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    Feb. 18, 1998

    Notre Dame Women's Swimming Third, Men Fourth at BIG EAST Championships

    PITTSBURGH, Pa. -- Notre Dame's defending BIG EAST champion women's swimming and diving team stands in third place with 88 points after the first of four days of competition at the BIG EAST championship at the University of Pittsburgh. The Irish men, seventh in each of the last two years, stand in fourth place with 69 points, just two points out of second place. Pittsburgh leads the women's competition with 106 points while Miami leads the men's with 121.

    The women's team won the 200 medley relay with an NCAA provisional qualifying time of 1:44.48, topping the school record 1:44.97 the Irish swam in winning the event at the 1997 championships. Linda Gallo, Brittany Kline, Liz Barger and Carrie Nixon edged second place Villanova by .07 second. The Wildcats clipped the Irish in the 200 freestyle relay 1:33.28-1:33.86, with both teams provisionally qualifying for the NCAA championships. Notre Dame's 1:33.86 broke the school record of 1:35.59 set a year ago at the BIG EAST championships.

    In the women's one-meter diving competition, Gina Ketelhohn placed 10th with a score of 341.70 and teammates Jessica Johnstone and Rhiana Saunders were 12th and 15th.

    "We did really well and we're pleased with our results," said women's swimming and diving coach and 1997 BIG EAST coach of the year Bailey Weathers. "We did as well as we could have done on the first day."

    On the men's side, Herb Huesman placed fourth in the three-meter with a score of 480.75 after Miami's powerful diving team swept the top three spots. The 200 medley relay team of Chris Fugate, Steele Whowell, Rob Fetter and Russell Preston finished fourth with a time of 1:33.29, the highest relay finish for Notre Dame in its third appearance in the BIG EAST championships. The team also broke a seven-year old school record of 1:33.49 set in 1991. The 200 freestyle relay team placed seventh in 1:23.54

    "This is a very solid start for us," said men's head coach Tim Welsh. "We will get better as the meet goes on."

    BIG EAST Swimming and Diving Championships, Day One of Four

    Men's Standings
    1.  Miami   121
    2.  St. John's  71
    3.  Syracuse    70
    4.  Notre Dame  69
    5.  Villanova   61
    6.  Connecticut 59
    7.  Pittsburgh  56
    8.  Seton Hall  54
    9.  Rutgers 45
    10.  West Virginia  43
    11.  Boston College 36
    12.  Providence 32
    13.  Georgetown 26
    Women's Standings
    1.  Pittsburgh  106
    2.  Miami   98
    3.  Notre Dame  88
    4.  Villanova   74
    5.  Syracuse    71
    6.  Connecticut 68
    7.  West Virginia   55
    8.  St. John's  46
    9.  Boston College  45
    10.  Rutgers    36
    11.  Providence 28
    12.  Seton Hall 18
    12.  Georgetown 18
    Men's 200 Freestyle Relay
    1.  Pittsburgh  1:21.63
    7.  Notre Dame  1:23.54
    (Mike Doyle 21.43, Ron Royer 20.90, Vince Kuna 20.85, Ray Fitzpatrick 20.36)
    Women's 200 Freestyle Relay
    1.  Villanova   1:33.28
    2.  Notre Dame  1:33.86
    (Linda Gallo 23.99, Carrie Nixon 22.52, Katie Collins 24.06, Laura Shepard 23.29)
    Men's 200 Medley Relay
    1.  Syracuse    1:31.43
    4.  Notre Dame  1:33.29
    (Chris Fugate 23.93, Steele Whowell 25.49, Rob Fetter 22.85, Russell Preston 21.03)
    Women's 200 Medley Relay
    1.  Notre Dame  1:44.48
    (Linda Gallo 27.74, Brittany Kline 29.16, Liz Barger 25.24, Carrie Nixon 22.34)
    Men's Three-Meter Diving
    1.  Rio Ramirez, Miami  644.25
    4.  Herb Huesman, Notre Dame    480.75
    Women's One-Meter Diving
    1.  Doris Glen Easterly, Miami  428.95
    10.  Gina Ketelhohn, Notre Dame 341.70
    12.  Jessica Johnstone, Notre Dame  333.75
    15.  Rhiana Saunders, Notre Dame    321.55
    
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