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ND Women’s Swimming and Diving: Notre Dame wins two of four at Invitational

Victoria James | Sunday, January 30, 2011

Notre Dame closed the Shamrock Invitational with a 2-2 split Saturday, beating Denver and Iowa and losing to Ohio State and Northwestern on the team’s Senior Day.

The Irish (4-7) defeated Denver by a final score of 253-117 and Iowa by a tally of 264-104. But Ohio State outscored Notre Dame 197.5-166.5, and Northwestern overpowered the Irish 193.5-176.5 for its second victory over Notre Dame this season.

Sophomore Kim Holden and senior Samantha Maxwell led the Notre Dame offensively in the pool.

Holden won both the 100- and 200-yard backstroke races and placed second in the 100-yard butterfly. She also swam legs in the first-place 400-yard medley relay and second-placed 200-yard medley relay.

“Kim is a superstar. She works hard every day, and it shows when she races. She goes out there and gives it everything she has and steps up and gets the job done every time,” senior Kellyn Kuhlke said. “We’re all really confident in her, and I think she’s definitely gaining a lot more confidence.

She’s just a good teammate, and we love to watch her race.”

Maxwell also put in an outstanding performance, winning the 100-yard breaststroke and 200- yard breaststroke with NCAA B-cut times. Maxwell also swam in 400- and 200-yard medley relays.

Freshman Kelly Ryan and junior Amy Prestinario finished out the 400-yard relay squad, while Holden, Maxwell and Prestinario teamed up with sophomore Lauren Scott for the 200-yard medley.

The relays stood out as some of the most exciting events of the weekend. In addition to the 200- and 400-yard medley relays, the 400-yard free relay of Ryan, senior Lauren Parisi, Scott and Prestinario performed well, finishing in a tie for second. The 400- and 800-yard free relays both finished in third.

“I think our relays showed a lot of potential. We had a lot of contenders in all of our relays, so it was very competitive,” Holden said.

Meanwhile, sophomore Jenny Chiang and senior Heidi Grossman dominated the diving competition. The duo took first and second, respectively, in the three-meter diving competition Friday with scores of 307.55 and 306.95. Chiang followed up the impressive showing with a second place finish in the one-meter, scoring 290.81 points. Grossman was close behind, finishing in third with a score of 290.20.

“Chiang is a rockstar,” Kuhlke said. “I know she and Heidi Grossman always battle it out and come away with good performances.”

The Irish aren’t going to let their losses to Ohio State and Northwestern discourage them as they head into the championship season. Instead, they say they are looking forward to a possible rematch against these competitors, only this time on a larger stage.

“Hopefully we’ll see a few of them at the NCAA’s,” Holden said.

The Irish will take on Ball State in the season’s final home meet Saturday at 1 p.m.