The Observer is a student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame, Saint Mary's & Holy Cross. Learn about us.



ND Women’s Swimming and Diving: Prestinario serves as model for young team

Matt Unger | Tuesday, February 7, 2012

On a squad where youth dominates the roster, senior swimmer and co-captain Amy Prestinario has managed to post impressive results in the pool and hold a strong leadership role outside of it.

Prestinario and fellow co-captain junior Emily Barton have welcomed an increased leadership role on a squad that features only two seniors on a roster of 23 swimmers.

In the pool, Prestinario, a freestyle swimmer, recently capped off the last dual meet of her Irish career with two wins in Muncie, Ind., against Ball State. She took first place in the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 24.46 seconds and won the 100-yard freestyle in 52.33 seconds. Prestinario also raced a leg for the 200-yard free relay team, which won its race by just over a second.

Outside of the pool, Prestinario earns praise and respect from her teammates.

“She’s a very good role model, especially for a team with a lot of freshmen on it,” junior diver Jenny Chiang said. “When she says something she means it and has a tremendous work ethic. She’s also a person who’s fun to be around.”

Throughout her four-year Irish career, the senior psychology major has delivered strong performances in freestyle and relay races. She has amassed all-Big East honors in each of her first three seasons.

During her freshman season, Prestinario earned honors as a member of the 400- and 800-yard freestyle relay squads, which placed third and first respectively at the conference meet. After earning additional honors for two relay teams during her sophomore campaign, Prestinario took home individual all-Big East honors in her junior year in the 50- and 100-yard freestyle races.

She was also a member of the Big East-champion 400-yard freestyle relay squad.

Prestinario and the Irish compete in the Big East Swimming and Diving championships over the next two weekends in Pittsburgh. The divers will compete Friday through Sunday, while the swimmers hit the pool from Feb. 15-18 for a chance at winning the Big East title.