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ND Swimming: Irish travel to West Lafayette

Chris Doyen | Friday, November 2, 2007

Even though the Notre Dame women dropped their last two meets to USC and Minnesota, coach Carrie Nixon said her squad performed well and is ready to take on Purdue this weekend in West Lafayette, Ind.

“We really raced well the last two weeks … I think we’re ready for a win,” Nixon said. “The girls are very hungry for that.”

Despite strong performances from junior Christa Riggins and freshmen Katie Casey and Amywren Miller, the Irish are looking for a win for the first time in three weeks.

This will be the 11th time the Irish and Boilermaker women have met. Last year, the Irish dominated Purdue at the Rolfs Aquatic Center, coming away with a 185-115 victory. Twelve letter-winners from that Irish team are gone, but in that meet, junior Claire Hutchinson set a Notre Dame record in the 1,000-yard freestyle with a time of 9:52.98. Riggins, senior Caroline Johnson and junior Casey Wagner are the other three members on the current roster that won events last year.

Junior Laura Rings will look to lead the divers after earning two of Notre Dame’s four event victories last week against Minnesota.

Purdue will look much different from the team humbled by the Irish in last year’s meeting. The squad boasts 12 newcomers, including 11 freshmen, but they will still provide stiff competition for the young Irish squad.

“It’s always a challenge against Purdue,” Nixon said. “They’re always tough, especially when we go down there. They will definitely bring their ‘A’ game, but we should be ready for it.”

The men’s team is coming off a loss to Southern California two weeks ago in a competitive dual meet and will face both Texas A&M and Purdue this weekend.

The Irish faced Texas A&M and Purdue in separate dual meets last year, edging out the Aggies and Boilermakers in consecutive weeks. This year, all three teams will meet in West Lafayette.

Sophomores Andrew Deter, John Lytle, Ross Moore and Andrew Hoffman will look to build on their wins against USC two weeks ago in what was an impressive showing by some of the younger Irish swimmers.

The Aggies are coming off a loss in dual meet competition to Missouri on Oct. 18 and a second-place finish at the Big XII Relays the next day, even though they had to leave the Relays with two races remaining in order to catch a flight.

For the Boilermaker men, swimmers may have some added pressure to earn points since Purdue may have just one diver. Freshman David Colturi, who broke the freshman one-meter dive record at the Indiana Intercollegiates, may not be able to compete because of a lower back strain.

The action is set to begin at 5 p.m. in the Boilermaker Aquatic Center.