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ND Women’s Swimming and Diving: Reaney breaks school record as Notre Dame finishes fourth

Cory Bernard | Sunday, December 4, 2011

After completing their last competition of 2011, the Irish head into winter break with a solid 3-3 start and a potential superstar in the making.

Despite finishing fourth out of five teams at the Ohio State Invitational in Columbus, Ohio, over the weekend, the Irish saw standout freshman swimmer Emma Reaney break a school record. Reaney took first in the 200-meter individual medley final Friday by clocking in at 1:57.67, shattering 2007 graduate Katie Carroll’s program record.

Reaney nearly broke another Irish record Saturday with her victory in the 400-meter individual medley final. Her time of 4:12.19 was just .12 seconds off the program best, held by Carroll.

“I’m just very happy for Emma,” Irish coach Brian Barnes said. “We want everyone on our team to get what they deserve, and she got what she deserved. She has been working hard and she has been incredibly consistent. Emma is very diligent with her preparation, and it’s good that those characteristics are in her. We learned a lot about Emma this weekend. She’s a first semester freshman at Notre Dame and, like our entire team, we all need to get better.”

Sophomore swimmer Kelly Ryan and junior diver Jenny Chiang also stood out for the Irish. Ryan turned in a score of 53.60 in the 100-meter back prelims to break the meet record before finishing second in the 100-meter back finals. Chiang missed out on first place in the three-meter dive by less than eight points, finishing second with a score of 310.35.

With a roster far smaller than the other four competitors — Ohio State, Purdue, Michigan State and Penn State — Notre Dame could not enter enough athletes in every event to score enough points to win the invitational.

Knowing beforehand that the meet was to be in championship format, Barnes said the Irish did not focus as much on the results as they did on self-improvement.

“We didn’t approach it as from an individual point of view,” he said. “Our team was pretty centered on what’s going on on our team. We didn’t approach the meet from a wins and loses point of view, but rather a, ‘How well are we doing, how are we improving and competing’ view?” The final results were a little misguiding because there was no cap on the number of entrees and we were the smallest team there.”

Though still in season, Notre Dame now takes a month off from competition before travelling to Hawaii for a dual meet with the Warriors on Jan. 4.

Barnes said he made sure his team knew its opportunities to improve this year would be limited in number.

“We are still in season and we have a good team,” Barnes said. “We are off to a great start and we’re going to make whatever we make. We’re setting the table for a good season, and I made sure everyone realizes the limited number of opportunities we have to get better. We have to make the most of every opportunity moving forward to build on our early success. Every dive, every stroke — make it count.”


Contact Cory Bernard at cbernard@nd.edu