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Irish in good shape for lucky number 13

Alex Barker | Friday, February 20, 2009

Coming into the second day of competition of their Big East Championship title defense, Notre Dame was in good shape.

The No. 25 Irish were in led the field with 80 points, 12 ahead of second-place No. 23 Louisville.

Shaking off the jitters from the first day, Notre Dame continued to increase its lead over the Cardinals and the rest of the field Thursday with 209 points to bring its overall score to 289. Louisville held onto second with 242.5 points.

Irish sophomore Amywren Miller had a record-breaking performance in the 50-meter freestyle. Her time of 22.37 made her the fastest swimmer in Notre Dame history, but couldn’t earn her a win. She was out-touched by one one-hundredth of a second by Louisville junior Whitney Campbell.

Sophomore Lauren Sylvester started the day off well for the Irish with a third place finish in the first race of day – the 500 freestyle. She finished with a time of 4:50.32.

Junior Megan Farrell and freshman Emily Barton placed next for the Notre Dame in the 200 individual medley. Farrell came in second and Barton finished less than a second behind her for third. The Cardinals once again took first place in the race. Notre Dame’s Ashlee Edgell finished just outside of the top three with a time of 2:01.77.

The Irish divers dominated the 1-meter springboard, with junior Natalie Stitt and sophomore Heidi Grossman grabbing the top two spots with scores of 290.15 and 268.05, respectively.

In the final race of the day, the 200 freestyle relay team snagged second in 1:31.01, just shy of Louisville’s winning mark.

Under the direction of first-year head coach Brian Barnes, the young Irish squad will continue their quest for a record-extending 13th consecutive Big East Championship. Barnes is used to winning after spending three seasons as an assistant at perennial powerhouse Auburn University.

The meet will conclude Saturday.