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ND WOMEN’S SWIMMING: Final dual meet awaits Irish

Joe Meixell | Friday, February 4, 2005

As the regular season winds down, the Irish appear to be winding up and have their sights set on a strong finish to the year.

Notre Dame travels to Rochester, Mich., to take on the Oakland University Grizzlies Saturday for its final dual meet of the season.

Notre Dame head coach Bailey Weathers said this meet is mainly in preparation for the Big East Championships.

“We set it up this way to give some kids a chance to make Big East cuts with a little rest,” Weathers said.

The Grizzlies are coming off a 159-144 victory over Michigan State and are undefeated this season. They are a relatively new Division I team, and were previously exceptional at the Division II level.

“They’re usually strong one person in each event,” Weathers said. “I think in most of our spots we’re at least as good as they are.”

Maria Musialczyk, Melissa Jaeger and Amanda Burwell lead Oakland, and each has won two events against Michigan State.

The Irish, meanwhile, are led by senior All-American diver Meghan Perry-Eaton and swimmers Katie Carroll and Christel Bouvron.

Perry-Eaton has won 17 of the 18 events she has entered this season and has not lost off the 3-meter board in her last 21 dual meets, dating back to November 2002.

Carroll has already posted a NCAA “B” cut in both the 200 and 400-yard individual medley, and is the defending Big East Champion in the 200. Her time of 2:03.75 against Michigan last week was the fastest 200 individual medley time in the Big East this year.

Bouvron fell just short of a NCAA “B” cut against Michigan in a dominating 200 butterfly performance that left her about five seconds ahead of the pack. Bouvron also notched a victory in the 100-yard butterfly.

The junior is a two-time Olympian for her native Singapore and finished 32nd in the 200-meter butterfly at the 2004 games in Athens.

Despite the Big East Championships being less than two weeks away, Weathers is confident the Irish will be focused on the task at hand Saturday.

“I think we’ll be pretty focused because a lot of people are swimming things they haven’t in the last two dual meets, and the rest are swimming events that are pretty important to them in terms of making their cut for the Big East,” Weathers said.

The swimming will begin at 2 p.m.