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ND WOMEN’S SWIMMING: Barnes heaps praise on squad

Joe Meixell | Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Heading into the second half of the season, the No. 25 Irish looks to build on major individual successes as the post-season nears.

First-year head coach Brian Barnes said he hopes team leaders such as sophomores Samantha Maxwell and Amywren Miller and senior Christa Riggins can lead the young squad to a 13th consecutive Big East Championship and an impressive showing at the National Championships.

“We do have several potential All-Americans swimming over at Rolfs Aquatic Center,” Barnes said. “We are about to begin the championship portion of our season with the Big East Championships in February and the NCAA Championships in March.”

Last Saturday the Irish improved their dual-meet record to 3-1. They pounded Toledo 268-83 and fell to No. 21 Northwestern in the last event of the meet, 178-173. The Wildcats edged out the Irish by less than four-tenths of a second in the final event.

Maxwell, who set school records in the 100- and 200-meter breaststroke earlier this season, won two individual events and a had a hand in the victorious 400-medley relay. Sophomore Heidi Grossman and Junior Natalie Stitt led the diving squad to take the top spots in both the 3- and 1-meter dives respectively.

Another key matchup is on the horizon for the Irish as thy travel to Louisville for a Big East meet with the No. 20 Cardinals Saturday. The following weekend, Notre Dame will host the Shamrock Invitational as a final tune-up for the Big East and National Championships.