July 15, 2004
LONG BEACH, Calif. -
Rising sophomore Katie Carroll (Toledo, Ohio/Notre Dame Academy) posted a pair of top-30 finishes in leading a trio of Irish swimmers at the United States Olympic Swimming Trials. She was 22nd in the 200-meter individual medley and 29th in the 400 IM. In addition, sophomore-to-be Ann Barton (Scottsdale, Ariz./Desert Mountain H.S.) swam the 200-meter backstroke and 2004 graduate Marie Labosky took part in the 400 IM.
Carroll and Labosky got underway last Wednesday, July 7, 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 her seeding 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 again improved upon her seeding in the 200 IM on Friday morning, taking 22nd with a time of 2:19.56 that was just 0.80 seconds from qualifying for the semifinals. She was 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.
The Olympic qualifiers in the 200 IM were Hoff and former Arizona standout and four-time Olympic medalist Amanda Beard. Hoff finished first in 2:12.06, while Beard was next in 2:12.43.
It was 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 swam on Monday, finishing 44th in the 200 back with a 2:24.63. She was seeded 47th in the event with a time of 2:17.94. Barton 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.
Margaret Hoelzer, who will be a senior at Auburn this fall after taking second at the NCAA Championships in the race last spring, finished first to qualify for the Olympics with a time of 2:11.88. Kristen Caverly, a four-time All-American at Stanford who will be a junior, took second with a mark of 2:12.70.
All swimmers achieving the U.S. Olympic Trials time standard in a particular event were eligible to compete. The top two finishers in each race qualified for the Olympic team, which will compete at the Athens Games in August.
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.
For full results of the 2004 Olympic Trials, please see www.usaswimming.org.