Jan. 12, 2018
by Tony Jones
IOWA CITY, Iowa – In its competitive return and 2018 debut, the University of Notre Dame men’s and women’s swimming diving teams opened a tri-dual meet against host Iowa and Illinois with a flurry of race victories on Friday night. The Irish placed first in six of eight events in the non-scoring portion of the meet on day one at the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center.
Rachel Wittmer closed the night as a double-winner for Notre Dame, swimming to wins in the women’s 100 IM and as a member of the 200 freestyle relay. Abbie Dolan added a pair of wins as part of the 200 free and 400 medley relays for the Irish. Kelly Straub contributed the top score during women’s diving off the 1-meter board.
For the Notre Dame men, Rob Whitacre swam to an event win in the 100 IM on Friday’s opening night. Whitacre added runner-up swims with both the 200 free and 400 medley relay teams. Justin Plaschka and Tabahn Afrik also chipped in runner-up results as part of both relay squads.
The final session of the tri-dual competition is slated to begin on Saturday at noon (ET) inside the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center.
Top Irish PerformancesWomen’s 200 Freestyle Relay – The Notre Dame ‘A’ entry of Abbie Dolan, Carly Quast, Rachel Wittmer and Sofia Revilak raced to a race win in 1:33.00. Notre Dame’s ‘B’ lineup of Lauren Heller, Skylar Fore, Kelly Jacob and Nicole Smith touched in with a readout of 1:33.71.
Men’s 200 Freestyle Relay – The Notre Dame ‘A’ entry of Justin Plaschka, Daniel Speers, Rob Whitacre and Tabahn Afrik narrowly missed the race title with a runner-up time of 1:20.87. In fourth place was the Irish ‘B’ lineup of Daniel Fujan, Aaron Schultz, Brendan Santana and Matt Grauslys in 1:23.88.
Women’s 100 IM – Rachel Wittmer led a flurry of Notre Dame finishers with a race win in 56.85. Meaghan O’Donnell placed second with a time of 57.08, and Nicole Smith added a readout of 57.60.
Men’s 100 IM – Rob Whitacre took home the race triumph after clocking a time of 50.81. Nick Milikich reached the wall in 51.73, and David Steward placed fourth in 52.19.
Women’s 400 Medley Relay – Notre Dame swept the evening’s relays with a victory in the 400 medley. Alice Treuth, Meaghan O’Donnell, Erin Sheehan and Abbie Dolan guided the Irish ‘A’ squad with a winning time of 3:42.34. The Notre Dame ‘B’ entry of Carly Quast, Sherri McIntee, Cailey Grunhard and Lauren Heller finished third in 3:46.63.
Men’s 400 Medley Relay – Notre Dame’s ‘A’ lineup of Rob Whitacre, Steven Shek, Justin Plaschka and Tabahn Afrik claimed runner-up honors with a time of 3:18.09. The Irish entry of Jack Montesi, Garrett Clarke, Matt Grauslys and Daniel Speers finished fourth in 3:22.97.
Women’s 1-Meter Diving – Kelly Straub secured a victory for Notre Dame off the 1-meter board, scoring 288.75 points. Erin Isola was the event runner-up with a score of 287.05 points.
Men’s 3-Meter Diving – Joe Coumos was the runner-up off the 3-meter board with a score of 357.95 points.
Tony Jones, athletics communications assistant director at the University of Notre Dame, has been part of the Fighting Irish athletics communications team since 2012 and coordinates all media efforts for the Notre Dame softball, men's soccer and swimming and diving programs. A native of Jamestown, New York, Jones is a 2011 graduate of St. Bonaventure University, and prior to arriving at Notre Dame held positions at the University of Louisiana Monroe and with the National Football League's Buffalo Bills.