July 7, 2004
LONG BEACH, Calif. - Notre Dame sophomores-to-be Ann Barton (Scottsdale, Ariz./Desert Mountain H.S.) and Katie Carroll (Toledo, Ohio/Notre Dame Academy) will compete at the United States Olympic Swimming Trials, which run eight days, from Wednesday, July 7-Wednesday, July 14. Barton will swim the 200-meter backstroke, while Carroll is slated to take part in both the 200- and 400-meter individual medleys. Marie Labosky, a 2004 Notre Dame graduate, also will swim the 400 IM.
All swimmers achieving the U.S. Olympic Trials time standard in a particular event are eligible to compete. The top two finishers in each race then qualify for the Olympic team, which will compete at the Athens games in August.
Carroll and Labosky got underway on Wednesday in the 400 IM. Carroll finished 29th in the 55-swimmer field with a long-course time of 4:57.13, which was less than eight seconds from qualifying for the evening final. Labosky took 45th with a mark of 5:02.98.
Carroll continued a trend of finishing considerably higher than she is seeded to against top competition; she came in with the 35th-fastest qualifying time (4:53.67). At the NCAA Championships in March, Carroll was seeded 35th in the 400 IM before finishing 14th, while she took ninth in the 200 IM despite being seeded 22nd. Labosky was seeded 24th at the trials with a qualifying mark of 4:51.77.
Labosky owned the Notre Dame record in the 400 IM until Carroll broke it earlier this year, finishing with a short-course time of 4:42.51 at the NCAAs, which converts to a yards time of 4:13.12.
The two Olympic qualifiers in the 400 IM were 15-year-old Katie Hoff, who finished first in 4:37.67, and USC's Kaitlin Sandeno, who set an American record in winning the NCAA title in the event in March. Sandeno was second in 4:40.39, while Hoff improved 11.49 seconds over her prelims time, which was only sixth-quickest.
Carroll will swim the prelims of the 200 IM on Friday morning, with the top 16 reaching the Friday evening semifinals and the top eight from that group advancing to Saturday night's final. She is the 34th-quickest qualifier with a time of 2:18.90. Carroll set the Irish record in the 200 IM at the NCAA meet, with a short-course time of 2:12.28, which converts to a yards mark of 1:58.52.
This is Carroll's second trip to the U.S. Olympic Trials. She competed in both the 50- and 100-meter freestyle in the 200 trials, as a 15-year-old.
Barton will swim Monday morning in the preliminaries of the 200 backstroke. The top 16 will take part in the semifinals on Monday evening, with eight then racing in Tuesday night's final. Barton is seeded 47th in the event with a time of 2:17.94. She was third on the Irish in the event in 2003-04, taking seventh at the BIG EAST Championships after posting a season-best yards time of 2:01.72 in the prelims.
Notre Dame has a long history of swimmers taking part in the U.S. Olympic Trials, with 23 different women - including five current student-athletes - qualifying on 31 combined occasions. Two Irish swimmers have competed in the Olympics: current junior Christel Bouvron (Singapore, Singapore/Raffles Girls Secondary School) in 2000 for Singapore and 2004 graduate Jilen Siroky in the 1996 games for the United States.
Live results of the U.S. Olympic trials will be available at www.usaswimming.org, while NBC will feature live television coverage on Friday and Sunday from 7-8 p.m. (EST) [8-9 p.m. on the east coast], as well as taped action on Sunday, July 18 from Noon-2 p.m. (EST) [1-3 p.m. on the east coast].