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ND WOMEN’S SWIMMING: Team unsatisfied with results at Purdue meet

Mike Tennant | Monday, February 28, 2005

The Irish achieved numerous personal bests this weekend in the Boiler-Make-It Invitational at Purdue, but they left the pool disappointed.

The meet was scheduled as an end-of-the-year goal for several younger swimmers, while also giving the swimmers on the edge of qualifying for the NCAA Championship one last chance to post a top time. Unfortunately, those in the latter group were not able to improve their chances.

“We had some good swims,” head coach Bailey Weathers said. “But I don’t think we helped anyone on the bubble for NCAA’s.”

Sophomore Jessica Stephens and freshman Caroline Johnson both had already posted “B” times for the NCAA Championships, but only faster “A” times are guaranteed spots in the meet. Neither used this weekend to her advantage and both swimmers remain on the bubble for the Championships.

“For [Stephens] and [Johnson], we’ll have to wait and see. But all of them gave a great effort,” Weathers said.

Stephens has “B” times in the 200-yard individual medley and the 200 breaststroke, while Johnson already posted “B” times in the 50 and 100-yard freestyles as well as in the 100 backstroke. Both swimmers were named all-conference after posting these marks in the Big East Championships.

The meet was a success for several younger swimmers who swam personal bests in their final meet of the year.

Freshman Georgia Steenberge posted a time in the 1650-yard freestyle that would have been fast enough to qualify for the Big East Championships last week. Sophomore Meghan Linnelli did the same in the 50 free.

“I think that was a goal at the start of the season for them,” Weathers said. “It was a big goal.”

For Steenberge, Linnelli, and several others, this was their rest-meet. Meaning it was their chance to compete with a longer period of rest beforehand allowing them to better their times.

Next up for the Irish will be the NCAA Zone C Diving Championships.

“We’re really excited for Meghan [Perry-Eaton] for zones, but I think it will be the toughest zones in a while,” Weathers said.

Last year numerous divers received Olympic waivers, allowing them to sit out a year in order to prepare for the summer games. This year, however, those divers are back and competing for the top spots. Perry-Eaton won the Zone C Championship off the 1-meter board last year.

The Zone C Championships are scheduled for March 11-12 at Purdue. Then comes the season’s grand finale – the NCAA Championships, slated for March 17-19 also in West Lafayette.