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ND Women’s Swimming: Irish Go-pher back-to-back titles

Chris Hine | Friday, November 17, 2006

No. 20 Notre Dame travels to the University of Minnesota this weekend to defend their title in the Minnesota Invitational against 12 other challengers, including the No. 16 Gophers.”There are a lot of good teams coming this year,” freshman Vivian Healey said. “This year the competition is harder, but our team is also better this year.”The Irish have a 3-0 record in dual meet competition with wins over Purdue, Pittsburgh and Michigan State. This year’s 39-member squad features 16 freshmen.Healey said that invitational meets are a good time for the individual swimmers to focus on improving times to meet Big East and National qualifying standards instead of worrying about swimming multiple events in a dual meet to outscore an opponent.”Instead of our goal being to beat a certain team, like in the dual meets, you just want to be able to swim a certain time,” Healey said. “We want to get good times for the Big East tournament, and we also have the U.S. Open coming up in two weeks.Healey will try to improve her time in the 100-yard breaststroke. The U.S. Open time is 1:05.19 seconds, while Healey has a time of 1:05.21.”You need to be really focused. You work on all sorts of things – turns, head position, body position,” she said. “It’s not just conditioning. Like last week, I worked on head position.”Healey’s win last Saturday in the 100-yard breaststroke contributed to Notre Dame’s 188-112 win over Pittsburgh. In that meet, senior Katie Carroll set a school record in the 1,000-yard freestyle with a time of 9:49.80 as Notre Dame won 9-of-16 events on their way to victory.The day before against Michigan State, Notre Dame won 10-of-13 events in their 155.5-86.5 win. Freshman Ashlee Edgell picked up her first win of the career in the 200-yard individual medley, while junior Caroling Johnson picked up two wins in the 50-yard freestyle and 100-yard butterfly.In their first dual meet of the year, the Irish drowned No. 25 Purdue 185-115. Carroll set another school mark in the 200-yard freestyle while posting an NCAA qualifying time in that event and the 200-yard individual medley.The Minnesota Invite begins today and will end Sunday.