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ND Women’s Swimming: Freshmen spearhead blowout

Matt Unger | Sunday, October 30, 2011

In just the fourth meet of the season, Irish freshmen swimmers and divers are already proving their impact on the squad.

Freshman Emma Reaney led the way with victories in two individual events as Notre Dame (3-1) won 13 of 16 events overall on its way to a dominating 185-115 win in a meet against Big East rival Pittsburgh on Friday afternoon.

Reaney earned first place in the 200-yard backstroke with a time of 2:18.02 and won the 200-yard individual medley with a finishing time of 2:04.72, beating the field by nearly three seconds.

“Emma’s getting what she deserves,” Irish coach Brian Barnes said. “She’s a hard worker, a great student and she’s hungry for success.”

Meanwhile, freshman Suzanne Bessire placed first in the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 1:51.87 for her first collegiate victory. Adding to the success of the Irish freshmen was Hannah Bowen, who won the 50-yard freestyle in 23.53 seconds.

On the diving side, junior Jenny Chiang and freshman Allison Casareto both dominated the 3-meter and 1-meter dive events. The teammates claimed first and second in both events, when Chiang finished first to Casareto in the 1-meter with 295 points, while Casereto scored 293 points to beat Chiang in the 3-meter.

Both divers have proven dominant in meets so far this season as Chiang recently won both events in last week’s loss to Auburn.

Barnes was impressed with the overall team effort, especially in light of competing after a more than six-hour bus trip to Pittsburgh.

“It was a hardworking meet,” Barnes said. “I was curious to see how we would handle the travel on Friday, and we stood up and competed. I’m very pleased with our progress.”

In other events, freshman Kelly Ryan took first place in the 100-yard backstroke by half a second over her Pittsburgh opponent. Freshman Bridget Casey won the 200-yard fly with a finishing time of 2:02.36.

The Irish will make a shorter trip this Friday to West Lafayette, Ind., when they face Purdue in a dual meet at 5 p.m.

Contact Matt Unger at munger3@nd.edu