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Oct. 11, 1997

Women's Swimming Opens Season With Win

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Notre Dame women's swimming team opened its 1997-98 dual meet season with a 167.5-126.5 win at Southern Illinois as freshman Carrie Nixon set a school record in the 50 freestyle in her first collegiate event. Nixon won the 50 freestyle in 23.69, breaking the school record of 23.93 set last year by current senior Courtney South.

Freshman Tiffany O'Brien led the Irish with three wins. She led Notre Dame to 1-2-3 finishes in both the 100 and 200 backstroke. O'Brien, Alison Vendt and Katie Collins swept the 100 backstroke, and O'Brien, Vendt and Anne Iacobucci went 1-2-3 in the 200 backstroke. O'Brien also won the 200 individual medley.

Nixon was impressive in her dual-meet debut in her record-setting performance in the 50 freestyle, a record that is usually safe until the tapered meet at the BIG EAST or NCAA championships. Nixon also won the 100 freestyle in 51.98, just shy of South's record of 51.60 set at the 1997 BIG EAST championship.

Sophomore All-American Shannon Suddarth was a double-winner in the 100 and 200 breaststroke. Other winners for the Irish were Linda Gallo in the 1000 freestyle and Kristen Van Saun in the 500 freestyle.

The Irish return to the pool at the Collegiate Classic in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., on Oct. 24-25.

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