Feb. 22, 2018
by Tony Jones
GREENSBORO, N.C. – With a pair of program records and an NCAA qualifying time under its belt on Thursday, the University of Notre Dame men’s swimming and diving team firmly established itself in fifth place at the 2018 Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Swimming and Diving Championships.
The No. 19 Irish sit at 393.50 points, within striking distance of second place Florida State at 460.50 points. Freshman Zach Yeadon led the way in Thursday racing with a runner-up finish in a Notre Dame record time of 4:12.74 in the 500 freestyle, while Rob Whitacre added a fourth-place 200 IM swim in 1:44.06.
The third day of the 2018 ACC Championships is set to commence on Friday at 10 a.m. (ET), with preliminary heats of the 100 butterfly taking place at the Greensboro Aquatic Pavilion.
Coach Litzinger Said“It was a fantastic night for our guys. Two Notre Dame records and an NCAA A-standard in the 200 free relay has put us square in a fight for second place.”
“We got off to a very fast start in the 500 free with all of our athletes improving their prelim times. Zach Yeadon led the way with a terrific race to place second with a Notre Dame record.”
“Our 200 IM swims found us continuing the trend. Aaron Schultz had a gutsy race for ninth and improved his time to 1:44.30 for third all-time at Notre Dame. Rob Whitacre took fourth with an incredible 1:44.06 that was just .06 off the Notre Dame record, a fantastic effort.”
“Daniel Speers took charge in the 50 fee ‘B’ final with a 19.48 and inspired Justin Plaschka to a new Notre Dame top time of 19.30.”
“Our 200 free relay finished fourth and made the NCAA A-standard, which is very important as it will vault our relays into the postseason.”
“We have a great day set up for tomorrow, with some of our strongest events. I am very proud of this group and we will continue to press forward as this meet continues.”
Top Irish PerformancesMen’s 500 Freestyle – Zach Yeadon swam his way to a silver medal with a 2017 NCAA invitation time of 4:12.74, breaking his own school record by more than two seconds. Richard Mannix placed 14th with an NCAA B-cut of 4:20.30 in the ‘B’ final, while Sadler McKeen was 18th with an NCAA B-cut time of 4:19.28 in the ‘C’ final.
Men’s 200 IM – Rob Whitacre nearly posted a Notre Dame record in the ‘A’ final, taking fourth place with a 2017 NCAA invitation time of 1:44.06. Aaron Schultz finished ninth with a 2017 invitation time of 1:44.30, while Nick Milikich finished 20th with a time of 1:46.57 (NCAA B-cut of 1:46.44 in the prelims) and Steven Shek 22nd with an NCAA B-cut time of 1:46.84.
Men’s 50 Freestyle – Justin Plaschka re-wrote his own program record during the event final with a 2017 NCAA invitational time of 19.30 for fourth place. Daniel Speers placed ninth with an NCAA B-cut time of 19.48.
Men’s 200 Freestyle Relay – The Notre Dame entry of Justin Plaschka, Daniel Speers, Aaron Schultz and Tabahn Afrik swam an NCAA A-cut of 1:17.61 for fourth place.
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.