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ND Women’s Swimming: Irish hold on to second place

Matt Unger | Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Irish could not muster enough points in four events Thursday to keep up with first-place Louisville in the Big East Swimming and Diving championships.

However, the team kept its hold on second place and also saw impressive performances from freshman swimmer Emma Reaney and the 200-yard freestyle relay team.

After trailing Louisville by nine points entering the day, the Irish concluded Thursday with 212 points, well behind the Cardinals’ 304-point total. While the defending champion Cardinals appear headed toward a second straight Big East title, the Irish still remain 12 points ahead of West Virginia for second place.

The most impressive Irish swim of the day came from Reaney in the 200-yard individual medley. Reaney dominated the field in the event finals, winning in 1:56.42, more than three seconds clear of second place.

The time was Reaney’s personal best on the season for that event and fell just less than a quarter of a second shy of the automatic qualifying NCAA A-cut time.

Meanwhile, the closest women’s finish on the day occurred between Louisville and Notre Dame in the 200-yard free relay. The team of senior Amy Prestinario, junior Lauren Scott, sophomore Kelly Ryan and freshman Hannah Bowen finished just .22 seconds behind first-place Louisville in an exciting finish.

The Irish suffered in the team points category as none of their swimmers placed in the top eight of the 50-yard and 500-yard freestyle events. However, Bowen and Prestinario finished ninth and 10th respectively in the 50-yard freestyle, which were the top two places in the consolation bracket.

The events on Thursday marked the second of four days for the swimming portion of the Big East Swimming and Diving championships. The Irish will face their busiest day of the Big East championships today, with five individual events and one relay race at Trees Pool in Pittsburgh. Preliminary races begin at 10 a.m. with the finals occurring at 6 p.m.