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ND Women’s Swimming: Irish travel to Kansas

Vicky Jacobsen | Friday, November 16, 2012

The Irish will compete in their first invitational of the season in Topeka, Kan., this Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

The Jayhawks will be hosting Nebraska, Iowa State, Nebraska-Omaha, and Rice in addition to No. 18 Notre Dame at the Kansas Women’s Classic.

Although the team will be competing for three straight days, Irish coach Brian Barnes said that his swimmers will get more rest than they would expect from a busy weekend of duel meets.

“For the most part we’re swimming a limited number of events, two-a-day per person, which is six total events, and then there’s two open swim relays, too,” Barnes said. “So we’re meeting the entry requirement.”

The Irish netted another individual accolade Tuesday when sophomore Emma Reaney was named the Big East Women’s Swimming and Diving athlete of the week – the fourth time she has been recognized for the award.

“Well we’ve had two Big East swimmers of the week the last two weeks, and both of them were well-deserved, Kim Holden two weeks ago and then Emma Reaney this week,” Barnes said. “They’ve both performed at a level that is deserving of that recognition.”

But Barnes said he can’t rely on individual awards to assess how his team is progressing.

“[When an] individual’s recognized, that’s just good for the individual, it has no indication of the direction we’re going team-wise,” Barnes said. “It’s not bad to have those performances on the team – it’s always a good thing because they’re part of the team – but [as far as] the direction that we’re going on the team, you pick up on those things daily. The character of the team in the face of adversity or the character of the team when they’re dealing with a hard practice or how they work with one another, how they support one another and who they are as teammates – that’s a better indication of the direction we’re going.”

Going into the meet, Barnes said that the team is working on polishing all aspects of their events. But he also says that this is the time of year when teams begin to develop their character.

“I would say the focus right now, in a bigger sense, is establishing our identity for the year,” Barnes said. “Who are we? Every team’s different, and this team is not the same team we had last year. First of all, we’ve graduated people, and we’ve added people. And things change in a year’s time. So we’re starting to see some good things across the board on our team and our identity but we’re not there yet, and that’s the beauty of a season. Those things take time to develop, and that’s what we’re working on.”

The three-day Kansas Classic will begin at 10 a.m. Friday at the Capital Federal Natatorium in Topeka.

Contact Vicky Jacobsen at vjacobse@nd.edu