Irish bounce back with tight win over Wildcats
Elizabeth Greason | Tuesday, January 19, 2016
The Irish took down Northwestern, 156.5-143.5, in a closely contested meet Saturday at Rolfs Aquatic Center.
After falling to Virginia, 243-105, on Jan. 9, the Irish bounced back in their third home meet of the season. Junior Katie Miller said she was pleased with the team’s performance Saturday, especially coming off a loss.
“I think it was a great confidence build before heading into the Shamrock Invitational in a few weeks and then the conference meet,” Miller said. “We were all quite surprised with how we were able to raise our game, knowing that it was going to be a close meet with Northwestern.”
The Irish saw particularly strong finishes in the individual races. The squad’s younger members enjoyed a strong meet, with freshmen Ella Moynihan (1:50.74) and Kara Sarazen (1:50.76) placing first and second, respectively, in the 200-yard freestyle. In the 100-yard backstroke, the Irish took three of the top four spots. Junior Catherine Mulquin placed first with a time of 54.71 seconds, followed by senior Catherine Galletti and Miller, who finished third and fourth, respectively.
Though the Irish recorded solid performances in several different races, Miller said Sarazen’s runner-up finish to Moynihan in the 200 free caused a huge swing in momentum.
“Kyra had a great race and was able to pull out second so that we went 1-2,” Miller said. “Seeing Kyra push herself like that really turned some heads and got us all wanting to fight a little bit more after we witnessed a teammate have a great race.”
In addition to the freestyle and backstroke, Notre Dame also swept the podium in the breastroke races, placing first through third in both the 100- and 200-yard races. In the 100 breast, junior Danielle Margheret took the top spot with a time of 1:03.76, while sophomore Sherri McIntee (1:04.01) and freshman Meaghan O’Donnell (1:05.04) claimed second and third, respectively. McIntee (2:17.67) won the the 200, with Margheret (2:18.65) and O’Donnell (2:19.63) close behind.
Even with these performances, the Irish only narrowly edged the Wildcats, who also posted strong finishes. Junior Lacey Locke earned a second NCAA ‘B’ qualification this season for her first-place swim of 1:59.17 in the 200-yard backstroke. Freshman diver Olivia Rosendahl also notched two victories for the Wildcats in the 1-meter and 3-meter events.
Miller said the win against Northwestern gives her high hopes for the team for the rest of the season.
“I hope that we continue to support each other,” Miller said. “If we do that, I believe we will be able to swim faster than we think we can in the next few weeks.”
The Irish dive back into action Jan. 29-30 when they host the Shamrock Invitational at Rolfs Aquatic Center.