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Pair set Irish records in championship

Matt Puglisi | Monday, March 22, 2004

It was a weekend of firsts for a pair of Notre Dame athletes and Irish swimming and diving.Competing in the NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships, swimmer Katie Carroll broke two school records en route to becoming the first freshman in Irish history to garner All-American mention in two different events. Meanwhile, diver Meghan Perry-Eaton recorded the highest school placing in any event at the prestigious meet by finishing third on the 1-meter board.”I thought they both did an outstanding job,” Irish coach Bailey Weathers said. “They’re both capable of what they did, but we’re really excited that they beat their own expectations.”Perry-Eaton didn’t waste much time Thursday in showing why she had only lost once all season on both the 1-meter and 3-meter board heading into the national meet.The Big East Championship’s Most Outstanding Diver posted the fourth-highest score (290.40) on the 1-meter board preliminaries before improving that score by more than 13 points in the event finals to claim third place with a score of 303.90 and earn All-American recognition. Perry-Eaton finished just 3.30 points behind first place Allison Brennan of South Carolina.Carroll was also busy making Irish history on Thursday, picking up the first of her two All-American honorable mentions with her second school record in one day in the 200-meter individual medley. After placing 11th in preliminaries and qualifying for the consolation final with a school-record time of 2:13.43, Carroll won the eight-competitor consolation final and rewrote the record books yet again with a 2:12.28 to finish ninth.Carroll’s success continued Friday, as the Big East Championship’s Most Outstanding Swimmer set her fourth Notre Dame record in as many races in the 400-meter individual medley. The freshman turned in an Irish record of 4:42.74 in finishing 13th during preliminaries, thereby once again qualifying for the consolation finals that evening.Carroll took fifth in the consolation finals with a time of 4:42.51 to record her fourth all-time Irish mark in two days and finish 14th overall. The finish also gave Carroll her second All-American honorable mention in as many days. She’s the first freshman and just the eighth Irish swimmer to earn All-American honors in multiple events at the NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships.”She made huge improvements, particularly in terms of initial placing and seeding [going into the meet],” Weathers said. “I think she probably moved up more than anyone in the meet.”Perry-Eaton competed on the 3-meter board Friday, but failed to duplicate her 1-meter performance, finishing 28th overall.It was a similar story for Carroll on Saturday as the freshman placed 32nd in the 100-meter freestyle and consequently fell short of qualifying to swim in the event finals.”Swimming the 200 IM well in the morning really gave her a boost, and she dropped quite a bit from morning to night [in the individual medleys],” Weathers said. “She can be as good in the freestyle as she is in her IM, she’s just a little bit further along in the IMs.”