Irish score two big wins on Senior Day
Daniel O'Boyle | Tuesday, February 3, 2015
Notre Dame recorded 17 wins and broke five pool records at Rolfs Aquatic Center Friday and Saturday, as the Irish conquered both Incarnate Word and Iowa in the Shamrock Invitational.
The Irish (6-9) defeated the Cardinals by a score of 292-62 and the Hawkeyes, 282.5-87.5, while the team’s eight seniors were also honored for Senior Day.
Senior All-American Emma Reaney lowered her own pool records in the 200-yard individual medley and the 200-yard breaststroke, while junior Catherine Galletti broke the pool record in the 100-yard butterfly. Reaney and Galetti also teamed up with sophomore Catherine Mulquin and senior Courtney White to break the pool record in both the 200-yard and 400-yard medley relays. The Irish added wins in 12 other events, including two diving victories for senior Allison Casareto and wins in the 200-yard, 400-yard and 800-yard freestyle relays.
Irish interim coach Tim Welsh said the team’s performance was not at all surprising to him.
“We had a great meet from start to finish,” Welsh said. “The intensity and the focus all came from within, so it was all the team’s preparation, their excitement, their enthusiasm. I think that the credit for how well they swam all goes to them. They did a great job of preparing and a great job of being ready to go. I’m really proud of them this weekend.”
Welsh also said the record-breaking times were a highlight of the event.
“This pool is thirty years old, so if you set a pool record in this pool, that covers a lot of races,” Welsh said.
The other wins for the Irish went to Mulquin in the 50-yard and 100-yard freestyle, Reaney in the 100-yard breaststroke, Galletti in the 100-yard backstroke, Whyte in the 200-yard butterfly, sophomore Elizabeth House in the 200-yard freestyle and sophomore Katie Miller in the 200-yard backstroke. The Irish also claimed 11 NCAA ‘B’ cut times — four from Reaney, two from Mulquin and Galletti and one each from Whyte, senior Bridget Casey and freshman Sherri McIntee.
Welsh said he was especially impressed by the performances of the senior class, which was honored Saturday of the invitational.
“Senior Day always adds excitement,” Welsh said. “If you look at the seniors in particular, they swam well, and a lot of time as they approach the end of their career, seniors want to make sure they give it everything they’ve got and I think we saw that this weekend.
“A lot of parents were here, and we love it when parents come. That always adds more excitement. I think the whole ambience of the meet with all the parents really adds to everyone’s enthusiasm.”
Welsh said that, despite the team’s success, there is still room for improvement in every event before the conference championships later this month.
“We want to improve at the ACC championship,” Welsh said. “This coming weekend is our last chance to prep for the conference meet. I think we want to be faster at every event than we were this weekend.”
The Irish next take to the pool Saturday at noon, when they face Cleveland State at Rolfs Aquatic Center.