Trio to represent Notre Dame at NCAA championships
Benjamin Padanilam | Thursday, March 19, 2015
Notre Dame will have a trio of seniors representing the team at the NCAA championships, as swimmers Emma Reaney and Courtney Whyte and diver Allison Casareto will comprise the Irish contingent in Greensboro, North Carolina.
Both Casareto and Reaney qualified for the meet outright, whereas Whyte was selected off the alternate list for the meet. Reaney, in what will be her fourth consecutive appearance at the NCAA championships, will look to defend her national championship in the 200-yard breaststroke. Reaney — the American record-holder in the event — will also compete in the 100-yard breaststroke and the 200-yard individual medley. She qualified for these events after making the ‘A’ cut time at the ACC championships a month ago. Irish head coach Tim Welsh praised Reaney’s preparation heading into the last meet of her collegiate career.
“Emma’s a rockstar,” Welsh said. “She’s done a great job. She keeps focused and is very, very deliberate about how she prepares. She’s very energetic, and she’s been focused on this meet ever since last year.”
Whyte, on the other hand, met the ‘B’ cut mark in the 200-yard butterfly at the ACC championships, which did not qualify her outright for the NCAA championships. She qualified for the national championships from the alternate list, and Welsh said his senior is deserving of the spot amongst college swimming’s elite.
“She’s worked hard for this, and I’m very happy for her,” Welsh said.
Casareto, the only Irish diver to qualify for the NCAA championships, won her bids through the NCAA Zone C meet, the regional qualifier that Notre Dame’s divers attended two weeks ago. In what will be her first NCAA championships appearance, Casareto will compete in both the 1-meter and 3-meter dives, and Welsh said he is very impressed with the progress she has made over her career to get to this point.
“Allison has been trying to [qualify for the NCAA championships] for four years, and now she’s made it to this meet in her last year,” Welsh said. “It’s really wonderful to see a senior that keeps improving. It’s a tribute to her hard work and her focus, and I’m really happy for her that she’s here.”
The common denominator for Reaney, Casareto, and Whyte is that all three are seniors competing in their final meet as members of the Irish. Welsh said he believes this serves as a testament to the type of leadership the team had this year.
“I think it’s a tribute to the senior leadership that the team enjoyed all season long,” Welsh said. “It shows when we have three seniors representing us at the biggest meet of the year.”
The Irish trio will take to the pool one final time for this season at the NCAA championships in Greensboro, North Carolina. The meet will begin today and last through Saturday.