Aug. 14, 2014
IRVINE, Calif. – Four finals appearances by two University of Notre Dame women’s swimming standouts highlighted a great week for the Irish at the 2014 Phillips 66 National Championships held at the William Woollett Jr. Aquatics Complex.
Senior Emma Reaney qualified for the ‘A’ finals in the 100- and 200-meter breaststroke and the ‘B’ finals in the 50-meter breast, while sophomore Catherine Mulquin competed in the ‘B’ finals of the 50-meter backstroke.
Reaney opened her meet with a sixth-place showing in the 200 breast (2:29.27), before taking 10th in the 50 breast (31.47) and an impressive fourth in the 100 breast (1:06.74). Her time in the 100 breast placed her ninth in the world in the event this year and put her within .01 seconds of qualifying for the elite Pan Pacific Swimming Championships in Australia August 21-24.
"Nationals was a little up and down for me, but I am very proud of my performance in the 100 breast," said Reaney. "I had a rough start to the meet and pretty much just got angry about it and decided then and there that I was going to have at least one really good race. SwimMac has really helped my sprinting and it definitely showed in that race. I'm pretty disappointed that I didn't make the Pan-Pac team, but I am going to use that to fuel my fire to have a great senior season and beyond. I cannot wait to get back to school and be with my team again. Time to put in some work!"
The Lawrence, Kan., product also swam in the prelims for the 100- and 200-meter fly and the 200-meter IM.
“Emma has the ability to turn a meet around if it’s not going well using attitude and determination,” said Notre Dame head coach Brian Barnes. “She was disappointed in her 200 breast time, but came back to have a career best in the 100 fly, swim a solid 50 breast and then turn in a lifetime best in the 100 breast. She gets better when the lights are brighter and she was fantastic in the finals of the 100 breast. I thought she had a chance to win it for a while, but to finish ranked ninth in the world in the event is outstanding.”
Competing for SwimMAC Carolina - her summer training group - Reaney helped the elite squad take the women’s team title with 372.50 points and the overall title with 756.50 points.
Mulquin, meanwhile, had to battle the elements like the rest of her backstroke competitors to make it through her first summer nationals at Notre Dame.
Her best result came in the 50-meter backstroke, where she originally tied for 18th (29.47) in the prelims and didn’t qualify for the finals. However, two swimmers scratched, which moved her up into a tie for 16th. At this point, a swim-off was declared between Mulquin and Melanie Klaren. The Laytonsville, Md., native dominated the swim-off as she went 29.20 (career-best) to lock herself into the ‘B’ finals. Her time would have placed her 10th in the prelims and third in the ‘B’ final or 11th overall. In the finals, Mulquin placed fifth (13th overall) with a time of 29.30.
She also swam in the 100-meter backstroke at nationals, taking 40th in the prelims (1:03.56).
“Swimming backstroke outside is a different sport,” said Mulquin. “If you don't practice it on the regular, it's very different. The touch pads also made for an awkward backstroke start, but having said that, it was a good meet. When I swam the 50-meter backstroke, I tied a girl from Cal Berkeley and ended up being in a swim-off to decide which one of us was going to get the spot to swim again in the finals. Being in a swim-off reminded me of why I started to swim, for fun. It's one-on-one; all you have to do is beat the person next to you.”
Mulquin, who stayed on campus to swim with Miller and several other teammates, credits her summer training for her performance at nationals.
“This summer was incredible,” said Mulquin. “With a much smaller number of girls being on campus, we got in some great training with the change of atmosphere. I look forward to being back on campus with the rest of the team and having a great NCAA season.”
Also competing for Notre Dame at nationals were senior Courtney Whyte and sophomore Katie Miller. Whyte turned in three lifetime swims as she competed in the prelims of the 50-, 100- and 200-meter fly. Her times were 28.66 (66th), 1:02.11 (72nd) and 2:19.54 (75th). Battling a fever and sinus issues, Miller swam in the prelims of the 200-meter back, 200-meter fly and the 200- and 400-meter IM.
The Irish, who open the 2014-15 season Oct. 3 against Michigan State, are set to return to campus in the coming weeks to begin preparations for the upcoming season.
For more information on the Notre Dame women’s swimming and diving team, follow the Irish on Facebook (/NDwSwimmingDiving) and on Twitter (@NDwSwimming).
13. Emma Reaney – 31.58 (Prelims)
10. Emma Reaney – 31.47 (Finals)
4. Emma Reaney – 1:07.47 (Prelims)
4. Emma Reaney – 1:06.74 (Finals)
5. Emma Reaney – 2:27.47 (Prelims)
6. Emma Reaney – 2:29.27 (Finals)
18. Catherine Mulquin – 29.47 (Prelims)
1. Catherine Mulquin – 29.20 (Swim-Off)
13. Catherine Mulquin – 29.30 (Finals)
40. Catherine Mulquin – 1:03.56 (Prelims)
59. Katie Miller – 2:19.20 (Prelims)
66. Courtney Whyte – 28.66 (Prelims)
27. Emma Reaney – 1:00.57 (Prelims)
72. Courtney Whyte – 1:02.11 (Prelims)
49. Emma Reaney – 2:15.78 (Prelims)
68. Katie Miller – 2:18.33 (Prelims)
75. Courtney Whyte – 2:19.54 (Prelims)
23. Emma Reaney – 2:17.02 (Prelims)
59. Katie Miller – 2:21.39 (Prelims)
54. Katie Miller – 4:59.79 (Prelims)
--Russell Dorn, Assistant Media Relations Director