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Katie Carroll earns All-America honors

Joe Meixell | Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Notre Dame will be losing one of the program’s greatest swimmers, but senior captain Katie Carroll left her coach and teammates with a vintage performance at the NCAA Championships held March 8-10 at the Minnesota Aquatic Center.Swimming for the final time in her Irish career, Carroll earned All-America honors in the 400-yard IM, honorable mention All-America honors in the 200 butterfly, and she had a hand in all five of Notre Dame’s top-20 finishes during the meet. Carroll garnered her All-America status by finishing seventh with a time of 4:12.47. Carroll’s performance in the 400 IM helped her achieve her second career All-American honor. Her first such honor came in 2005 when she finished seventh in the same event.”It was a good way to go out,” Carroll said. “It means I finished swimming my best times. I wanted All-American honors in all three of my races, but it was good to get the honor again after getting it my sophomore year.”Carroll’s honorable mention All-America honor came in the 200 butterfly, where she finished No. 12. In the preliminaries, Carroll touched the wall in a school record time of 1:57.58, besting former Irish standout Lisa Garcia’s 2002 time of 1:58.39, before Carroll’s finals time slowed to 1:58.10. Overall for the meet, Carroll competed in seven events netting the top-10 finish in the 400 IM, three top-15 finishes and five top-20 finishes. Carroll will now turn her attention on training for the 2008 Olympics, and she leaves having left her mark on the younger swimmers.”I hope I was a good leader,” Carroll said. “I hope I taught the other girls how to train hard and how to rise to the occasion.” As a team, Notre Dame’s performance at the NCAA Championships was full of mixed results. Despite sending the second largest number of participants in the program’s history – eight – the Irish fell well short of meeting the program’s record for points in the NCAA Championships of 52 set in 2002. This year’s squad tallied 25 points which was good for 27th in the country. Notable performances included a 34th-place finish in the 200 freestyle by sophomore Christa Riggins. Her time of 1:48.46 was the third- fastest in the program’s history. The 800 freestyle relay team of Riggins, Carroll, freshman Megan Farrell and senior Ellen Johnson entered the meet ranked No. 14 nationally and improved upon that ranking, touching the wall with a time 7:14.91 – good for 13th.Overall, the team’s performance was a marked improvement over last year, when the Irish qualified only three women to participate in the meet.”It was good to have four underclassmen at the meet as it helped them get their feet wet and get used to the experience,” Carroll said. “It really gave them a confidence boost to know that they can compete with the best.”