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ND Women’s Swimming: Irish compete in Nationals

Michael Todisco | Tuesday, December 7, 2010

After a three-week layoff, Notre Dame traveled to Columbus, Ohio, last weekend to compete in the U.S Nationals. With 228 points, the Irish finished third out of 16 collegiate teams in the competition behind perennial powers California (556) and USC (495). The diving team competed at a separate event, earning a pair of top-10 finishes at the Hawkeye Invitational at Iowa.

The Irish had not competed since defeating Utah Nov. 12.

On the second day of Nationals, senior All-American Amywren Miller led the Irish with a victory in the B-final of the 50-yard freestyle. Miller finished with a personal-best time of 22.65.

On the final day in Columbus, senior All-American Samantha Maxwell finished in ninth place for the Irish in the A-final of the 100 breaststroke. With a time of 1:00.53, Maxwell posted her fastest time of the season. Maxwell also earned a sixth-place finish in the A-final of the 200 breaststroke with a time of 2:11.06, the fourth-fastest time in program history.

Senior captain Katie Casey, freshman Lauren Stauder and sophomore Kim Holden also reached the finals in their events. Stuader finished seventh in the C-final of the 100 breaststroke, Casey earned ninth in the B-final of the 100-yard fly and Holden grabbed a fifth-place finish in the C-final of the 100-yard fly.

Stauder had another solid effort on Sunday, earning a first-place finish in the C-final of the 200-yard breaststroke.

Casey said that the team’s strong showing at Nationals puts the team in position for success at the NCAA Championships.

“Finishing third overall for women’s collegiate teams sets us up well for NCAA competition,” she said.  “This gives us great momentum and positive attitudes going into conference which will ultimately lead to great swims to qualify us to NCAAs.”

On the second day at the Hawkeye Invitational, Notre Dame earned two top-10 finishes in diving. In the 1-meter event, senior Heidi Grossman earned fifth with a score of 271.95, and sophomore Jenny Chiang (266.10) placed sixth.

Next on the schedule for the Irish is a trip to Hawaii toward the tail end of the holiday break in order to train for the spring season.

“We have two full weeks in Hawaii, so we will have time to get great training in as well as some fun,” Casey said. “Training in a warm and sunny environment allows us to be happy while we are having really hard practices. [The] training trip also gives us time to bond as a team in the pool and on the beach.”

Notre Dame’s next competition will come during that trip, when the Irish face off against Hawaii in a dual meet Jan. 4.