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Michigan spoils near-perfect weekend for Irish women

Matt Puglisi | Monday, February 2, 2004

What’s the deal with Michigan?Thus far this year, the Wolverines have managed to embarrass the Irish football team, to knock the men’s soccer team out of the NCAA tournament, to hand the Irish women’s soccer team two of their three losses – including a season-ending upset in the NCAA tournament – and to top a higher ranked women’s tennis squad.Add women’s swimming to the list of victims.A day after taking care of both Ohio State (9-4) and Michigan State (1-9) in East Lansing, Mich. Friday, the No. 21 Irish (7-2) fell to No. 16 Michigan (8-1), 166-134, in the Rolfs Aquatic Center on Saturday.”Michigan has some of the top breaststrokers and distance swimmers in the country,” freshman Katie Carroll said. “Although we lost, as a team we did great and everyone swam up to their potential.”On Friday, Notre Dame defeated Ohio State and Michigan State, 194-105 and 160-138, respectively. Seniors Danielle Hulick (100 backstroke and 50 freestyle), Lisa Garcia (200 butterfly and 200 individual medley) and Meghan Perry Eaton (1- and 3-meter board) and Carroll (100 and 500 freestyle) each recorded a pair of first place finishes.Freshman Ellen Johnson (200 freestyle) and sophomore Christel Bouvron (100 butterfly) also chipped in event victories as the Irish won 11 overall events in shutting down the Buckeyes and Spartans Friday.Notre Dame, however, was unable to repeat the triangular meet performance Saturday. While Hulick (100-meter backstroke and 50-meter freestyle), Garcia (200-meter butterfly), Johnson (200-meter backstroke), Carroll (200-meter individual medley) and Perry Eaton (1- and 3-meter board) all posted event victories, it wasn’t enough as Michigan exploded out of the gates, winning the meet’s first three events on its way to taking 9 of the 16 total events.The Irish women will hit the water again next Saturday when they host Oakland in their final tune up before the Big East Championships from Feb. 19th to Feb. 21st.The men’s squad won 11 of the 13 overall events to wrap up a 5-2 January with a 159-75 thrashing of St. Bonaventure (6-5) in the Rolfs Aquatic Center Saturday.The meet’s results were never in doubt as the Irish (6-7) took each of the first ten events, including the top three spots in the first five.”We’re happy with how we swam this past weekend,” freshman Chris Zeches said. “We know that with two more weeks of rest we’re going to be ready for go for Big Easts.”Freshman Ted Brown (1,000-yard freestyle and 200-yard freestyle) and sophomore Jaime Lutkus (200-yard individual medley and 500-yard freestyle) both won a pair of races. Freshmen Tim Kegelman (50-yard freestyle), Zeches (200-yard backstroke) and Scott Coyle (one-meter diving), sophomore Tim Randolph (100-yard freestyle) and senior J.R. Teddy (200-yard butterfly) each contributed with an event victory.A pair of Irish relay teams – the 400-yard medley relay of Randolph, sophomore Doug Bauman, junior Frank Krakowski and senior Matt Obringer and the 400-yard freestyle relay team of Teddy, sophomores Scott Shomberger and Patrick Heffernan and senior Brian Coughlin – were also victorious on the afternoon.Notre Dame returns to action next Friday and Saturday against Cleveland State and Oakland, respectively, in separate home dual meets before heading to New York for the Big East Championships from Feb. 19 to Feb. 21.