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ND Women’s Swimming and Diving: Irish host Shamrock Invitational to close home season

Matt Unger | Thursday, January 26, 2012

After dominating Michigan State at home last weekend, the Irish will compete at Rolfs Aquatic Center for the last time this season when they host the annual Shamrock Invitational this weekend.

Big Ten foes Ohio State and Iowa will travel to Notre Dame for the three-team meet.

The Irish ended a four-match losing streak with a 218-82 team win against the Spartans Jan. 21, highlighted by the performance of sophomore swimmer Kelly Ryan. For her efforts in winning four events — including three individual ones — Ryan garnered the Big East Swimmer of the Week honor, marking the fourth time in eight weeks an Irish swimmer has won the award.

No. 14 Ohio State will pose a formidable challenge to the Notre Dame swimmers. The Buckeyes hosted the Irish at the beginning of December in the Buckeye Invitational and finished first in the five-team meet. Notre Dame finished fourth in the event. Iowa, unranked like Notre Dame, recently defeated Illinois and Harvard in dual meets.

The Shamrock Invitational will also match two top-ranked freshmen swimmers in both the Big Ten and Big East.

The Hawkeyes’ Becky Stoughton earned weekly all-conference honors this past week, the third time she received a conference award this season. Stoughton earned three first-place finishes in the team’s double-dual meet with Northwestern and Harvard. In addition, Collegeswimming.com named her Division I Swimmer of the Week in early December.

Meanwhile, Irish freshman Emma Reaney achieved similar success in breaststroke and individual medley events. She has been named Big East Swimmer of the Week three times this season.

Following the Shamrock Invitational, the Irish will travel to Muncie, Ind., to face Ball State on Feb. 4 in their final meet prior to the Big East championships.