Nov. 20, 2013
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - The Atlantic Coast Conference took notice after another dominating weekend for the University of Notre Dame women's swimming and diving team as juniors Allison Casareto and Emma Reaney earned ACC Women's Diver of the Week and ACC Women's Swimmer of the Week, respectively, Tuesday afternoon.
For Reaney, the award is her third of the season and marks the ninth time the Lawrence, Kan., native has received conference performer of the week after she earned the honor six times in two seasons in the BIG EAST.
"I'm really thankful and honestly surprised," said Reaney. "I didn't come into this season expecting people to acknowledge us this much now that we've moved on to a bigger and better conference. It means a lot to me to know that the ACC has noticed what we're doing here at Notre Dame. I am proud to be able to tell the rest of the teams that we've arrived and we're here to do some damage."
Reaney turned in another outstanding performance in helping the Irish sweep Valparaiso, 219-60, and No. 24 Wisconsin, 171-126, this past weekend as the Irish tri-captain won the 200 fly (2:03.51) and the 100 free (52.60) against the Crusaders and the 200 free (1:50.42), 100 breast (1:02.04 - NCAA B Cut) and the 200 breast (2:17.22) against the Badgers. Reaney also swam on the 400 medley relay team (3:44.10) that claimed first against Wisconsin.
Looking around the country, Reaney is tied for fifth in the 100 breast (1:00.94), sixth in the 200 breast (2:12.55) and 17th in the 200 IM (2:01.30). Reaney also tops the ACC in both breaststroke events.
Casareto on the other hand has successfully taken over as leader of the diving squad from former standout and Notre Dame graduate Jenny Chiang. So far this season Casareto has won five events between the 1- and 3-meter boards. A team tri-captain, Casareto won the 3-meter dive Friday against Valpo before going on to sweep both events Saturday against Wisconsin.
"It is honestly the biggest challenge but also the biggest honor for me to uphold and carry on Jen Chiang's legacy, as the newest oldest member of the women's diving team," said Casareto. "She really had the most inspiring impact on our diving team last year, and for me personally since my freshman year. I still have so much to learn about diving and leading before I can make an impact such as Jen's! However, upholding Jen's legacy has become a collective team effort. I can honestly admit this team is more focused than ever before about training and competing. This team is ready to use this season as a major learning experience, while refraining from shying away from the challenges the ACC presents. Acquiring Jen's role as the leader and veteran helps me to keep an open mind about the season and support the rest of the team to join in on the carrying out of her legacy."
After winning the BIG EAST Championship in the 1-meter discipline and earning all-BIG EAST honors on the 3-meter board, Casareto got to work this summer to get ready for the 2013-14 season.
"My main focus during the summer was rehabilitation. I really focused on strengthening, conditioning and improving the chances of a season without shoulder injuries. In the fall, the freshmen came in with a new energy that was contagious and helped me get the ball rolling back in the pool. Also since the return to school, our team has been trying out new mental training tactics that I have developed a great appreciation for. We have never done anything like this since I have been on the team so I'm excited to see how it helps in the end."
The Irish (4-3) have won four consecutive dual meets and have three weeks to train before they close out the fall season at the elite Iowa Invitational.
Reaney has been extremely impressed with the team's work ethic so far this season and is excited to close out the fall with some quality competition.
"I'd say this team is more confident in their abilities than I've ever seen them. We all know how hard we've worked this year and how high the quality of that work has been. I think we're all pretty excited to get a little rest in and see just how fast we can go and watch that work pay off. Our big fall meet is always so much fun so I wouldn't expect this to be any different. I our main goal is to see how close to/how far under our best times we can all be. We've definitely put in the training to see some PR's bite the dust."
-- Russell Dorn, Assistant Media Relations Director