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Friday, March 1, 2024
The Observer

Women's Swimming: Irish crush Towson in dual meet

The Irish dominated in the pool this weekend, falling only one point short of school record in a dual meet after they crushed the Towson Tigers 309-60 in the Shamrock Invitational at Rolfs Aquatic Center. 

Notre Dame (3-4) claimed victory in every event in the meet and broke several school records. Senior Kim Holden dropped the Rolfs Aquatic Center record in the 200-yard backstroke by a whole second with a time of 1:57.06. The record was previously set by Indiana's Kate Zubkova in 2008. 

Holden said the key to the win for the Irish was the drive she shared with her teammates. 

"The team committed to racing, despite being tired," Holden said. "We paid attention to our details and really used this meet as a rehearsal for what's to come." 

The 400-yard freestyle relay team of sophomore Emma Reaney, junior Kelly Ryan, freshman Cat Galletti and sophomore Suzanne Bessire broke a 22-year-old record by just under a half second with its time of 1:58:03. 

Reaney said she attributed the success of the team to Irish coach Brian Barnes telling the underclassmen to focus on performing for the seniors .

"We really came together and clicked as a team," Reaney said. "It was senior weekend, and Brian told all of us underclassman to swim for our seniors, and I know that made me want to perform well." 

On the second day of competition, Holden snatched another pool record when she took down the record in the 100-yard backstroke by just over two-tenths of a second.  

In addition to the victories in each individual and team event, four members of the Notre Dame squad swam NCAA B-cut times. Holden made the cut in the 100- and 200-yard backstroke. Junior Lauren Stauder claimed her place in the 100- and 200-yard breaststroke. Reaney's times in the 100-yard butterfly and the 200-yard individual medley put her within B-cut times, as did sophomore Bridget Casey's in the 200-yard butterfly. 

Reaney said the victory indicated good signs for the Irish as the team heads into Big East competition. 

"I think we all surprised ourselves," Reaney said. "We were so tired and hadn't rested in the slightest for this meet, but a lot of our girls were posting times faster than we did at the Ohio State Invite where we were rested. It's a great indication for how Big East is going to go, I think."

The Irish will be back in action Feb. 9 when they travel to Toledo, Ohio, for a meet against Toledo.

Contact Katie Heit at