Oct. 5, 2006
NOTRE DAME, Ind. The 2006-07 University of Notre Dame women's swimming and diving season begins on Friday, Oct. 6, with the historic Dennis Stark Relays at 5 p.m. Named for the former Irish men's and women's head coach, the relays will be competed for the 42nd time at the Rolfs Aquatic Center.
The women's side will feature Illinois State, Ball State, Oakland (Mich.), Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Valparaiso and Marquette. The meet is comprised entirely of relays (along with one-meter diving) and gives all the teams a chance to begin the 2006-07 season before the start of the competitive dual meet season.
The Irish welcome back their team MVP and top swimmer from 2005-06 - senior Katie Carroll. Carroll, a 21-time all-BIG EAST member in her career, is coming a off season where she was the event champion in the 400 individual medley and an all-BIG EAST selection in two other individual events (200 butterfly and 500 freestyle) and four team relays (200 freestyle, 400 freestyle, 800 freestyle and 400 medley) at the 2006 BIG EAST championship. Further, Carroll qualified for the NCAA Championship in three events (200 IM, 400 IM and the 200 butterfly), where she was an honorable mention All-American, as she finished 13th in the 200 IM.
Other top swimmers back for the Irish, with their 2006 BIG EAST accomplishments, this season include -
Senior Ann Barton - back/fly (all-BIG EAST: 100 butterfly and 200 backstroke)
Senior Rebecca Grove - free/back (five-time all-BIG EAST: 50 freestyle, 200 medley relay, 200 freestyle relay, 400 medley relay, 400 free relay)
Sophomore Lucy Hirt - diving (all-BIG EAST three-meter diving)
Sophomore Claire Hutchinson - free/IM (two-time all-BIG EAST: 400 IM, 1,650 freestyle and NCAA Qualifier in 500 freestyle, 400 IM, 1,650 freestyle)
Junior Tara Hyer - diving (all-BIG EAST three-meter diving)
Junior Caroline Johnson - free/back (three-time all-BIG EAST: 200 freestyle relay, 200 medley relay, 400 freestyle relays)
Senior Ellen Johnson - free (all-BIG EAST 800 free relay)
Senior Julia Quinn - breast/IM three-time (all-BIG EAST: 100 breaststroke, 200 breaststroke, 200 medley relay, 400 medley relay and NCAA Qualifier in 100 breaststroke and 200 breaststroke)
Sophomore Christa Riggins-free (five-time all-BIG EAST: 100 freestyle, 200 freestyle, 200 free relay, 400 free relay, 800 free relay)
Senior Jessica Stephens - breast/IM (three-time all-BIG EAST 200 breaststroke, 200 IM, 200 medley relay)
Sophomore Casey Wagner - free/fly (three-time all-BIG EAST: 200 IM, 200 breaststroke, 800 freestyle relay)
The Irish also welcome a talented freshman class to the team this season, as the Irish look to defend the BIG EAST Champion title they have now earned for a record setting 10 consecutive seasons.
The Dennis Stark Relays is the official start of the 2006-07 season and the Irish women will not begin the dual meet season until Friday, Nov. 3 against Purdue at 5;00 p.m. The Notre Dame women will hold an Intersquad Pentathlon on Friday, Oct. 20 at the Rolfs Aquatic Center in the nearly month break between meets.