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ND Women’s Swimming and Diving: Shamrock Invite gives mixed results

Andrew Cardoza | Sunday, January 29, 2012

On the final day of competition at the Shamrock Invitational, the Irish won a pair of events and finished second in seven events at the Rolfs Aquatic Center. The Irish (5-6) knocked off Iowa 201-169 but fell to Ohio State 214-147 to conclude a split on the weekend home stand.

Junior diver Jenny Chiang had a very successful weekend. A day after earning a victory in the three-meter dive, she followed her performance with a second place finish in the one-meter dive with a cumulative score of 281.70. Chiang was followed by freshman Allison Casareto, who finished fourth with 268.50 points.

Chiang credits her success to mental preparation and visualization outside of the pool.

“I think a lot of mental preparation is important in order to be successful in diving,” Chiang said. “Before each of my dives, I try to visualize what I want my dive to look like and gain a sense of what it feels like.”

Notre Dame also earned top finishes from freshman Emma Reaney and Bridget Casey. Reaney won the 200-meter breaststroke by over three seconds. Her time produced an NCAA B-cut time of 2:16.16. Her counterpart, Bridget Casey, was victorious in the 200-meter butterfly with at time of 2:07.71. This was Casey’s fourth victory of the season.

“I think this invitational really gave us an opportunity to test our abilities under pressure,” Chiang said. “We got great performances from our underclassmen. The meet versus Iowa was very close and required each of us to perform at our highest level.”

Even though the Irish did not gain the complete sweep on the home stand, there was a lot of progress made through individual performances. Sophomore Kelly Ryan finished second in the 100-meter (50.76) and 200-meter (1:52.30) freestyle events. The 400-meter freestyle relay team of Ryan, senior Amy Prestinario, freshman Suzanne Bessire and Reaney concluded the night with a silver-medal performance by turning in a NCAA B-cut time of 3:24.43.

“As a collective team, we really made it a point to cheer for each other during races,” Chiang said. “Every race counted, and we all realized that as much as this is an individual sport, the support of the team can really make a difference.”

Notre Dame closes out the regular season next Saturday when it heads to Muncie, Indiana, to take on Ball State. The dual meet begins at 1 p.m.


Contact Andrew Cardoza at acardoza@nd.edu