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WOMEN’S SWIMMING: Irish hope to make mark at the NCAAs

Mike Tennant | Thursday, March 17, 2005

Two Irish swimmers and one diver will try to make waves this weekend at the NCAA Championships in West Lafayette, Ind.Junior Christel Bouvron is making her first trip to the championships, while Katie Carroll and Meghan Perry-Eaton are both on return trips. Head coach Bailey Weathers sees the previous experience as a definite advantage.”I think they’re more relaxed and have a better feel for how things will go,” Weathers said.Perry-Eaton, a fifth-year senior and All-American diver, is making her third straight appearance in the championships. She qualified last week by taking third in the Zone C Championships off the 1-meter board, also at Purdue. Last year, Perry Eaton finished third off the lower board, only 3.30 points behind the champion. She has won five Big East championships in her time at Notre Dame and was named the conference’s Most Outstanding Diver each of the last three years.Perry-Eaton won 19 of 20 competitions this season going into the Zone C meet and was undefeated off the 3-meter board. She currently holds all of the Notre Dame and Rolfs Aquatic Center records.Katie Carroll is returning for the second time in her two-year career after posting an automatically-qualifying time in the 400-yard individual medley, her second A cut in as many years. She is seeded 19th in the event.The sophomore also qualified in the 200-IM and the 200-butterfly, and is seeded 26th and 45th in those events respectively. Carroll capped off a spectacular season for the Irish with six victories in the Big East Championships. She has registered 10 first place finishes in individual events and 12 in relays.Bouvron, a two-time Olympian for her native Singapore, will be swimming both the 100- and 200-butterfly, and is seeded 40th and 31st respectively. The junior won two individual Big East titles last month, as well as one relay. She is also the Singapore National Recordholder in the 400-meter freestyle.Carroll and Perry-Eaton will look to get the Irish off on the right foot Thursday morning, with preliminary action starting at 11 a.m. Carroll will be swimming the 200-IM while Perry-Eaton will dive off the 1-meter board.Friday will see Bouvron make her NCAA Championship debut as the 100-fly will take place. Carroll and Perry-Eaton will both also compete Friday, the former in the 400-IM, the latter off the 3-meter board.Saturday, the Irish will wrap up championship action as Bouvron and Carroll swim in the 200-fly. This will mark the eighth time in the last nine years that the Irish have had three or more participants in the NCAA Championships. Since 1979, 21 different Notre Dame swimmers have earned All-American honors with top-16 finishes.