Women’s Swimming: ND preps for invitational
By Katie Heit | Friday, December 6, 2013
The Irish close out their fall season this weekend with the three-day Hawkeye Invitational in Iowa City.
The Hawkeye Invitational is set up identically to the NCAA Championships, which will give the Irish (4-3) valuable experience before participating in the actual championship in March. Competition at the Hawkeye Invitational begins at 11 a.m. every morning with final heats swimming at 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and at 5 p.m. on Sunday.
The Irish will see a wide range of competition at the event, swimming against Boise State, Denver, Iowa, Nebraska and Washington State. The divers will also be taking on Iowa State. This will be the first time the Irish have faced any of these opponents so far this season, although the Irish diving team is familiar with this arena after competing in the Hawkeye Invitational last season.
Junior diver Allison Casareto said the invitational will be a good chance for the Irish to see how they compete when they face both preliminaries and finals.
“I am looking forward … to learning a lot about our own team and how we perform at such a long meet under the pressure of finals on the horizon,” Casareto said.
Notre Dame enters this meet off four straight wins in dual meets, most recently topping Wisconsin at home on Nov. 16. The Irish won 10 events in that contest, with junior breaststroker Emma Reaney leading the way with three individual victories and a relay win. Casareto also claimed victory in two events.
Reaney and Casareto were named ACC swimmer and diver of the week, respectively, after their meet against Wisconsin. Reaney has already qualified in several events for the NCAA “B” cuts in March.
Casareto said the Irish will need to compete well early in order to make the finals.
“Our diving team goals are to focus on consistency and performing well in prelims,” Casareto said.
Reaney has won ACC Women’s Swimmer of the Week three times so far this season and currently sits in the top 20 nationally in both the 100-yard and the 200-yard breaststroke.
Notre Dame will also be looking to freshman Katie Miller to make a big impact this weekend. Miller took first in the 100-yard backstroke against Wisconsin and has consistently finished at the top this season.
Reaney said the invitational will give the Irish an opportunity to see where they need to improve before championship season.
“This team has put in so much work over the last couple of months,” Reaney said. “This is our first rested meet of the year. Anything could happen and that’s very exciting.”
The Irish are in action at the Hawkeye Invitational beginning today at 11 a.m. in Iowa City.
Contact Katie Heit at [email protected]