Irish grab second at Stark Relays
Rebecca Rogalski | Sunday, October 12, 2014
No. 24 Notre Dame took second place in the Dennis Stark Relays, scoring 184 points to defeat Illinois State (138 points) and Olivet Nazarene (92 points) but finishing behind No. 16 Ohio State (194 points) in Friday’s competition at Rolfs Aquatic Center.
The Irish (1-0) captured three victories, taking a top spot in the 300-yard butterfly relay, 1-meter diving relay and the 3-meter synchronized diving. Junior divers Lindsey Streepey and Emma Gaboury won the 1-meter diving relay before claiming first place in the 3-meter synchronized diving event.
American record holder and senior Emma Reaney paired with seniors Courtney Whyte and Bridget Casey to create the highlight event of the day, taking the top prize in the 300 fly relay with a time of 2:48.49. Reaney pushed through and dominated the second lap of the relay, giving Notre Dame the lead. Casey out-touched Ohio State in the final leg to win the event for the Irish.
“We all loved the finish of the 300 fly relay,” Irish interim coach Tim Welsh said. “It took all three team members to do it, too. Bridget’s finish was absolutely wonderful. She is a true team player and a very hard worker as well. Anchoring that relay for a win was wonderful for the team and for her, too.”
Junior Genevieve Bradford and sophomore Katie Miller ended the relays with four runner-up titles apiece. Casey added an additional two runner-ups to her first-place finish in the 300 fly relay.
“I am so proud of the team spirit on this squad,” Welsh said. “Though you compete in many cases on an individual level, relays are still team events. It was very positive to see and hear the team camaraderie, encouragement and cheering throughout the relays.”
With two successful meets so far this season, Welsh said he hopes the team can only keep progressing as it heads into future competitions.
“I think we have a better sense of our identity as a team now that we have had two meets,” Welsh said. “All of the swimmers were able to race on Friday, which was great for the girls in terms of experience and competition. Our divers even dove very well.”
The Irish head south this weekend, competing against Georgia Tech and South Carolina on Friday in Atlanta and facing Auburn and Vanderbilt on Saturday in Auburn, Alabama.
“I think that we will be tested in both swimming and diving when we go on the road this week,” Welsh said. “Though it will be a challenge, I have faith that our swimmers and divers will perform exceptionally well.”