistant coach Kate Kovenock) would put it," said Reaney. "Making the `A' finals in that event was one of my major goals for this meet so it feels great to cross that off the list. I'm not too happy with my finals swim, but hey I'm still an All-American and I didn't get dead last! I'm really excited to focus on breaststroke now and to see what our next two relays can do. It'll be so much fun to have everyone swim tomorrow."
Friday is a big day for the Irish as all eight swimmers will be in action. Freshman Catherine Mulquin, Reaney, junior Courtney Whyte and senior Kelly Ryan will get the day going with the 200 medley relay, before freshman Katie Miller and junior Bridget Casey swim the 400 IM. Later in the morning, Reaney and senior Christen McDonough will swim in the 100 breast before Reaney, Ryan, Miller and junior Suzanne Bessire close out the prelims session with the 800 free relay.
Friday's prelims get underway at 12 p.m. (ET). Fans can follow through live results and free live video. Links for both are at the top of the page. Also follow @NDwSwimming for live results and quotes.
THURSDAY'S PRELIMS RECAP
The University of Notre Dame women's swimming team got off to a quick start at the 2014 NCAA Championships Thursday afternoon as Reaney qualified for the finals in the 200 IM, while Miller set a career best in the same event to just miss out on honorable mention All-America honors.
Reaney, who guaranteed herself another All-America scroll to up her career total to three, finished second in her heat and fourth overall with a time of 1:55.01 to move on to Thursday night's finals.
The Lawrence, Kan., native finished the first 100 yards in 54.28 before coming back in 1:00.73 to cruise into the finals.
"The last two years Emma has won the consolation final in the 200 IM, but today she had the determination to get into the top eight in the morning prelims and secure All-America honors," said Barnes. "She finished second in her heat and looked good in the water. She was strong and organized the race well. It was great to see. She will definitely be in the mix in the evening session."
Miller, meanwhile, lowered her personal best by 1.38 seconds in the 200 IM to take 22nd and finish just .19 seconds out of qualifying for the consolation finals.
"I was so excited to watch Katie get a lifetime best in the 200 IM," said head coach Brian Barnes. "She stepped up, narrowed her focus over the last couple of weeks and became dialed in. Her skill set has continuously improved over the course of this season. Today she embraced the strategy and applied it to a tee. It's a huge confidence boost for her and I think she has the ability to organize a great prelim swim in the 400 IM tomorrow."
Elsewhere in the prelims session, the 400 medley relay team composed of Mulquin, Reaney, Whyte and Ryan placed 22nd with a time of 3:36.28.
--Russell Dorn, Assistant Media Relations Director