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Swimmers to face 3 Big Ten opponents

Matt Puglisi | Friday, January 30, 2004

The women’s swimming and diving team looks to take care of a trio of Big Ten opponents and continue its march to the Big East Championships when the No. 21 Irish (5-1) travel to East Lansing, Mich., tonight to challenge Michigan State (1-7) and Ohio State (8-3) at 5 p.m., before returning home to host No. 16 Michigan (7-1) Saturday afternoon at 4 p.m.”OSU has one of the best diving teams in the country and a really good breaststroker from Australia,” head coach Bailey Weathers said. “Michigan is pretty comparable to Indiana and is one of our toughest meets.”On the strength of four event victories by senior Marie Labosky, including three of the Irish’s six on the final day of the two-day Michigan Invitational, the Irish rallied to edge Illinois, 197-173, in the squad’s most recent meet on Jan. 16 and 17.In addition to winning the 200-meter individual medley – Notre Dame’s sole victory on the invitational’s first day – Labosky picked up first place finishes in both the 400-meter individual medley and the 200-meter backstroke before joining freshman Katie Carroll, Ann Barton and Ellen Johnson to post a victory in the 800-meter freestyle relay.Carroll (100-meter freestyle) and seniors Lisa Garcia (200-meter butterfly) and Meghan Perry Eaton (3-meter board) rounded out the first place finishers for the Irish. While Perry Eaton’s second place finish on the one-meter board marked the first time this season that she failed to win the event, the senior came back with a vengeance on the 3-meter board, setting a Notre Dame record with a score of 335.85 and preserving her undefeated mark in the event this season.The men’s squad looks to finish off an impressive January when the Irish (5-7) welcome St. Bonaventure (6-4) to the Rolfs Aquatic Center Saturday at noon. “We just want to swim smart, strong races,” freshman Ted Brown said. “Our main focus is the Big East [Championships], but we would like to finish on a strong note.”After stumbling to a 1-5 start, the Irish have rebounded to go 4-2 in January, dropping only a pair of away meets to No. 15 Northwestern and No. 17 Pittsburgh.Despite taking at least two of the top three spots in 10 of the 12 individual races and three of the top five spots in 13 of the 14 overall swimming events, the Irish fell just shy in their bid to upset heavily favored Northwestern, losing 155-133.While three freshmen – Brown (200-yard freestyle), Louis Cavadini (100-yard freestyle) and Scott Coyle (1-meter board) – each produced an event victory and six other Irish swimmers – freshmen Tim Kegelman and Alan Carter, sophomores Tim Randolph, Tyler Grenda and Steve Shomberger and senior co-captain Matt Obringer – each recorded at least one second place finish, Notre Dame’s inability to take the top spot in the various events ultimately cost the Irish the meet.”The coaches and swimmers were pleased with how close we were to No. 15 Northwestern,” Brown said. “I think it shows we’ve been working hard and belong among the top teams in the country.”