NOTRE DAME, IND, October 2. SOPHOMORE Katie Carroll (Toledo, Ohio/Notre Dame Academy) opened the season in auspicious form for the Lady Irish with an NCAA consideration time 4:22.93 in the 400 IM in an exhibition heat that opened a double duty day for the Irish.
In the afternoon Notre Dame picked up a duel meet win over Evansville (161-54), and in the evening they won the 21st edition of the Dennis Stark Relays (DSR) with 260 points, while Illinois State took second in the eight-team field with 204.
Notre Dame set the only DSR record in the 800 free relay, with sophomores Ellen Johnson (Toledo, Ohio/Notre Dame Academy) and Ann Barton (Scottsdale, Ariz./Desert Mountain H.S.), junior Christel Bouvron (Singapore, Singapore/Reffles Girls' Secondary School), and freshman Laura Stafford (Georgetown, Grand Cayman/Cayman Prep & H.S.) posting a time of 7:51.84, breaking the mark of 7:53.38 set last year.
Of the 36 competitors on the Irish roster, 26 registered at least one victory on Friday in the Rolfs Aquatic Center.
Notre Dame's diving squad again appears poised to be a force this season, as fifth-year senior Meghan Perry-Eaton (Brandon, Fla./Bloomingdale H.S.) – who finished third at last year's NCAA meet in the one-meter competition – swept the diving events in the dual meet. The Irish senior began her season where she left off in 2003-04, as her scores of 305.48 in three-meter competition and 276.45 off the lower springboard were good enough for victories. Last season, Perry-Eaton was defeated only one time prior to the NCAA zone meet.
Two rookies swept the diving in the relay meet. Laura Rings (Gahanna, Ohio/Columbus School for Girls) and Tara Hyer (Tampa, Fla./Academy of the Holy Names) teamed up to win both the three-meter synchronized diving competition and the one-meter diving relay event in the evening. Hyer is the younger sister of Sean Hyer, 1994 Notre Dame alum, who is still a school record holder on the men’s side.
On Friday Notre Dame also began its quest for a ninth consecutive BIG EAST Conference title in East Meadow, N.Y., from Feb. 17-19, as 17 of its student-athletes posted automatic qualifying times for the league championships.
Meghan Perry-Eaton (1-meter, 3-meter)
Katie Carroll (400 IM, 200 fly)
Ellen Johnson (200 free, 200 back)
Natalie Burke (100 breast, 200 breast)
Tara Hyer (1-meter diving)
Brooke Taylor (400 IM)
Kelli Barton (400 IM)
Kelli Battle (400 IM)
Jessica Stephens (200 IM)
Kiley Gooch (200 IM)
Caroline Johnson (100 free)
Kristen Peterson (200 back)
Noemie Brand (200 back)
Ann Barton (200 back)
Georgia Healey (200 breast)
Katie Hopkins (200 breast)
Abby Strang (500 free).
In addition, six other Irish competitors notched BIG EAST "B" times.
It will be nearly a month before the Irish jump back into the pool for another competitive meet, as they return to action on Oct. 29 for a dual meet against both Purdue and Arizona State in West Lafayette, Ind., at 6 p.m. (EST).