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Women’s Swimming: Cardinals triumph in last race of meet

Nathaniel Lee | Sunday, January 18, 2009

No. 24 Notre Dame once again found themselves on the losing end of the deciding final race in a close meet Saturday at Louisville’s Wright Natatorium. The No. 21 Cardinals nipped the Irish in the 400-yard freestyle relay, nearly setting a school record in the process.

One week earlier the Irish lost to then-No. 21 Northwestern in the final race of the meet, coming up just five points shy of a victory.

“The main goal is always to get the girls into top form for the post-season,” Irish coach Brian Barnes said. “What we really want to see now are solid performances that will lead to success in March.”

Despite the loss, Notre Dame swimmers turned in several impressive individual performances on the way to winning eight of the possible 16 events. Sophomore Samantha Maxwell led the 200 Medley Relay team to victory in the opening event, posting a pool-record 1:43.04 performance. Maxwell later set an individual pool record with a quick 1:02.16 in the 100-yard breaststroke, and picked up a third win in the 200-yard breaststroke with a time of 2:15.04.

Sophomore Lauren Sylvester continued her domination of the distance events with wins in the 500 and 1,000-yard freestyle races, logging times of 5:07.30 and 10:04.97, respectively. Fellow sophomore Katie Casey turned in another multi-win performance for the Irish with firsts in the 100 and 200-yard butterfly races in an impressive 55.33 and 2:01.26, respectively.

Casey, Maxwell and Sylvester also chipped in big wins in the heartbreaker against Northwestern.

After this close loss, Notre Dame (3-2) is gearing up to host the Shamrock Invitational at the Rolfs Aquatic Center from January 23-24. The Invitational is one of two meets remaining before the Big East Tournament in February.