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ND Women’s Swimming: Miller becomes program’s fastest swimmer in team’s win

Molly Sammon | Wednesday, March 4, 2009

When Notre Dame won its 13th consecutive Big East Championship on Feb. 21, it wasn’t without a little individual glory.

Sophomore Amywren Miller broke the Irish record in the 50-yard freestyle, making her the fastest swimmer in school history with a time of 22.37 seconds.

“The best part of the sport is going [for your] best times – when all your hard work pays off for something that takes less than a minute, that’s when its worth it,” Miller said. “That’s what drives most of us.”

Miller was also a crucial member of Notre Dame’s first-place 200 medley relay team, which edged Lousville’s group by only .59 seconds. Miller said the team, which also included freshman Colleen Fotsch and sophomores Kellyn Kuhlke and Samantha Maxwell, used its closeness to succeed in the water.

“Team bonding happens naturally around here, and that’s my favorite part about this team,” Miller said. “We stand on one another and hold everyone accountable to work hard for the team and push themselves.”

In fact, she said, that’s what makes being on a relay team so rewarding.

“Being at Notre Dame has taught me how special it is to be on the relays and be a part of something that represents the team,” Miller said. “Relays definitely pump up my adrenaline, and that’s what makes me swim my best.”

Both the 800 free relay and the 200 medley relay teams won their events on the first day to get the Irish off to a solid start in the Big East meet, but the relays didn’t stop dominating after the first day.

The next day, the 200 free relay of Miller, Fotsch, Maggie Behrens and Christa Riggins took second, and the 400 medley relay of Miller, Behrens, Kuhlke and Maxwell took first by almost a second over second-place Louisville.

Aside from her personal victory in the 50 free, Miller proved her dominance as a sprinter when she came in second in the 100 free, behind only Kayla Andrews of West Virginia.

Though the Irish accomplished a major goal in bringing home another conference crown, Miller and her teammates still have their eyes set on the NCAA Championships set to begin March 19 in College Station, Texas.

“I think we have all worked on becoming a stronger team this year and working harder every day,” Miller said. “Being a part of this team makes me want to be the best I can be for myself and for my teammates.”