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ND WOMEN’S SWIMMING: Perry-Eaton registers NCAA-worthy score

Joe Meixell | Wednesday, March 16, 2005

It really seemed more of a formality than anything as senior diver Meghan Perry-Eaton qualified for the NCAA Championships Saturday in West Lafayette, Ind.

The All-American finished third off the one-meter springboard in the Zone C Diving Championships, earning her a berth in the national meet for the third consecutive time in her career. She will join swimmers Christel Bouvron and Katie Carroll as the only Irish representatives in the NCAA Championships.

Perry-Eaton took third place last year in the NCAAs off the one-meter board, finishing a mere 3.3 points behind the champion.

The five-time conference champion started off the Zone C Championships strongly, posting the second-highest preliminary score with a 286.15 in the round. Her fifth dive, a reverse 1.5 somersault with 1.5 twists, earned Perry-Eaton her highest score of the day with a 54.60. She then followed that round with a mark of 302.50 in the finals for a 12-dive score of 588.65.

Her final mark put her behind only Indian’s Christina Lakos and Purdue’s Carrie McCam-bridge. This event marked only the second time Perry-Eaton has been beaten in 11 competitions in 2004-’05.

Lakos and McCambridge are the only two swimmers to best the Irish diver this season.

Saturday also was the third consecutive time that Perry-Eaton finished in the top three off the one-meter board at the Zone C meet, taking third in 2003 and wining the competition last year.

Named the Big East’s Most Outstanding Diver each of the last three years, Perry-Eaton is only the second diver in Notre Dame history to qualify for the NCAA Championships, following in the footsteps of Heather Mattingly (2002).

This year will be the eighth time in nine years that the Irish have had three or more qualifiers to the championship meet.

The NCAA Championships are scheduled for March 17-19, and will be held at the Boiler Maker Aquatic Center in West Lafayette.

Mike Tennant