Casey races toward another championship meet
Katie Heit | Tuesday, February 4, 2014
After competing in the 200-yard butterfly in last year’s NCAA meet, junior Bridget Casey is ready to make it a repeat performance — and she’s well on her way to another championship competition.
During the Shamrock Invitational on Saturday, Casey met the NCAA B-cut standard in the 200-yard butterfly with a time of 1:59.30. This year, she’s also looking to add a B-cut time in the 400-yard individual medley (IM), an honor she barely missed out on last year.
“I just missed the B-cut in the 400 IM last year,” Casey said. “It would be really awesome to be able to swim two individual events.”Casey recently had the chance to expand her event schedule when she was thrown into the record-breaking 800-yard freestyle relay against Iowa on the morning of the race.
“I focus more on middle distance to distance freestyle and rarely swim a 200 free,” Casey said. “I was nervous going into the relay especially because I was anchoring. I had a pretty good meet before that and I love swimming on relays, so I just put my head down and hoped my split was fast enough to break the record.”
Casey, along with senior Kelly Ryan, junior Emma Reaney and freshman Katie Miller broke the pool record with a time of 7:22.65.
Casey said her approach to meets has changed since she started swimming for the Irish.
“High school swimming was all about training and the idea hard work pays off,” Casey said. “Since my time at Notre Dame, I have learned that hard work and a strategy is what it takes to go to the next level in college.”
Casey’s dad, uncle and two older sisters all swam for Notre Dame. Coming from a big Irish family, Casey said the choice to swim for Notre Dame was a “no brainer.”
“It was the perfect school for me,” Casey said. “The team was also a big part of the decision and I liked Brian Barnes as a coach.”
With conference competition coming up, Casey has turned her sights to her end of season goals, both individually and with the Irish teammates.
“I hope we step up and make a statement at [the ACC Championship],” Casey said. “This is our first year in the conference and I know how hard we have worked this year. I have so much confidence in this team. I just hope we taper well and our hard work pays off.”
Casey said she her individual goals include improving her time in the 200-yard butterfly and the 400-yard IM to qualify for the national championship meet.
“I will need to go a few seconds faster to be able to go to the NCAAs again this year,” Casey said. “However, that was a really great in-season time and I hope that I can go even faster at conference so I can make NCAAs again this year.”