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Swimmers take on Arizona St., Purdue in meet

Kate Gales | Friday, October 29, 2004

After dominating the Dennis Stark Relays at Notre Dame, the Irish hit the road to take on Arizona State and Purdue at West Lafayette in a three-way meet tonight.The Irish enjoyed nearly a month of rest between the relays and this weekend’s competition, which allowed the team to adjust to new swimmers and new talents. “Over fall break we stayed here and we had a week of really, really intense training,” senior co-captain Georgia Healey said. “This week we had a little bit of a rest at the beginning of the week, took down the intensity and we’re just trying to get psyched up for tomorrow.”The Sun Devils finished 14th in the NCAA Championships last year, and the Boilermakers were ranked 36th at the season’s end. The Irish finished action as Big East champions and 25th in the NCAA.The team this year seems to be stronger than ever.”I think we’re definitely in a great position this year to do well,” Healey said. “We have a big team. We have a lot of depth.”Sophomore Katie Carroll was named the Big East Championships Most Outstanding Swimmer last year and opened this season with a time that may qualify her for the 400-meter individual relay at the NCAA championships. Other strong members returning to the team include Ellen Johnson, Christel Bouvron, Ann Barton and Laura Stafford in the 800-meter freestyle relay. Seventeen swimmers have already posted qualifying times for the Big East Championships.The team will be able to use this weekend’s meets as preparation for a tough Big East conference schedule.”There will be some [swimmers] that get switched around because we have a bunch of people who are strong in several different areas,” Healey said. Healey was also excited about the addition of assistant coach Carrie Nixon, a 2002 graduate and former Irish All-American. “She’s been tough, but she’s been very inspirational,” Healey said. “The addition of her has really been a great asset to the program. I have a lot of confidence in what we’re going to be doing this year.”