Irish defeat two of three competitors at dual meet
Alex Wilcox | Wednesday, January 15, 2014
After an intense training and team-bonding trip to the Bahamas, Notre Dame kicked off the spring season, taking two of three in a four-team dual meet on Saturday at Northwestern Aquatic Center.
While 11 days on the beach in the Bahamas over winter break sounds like a dream trip, it certainly was no vacation for the Irish. The team trained long course meters twice daily every day and lifted three days a week.While the training was tough, junior Emma Reaney said the trip was good to strengthen team chemistry and get away from the windowless pool at Loftus.
“Trips like that have the potential to be bad for team chemistry. Lots of girls who are always with each other only seeing each other for that amount of time could get bad,” Reaney said. “I think instead we used it to our advantage and strengthened our bonds. We played a bunch of stupid but fun games that helped us let loose. Training was pretty hard, but we all knew it was coming so it wasn’t too bad.”
Reaney said the training left the squad drained and had an effect on the team’s performance in Saturday’s meet, though.
“[The trip] affected us pretty heavily I’d say,” Reaney said. “We were all really tired and it showed. That’s a good sign for us though because it means we put the work in that we need to and once we rest, we will be ready to go.”
Despite the fatigue, the Irish (6-4) knocked off Rutgers and Northwestern, but fell to Michigan. The team won six individual events and one relay. Reaney took three of the individual events, which earned her the title of ACC Women’s Swimmer of the Week for the fifth time this season.
“I experimented with some different race strategies which I think gives me some really important information going into championship season,” she said.
Senior Kelly Ryan and juniors Bridget Casey and Allison Casareto also won individual events, and the team of Ryan, Reaney, sophomore Cat Galletti and freshman Catherine Mulquin took home the 400-yard freestyle relay.
The 100-yard butterfly proved to be Notre Dame’s strongest event. The race was one of Reaney’s three individual victories, and three of her teammates also finished in the top five, including Galletti, who came in second.
“We’ve always been really strong in that event and it’s great to know we are keeping that legacy going,” Reaney said. “I’m really proud of how we stepped up in that event.”
Notre Dame has now won six of its last seven dual meets. The squad will get the opportunity to add another victory this Saturday when it travels to Louisville.
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