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ND Swimming: Women get ready for key U.S. Open meet

Joe Meixell | Thursday, November 30, 2006

It has been 11 days since No. 20 Notre Dame’s last meet, but the Irish must make sure they show no signs of rust at the U.S. Open, which begins this Thursday in West Lafayette, Ind. at the Boilermaker Aquatic Center.

The three-day, six-session event will run from Thursday through Saturday with the preliminary rounds in the morning and the finals at night on each day. The tournament boasts an impressive field filled with both quality and depth.

Combining both the men and the women who will participate in the meet, there will be almost 1,000 swimmers taking to the pool this weekend. The field also will include multiple Olympic athletes, including American record holders Katie Hoff of USA Swimming, Amanda Weir and Kaitlin Sandeno of USA Swimming and Southern California.

Despite the stiff competition that awaits, Notre Dame has plenty of reason to be confident heading into this weekend’s meet. The Irish have won all three of their dual meets this season, comfortably defeating Purdue, Michigan State and Pittsburgh.

In its latest event, Notre Dame rallied for a first-place finish in the 11-team Minnesota Invitational. The Irish won the Minnesota Invitational with a total of 889 points, enough to edge second-place Tennessee by a margin of 83 points. Notre Dame was led by senior Katie Carroll, who tallied one first-place finish and three second-place finishes over the course of the three-day meet.

Only the Notre Dame swimmers will be participating in the U.S. Open. The Irish divers will travel to Columbus this weekend to take part in the Ohio State Invitational, which begins on Friday.

While most women will be in West Lafayette, the Irish men will be fully dedicated in Columbus.

The Irish will be one of 13 teams competing in the event hosted by the No. 12 Buckeyes. Buckeyes diver Kellen Harkness leads the squad and earned Big Ten diver of the week honors this week.