Irish travel southwest for Texas Invite without Reaney
Zach Klonsinski | Wednesday, December 3, 2014
After a three-week hiatus from competition, Notre Dame heads southwest to Austin, Texas, today through Saturday to participate in the Texas Invitational.
The Irish previously swam four events in the first two weeks of November before breaking for practice and the Thanksgiving holiday, Irish interim coach Tim Welsh said.
“We had two and a half really good weeks of practice,” Welsh said. “We trained as well as we have the entire fall. We got some sleep over Thanksgiving, so it was a good period of preparation for us.”Welsh said this invitational would give him his first look at how his team has improved with all that preparation, especially as the end of the semester approaches and their academic workload increases.
“Obviously we’re about to find out,” Welsh said. “The challenge of being both a student and an athlete is pretty intense, and the fact that people are able to do it all just continues to baffle me. But our team has done a great job of handling both halves.”
Notre Dame will be without the services of its best swimmer, senior Emma Reaney, who is overseas competing in the FINA Short Course World Championships in Doha, Qatar. Reaney is competing for Team USA in the 50-, 100-, and 200-yard breaststroke events. The championships began yesterday, where Reaney was the second-youngest qualifier for the 50-yard breaststroke finals, which will be held today.
Reaney has been one of the four mainstays in Notre Dame’s 200-yard medley relay team along with sophomore Catherine Mulquin, junior Catherine Galletti and senior Courtney Whyte. The absence of Reaney will certainly be felt, Welsh said, but the Irish plan on filling her spot by committee.
“[We’ll plug in] the next fastest breaststroker,” Welsh said. “We don’t know who that is yet. The way the meet is set up, we’ll have a chance to see everybody swim before we have to declare our relay for the night, and we’ll just try to go with the four people who look like they’re swimming the fastest.
“We’re all behind Emma and hope she does a great job over there.”
Welsh said he is keeping the team’s goals for this meet extremely simple.
“Be faster than we’ve been all year,” Welsh said. “The name of the game is to keep improving, so that’s our emphasis going down there. If we had a couple of giant steps forward that would be great, but we just want to keep improving. … Catherine Mulquin has been swimming real well. [Catherine] Galletti has been swimming real well. [Freshman] Katie Miller has as well of late. [Senior] Bridget Casey has been doing real well.
“We aren’t real focused on one event, but we hope there are a lot that turn out real well.”
The meet will feature preliminaries and finals of a third of the events today and will be similarly broken down over the next two days. The action at the Lee & Joe Jamall Texas Swimming Center in Austin, Texas, is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m.