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ND Women’s Swimming: Reaney breaks records, leads Irish in tri-meet

Katie Heit | Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Sophomore Emma Reaney led the Irish to victories against No. 24 Michigan and unranked Northwestern, breaking two records held by current Olympic swimmer Rebecca Soni in the process.

The Irish grabbed the 185-to-115 victory over the Wolverines and crushed Northwestern 205-95. Reaney and senior Kim Holden each won three individual events and one relay. In the 100-yard breaststroke, Reaney broke the pool record at Rolfs Aquatic Center with a time of 59.79. Soni previously set the record in 2007 as a swimmer for USC. Reaney beat Soni’s record by over a second.

Reaney said breaking the record taught her just how much she can push herself.

“For me personally, I think it was realizing no matter how tired you think you are, you can always put together a good race if you do it exactly like you have practiced it,” Reaney said. “We had a really tough week and a half of training down in Miami and we were all [exhausted], but it was so awesome to see our team pull together and win that double dual for the first time in a long time.”

In the 200-yard breaststroke, Reaney broke another of Soni’s records with a time of 2:10.75.

Holden earned big points for the Irish with first place finishes in the 100 and 200-yard backstrokes, finishing with times of 54.93 and 1.59.14, respectively.

Other top performances included junior Kelly Ryan’s individual victory in the 200-yard freestyle. Sophomore Bridget Casey claimed the top spot in the 200-yard butterfly and sophomore Allison Casareto took first in the one-meter dive.

Reaney said Michigan proved to be the toughest competition of the weekend and was a big win for the Irish.

“We have not taken Michigan down since around 2007 and to beat both them and Northwestern by such large margins is a great confidence boost for us,” Reaney said. “I think knowing we have those under our belts will only help us heading into [the Big East] conference.”

Reaney said Irish coach Brian Barnes works every practice to make sure the team is ready and eager to win.

“Brian reminds us every day after practice to stay motivated,” Reaney said. “I think that’s what we’re doing. We have exactly six weeks until Big East [championships] and if we keep pushing ourselves and each other, I have a feeling we will be really successful.”

The Irish are back in action Saturday when they take on Indiana in Bloomington at 11 a.m.

Contact Katie Heit at kheit@nd.edu