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ND WOMEN’S SWIMMING: Irish have back-to-back meets against stiff competition

Ken Fowler | Friday, October 28, 2005

Following their season-opening victory in the Dennis Starks Relays, the Irish will be back in action this weekend with back-to-back meets.

The first begins tonight at 5 p.m. against California Berkeley in the Rolf’s Aquatic Center. After having three weeks to reflect on the Stark Relays, the Irish will only have one night between their second and third meets as they leave immediately for Purdue for a Saturday meet with the Boilermakers.

But Notre Dame coach Carrie Nixon doesn’t seem concerned with the close proximity of this weekend’s meets.

“Our championship meets are three or four days long, so we try to do as many double meets as we can,” she said. “With Purdue being so close, it’s not a far drive for us. It’s not too hard in terms of physical exhaustion.”

While the travel may not be difficult this weekend for the team, the competition likely will. California finished No. 9 at the NCAA championship last season, and it currently holds the world record in the 100-meter breast stroke.

“We’re looking forward to racing them,” Nixon said. “One of our team goals is to be a top-10 team, in order to do that you have to know what top ten teams are like. I think we have a good shot at winning if we can take advantage of some opportunities and swim our best.”

While Purdue doesn’t possess the same talent level as California, the Irish will be just as excited for Saturday’s meet.

“Obviously Purdue is a huge rival,” Nixon said. “California is a nice bonus because they’re coming out here to visit us, but Purdue is an annual thing, something the girls look forward to every year.”

As for results this weekend, Nixon likes her team’s chances.

“We match up very closely against California in the breaststroke events,” she said. “And versus Purdue, we match up very well in the freestyle events.”