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Saturday, March 2, 2024
The Observer

Reaney wins individual title at ACC championship

Senior Emma Reaney earned a first-place finish in the 100-yard breaststroke, powering Notre Dame to a sixth-place finish at the ACC championships in Atlanta last week.

The Irish earned 644 points and achieved 15 NCAA 'B' cut times, while Reaney secured NCAA 'A' cuts in both the 100-yard and 200-yard breaststroke, guaranteeing her place at the national championships in Greensboro, North Carolina, next month.

Irish interim coach Tim Welsh said he was impressed by the effort and determination the team showed throughout the meet.

“We’re the Fighting Irish, and we spent the meet fighting to improve,” Welsh said. “It was not easy, but it was a gritty, gutsy performance, and we got better each day, so I was very proud of what they did.”

Reaney, an All-American, successfully defended her ACC title in the 100-yard breaststroke. However, she failed to repeat in the 200-yard breaststroke, losing by .21 of a second, and in the 200-yard individual medley, in which she was second to touch the wall but was disqualified due to a stroke violation during the transition from backstroke to breaststroke.

Although Reaney failed to match her three titles from last year, Welsh said she swam well.

“Her two breaststroke swims, they were both her fastest time of the year; they were both NCAA 'A' cuts, so that was very good stuff,” Welsh said. “Any time you go the fastest you’ve been all year that’s a good thing.

“The beautiful thing about Emma is that she is such an honest person, and she has such a sense of fair play. The call was the right call; she told us it was was the right call as soon as it was made, and she refused to let anyone have any peeves about it. It was just, ‘That was the right call, I made a mistake, let’s go on.’”

Welsh also said, Reaney’s times aside, that Notre Dame’s performance relied on the whole team’s efforts.

“Everyone who travelled — whether that was for an individual event or on the diving boards or in a relay — everyone who travelled scored,” Welsh said.  “That’s what I mean by gritty and gutsy. It took everyone out there throwing their guts out to help Notre Dame and to do well themselves. It was a total team performance.”

Other standout performances included senior Courtney Whyte’s seventh-place finish in the 200-yard butterfly, sophomore Katie Miller’s eighth-place in the 400-yard individual medley and junior Catherine Galletti finishing ninth in the 100-yard butterfly. The Irish 400-yard medley relay team finished fourth overall, while the 200-yard medley and 400-yard freestyle relay teams both earned seventh-place finishes.

On the boards, junior Lindsey Streepey finished fourth in the 3-meter and seventh in the 1-meter, while senior Allison Casareto finished eighth in the 3-meter and 10th in the 1-meter event.

The Irish will enter the pool one last time this year before the NCAA championships, at the Boiler-Make-It Last Chance Meet at Purdue, starting at 12 p.m. Saturday.