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ND Women’s Swimming and Diving: Team has best finals finish ever

Matt Unger | Wednesday, May 15, 2013

With a second-place finish at the Big East championships and the best finish in program history at the NCAA championships, Notre Dame reached new heights this season. 

The Irish had a strong showing at the conference championships in early March, earning 35 all-Big East scrolls, but they fell just short of a title, as they finished second to Louisville.

A few weeks later, the squad took 16th place in a field of 43 schools at the NCAA championships to obtain its highest finish ever at the national college swimming event.

“I think that [our finishes] show a lot about the girls that were there and how far determination and hard work can get you,” sophomore swimmer Emma Reaney said. “We really wanted to prove ourselves on the national stage, and I think we’re beginning to do that.”

Reaney completed a standout season by saving her best performances for the Big East and NCAA championships. At the conference meet, Reaney won six of the seven events she competed in and shattered conference records in 200-yard Individual Medley and 100-yard breaststroke events. For her achievements, she received the Big East’s Most Outstanding Swimmer award.

Her success continued at the NCAA championships, as she earned four All-American honors and finished fifth overall in the 100- and 200-yard breaststroke events.

Meanwhile, the conference’s Most Outstanding Diver award went to senior Jenny Chiang. She became the first diver in Big East history to win championships in the same event four years in a row, as she won four consecutive titles in the 3-meter dive event.

The Irish also bid farewell to another senior diver, Kimmie Lisiak, who competed in the 1- and 3-meter dives throughout her Notre Dame career.

Senior Kim Holden returned from double shoulder surgery in 2011 to earn titles in three events at the conference championships. She set a school record with a time of 52.57 seconds in the 100-yard fly at the Big East championships.

Senior swimmers Gracie Fredlake, Jamie Malandra and Lauren Scott will also graduate from the squad.

The Irish will look to build on the momentum from their success at the NCAA championships as they prepare for next season.

“As far as recruiting, [the success] will bring a lot of very fast girls to look at the team and school that probably wouldn’t have otherwise,” Reaney said. “It’s great to watch this program grow and to be part of it.”

Contact Matt Unger at [email protected]