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NCAA Div. I Women: Notre Dame Beats Pitt -- December 7, 2002

PITTSBURGH, Penn., December 7. THE 19th-ranked Notre Dame women's swimming and diving team easily defeated Pittsburgh on Saturday afternoon at Trees Pool by a final score of 195-105. Notre Dame improves to 3-1-1 on the season, while the Panthers fall to 1-4.

Saturday's meet began with the 1-meter and 3-meter diving events and Notre Dame's Meghan Perry-Eaton won both with scores of 260.33 and 250.80, respectively. Pittsburgh's Colleen Kristobak finished in second place on both boards with scores of 224.85 in the 1-meter competition and 221.63 on the 3-meter board.

The first swimming event was won by the Panthers' 400 medley relay team of Carolyne Savini, Ryan Redman, Kelli Tielking, and Jenny Livingstone with a season-best time of 3:48.38, over a second faster than the Fighting Irish's top team of Danielle Hulick, Laurie Musgrave, Lisa Garcia and Heidi Hendrick, who finished in 3:49.41.

Notre Dame finished 1-2 in the next three events, scoring victories in the 1000 freestyle (Marie Labosky, 10:05.93), 200 freestyle (Sarah Alwen, 1:53.38), and the 100 backstroke (Danielle Hulick, 57.30). Labosky finished well ahead of teammate Kelli Barton who was second with a time of 10:10.53 in the 1,000.

Alwen, who started to concentrate more on the freestyle races this year, continued her impressive fall with her victory in the 200 free. Alwen edged out freshman teammate Christel Bouvron whol posted a time of 1:53.91. The Irish then took the top three spots in the 100 back with Hulick finishing first, followed by sophomore Kristen Peterson, who is still recovering from mono, in 59.23 and freshman Kara Santelli in third at 59.83.

Freshman Courtney Choura and Musgrave placed second and third respectively in the 100 breaststroke. Choura's time was 1:05.14, followed by Musgrave in 1:05.43.

Garcia got nine more points for Notre Dame with a win in the 200 butterfly. Her time of 2:02.93 was over three seconds faster than teammate Amy Deger, who was second in 2:05.99. Pittsburgh's Jennifer Koch finished third with a time of 2:06.58.

In a closely-contested race, Livingstone beat out Hendrick of Notre Dame in the 50 freestyle, touching the wall in 24.13 seconds, a quarter of a second faster than Hendrick. She got her revenge, however, in the 100 freestyle with a first-place finish (52.22 seconds), while Livingstone finished third with a time of 52.66 seconds. Irish sophomore Katie Eckholt was second in 52.49.

Notre Dame scored two more victories in the 200 backstroke and 200 breaststroke, with wins by Labosky (200 back, 2:03.37) and Musgrave (200 breast, 2:21.36). Alwen placed second to Labosky with a time of 2:05.19, while Choura was just touched out by Musgrave with a time of 2:21.69.

Notre Dame took the top three places in the 100 butterfly as Garcia won here third race of the day (55.95). Bouvron, a 2000 Olympian, was second in 57.72, while Deger was third in 57.76.

Labosky got her third win on the day in the 200 IM (2:05.15) to widen the Fighting Irish lead, while Garcia was third in the event in 2:05.92. Deger was fourth (2:07.50) and Choura fifth (2:10.07).

In the afternoon's final event, Notre Dame won the 400 freestyle medley relay as the team of Alwen, Hulick, Eckholt and Hendrick was first with a time of 3:27.95, nearly seven seconds faster than the Panthers' top team.