March 1, 2017
By Sinhue Mendoza
ATLANTA – The No. 19 Notre Dame men's swimming team moved up to third place after a top-five finish in the 400 medley relay, Wednesday’s final race at the 2017 ACC Championships.
The Irish (614 points) find themselves in a neck-and-neck race with Virginia Tech (611) going into the final day of competition. Notre Dame, which broke four more school records, is within striking distance of the program’s first-ever ACC medal.
The Irish Relays broke their fourth program relay record in the championships with a time of 3:07.99 in the 400 medley relay. The foursome of Robby Whitacre, Trent Jackson, Justin Plaschka and Daniel Speers put the Irish in third place going into the competition’s last day. The previous school record was set in 2014.
Backing In For The Record
Robby Whitacre’s 100 backstroke time of 46.53 in the morning prelims broke the previous school record set by Matthew Buerger in 2014. Whitacre swam it 46.90 in the evening A Final and placed seventh.
Trent Jackson finished fourth in the 100 breaststroke after clocking a swim of 52.25 in the A Final. The time bested the existing Irish record set in 2015 by Zachary Stephens. Jackson broke the school record in the morning prelims as well with a time of 52.44. The swim earned him an NCAA B-Cut.
Record By Flying
Justin Plaschka came in fourth in the 100 butterfly with a time of 46.19 in the evening A Final. Plaschka’s time was an NCAA B-Cut and broke his own personal record set in 2016.
Strong at Seventh
Reed Fujan earned key points for the Irish following a seventh-place finish in the 200 freestyle. He tapped the wall at 1:35.09 in the A Final. Fujan’s time was an NCAA B-Cut standard and the points were crucial to Notre Dame’s ascension in the overall standings.
Every Notre Dame swimmers notched B-cut times in the 400 IM. Kevin Bradley came in 12th overall and fifth in the B-Final with a time of 3:48.24. Tommy Anderson was right behind in 13th overall and sixth in the B-Final with a time of 3:48.56.
COACH LITZINGER'S THOUGHTS
On his team’s effort…
"Thought we could have swum a little bit better but it's a meet and we have to be ready for every session."
On the potential of Notre Dame earning an ACC medal for first time in program history...
"We're looking at it as a dual meet between us and Virginia Tech. We’re three and four. Regardless how it turns out we were seventh in this meet last year and now we're fighting for third. I'm not going to claim victory by any means but our guys have put forth a heck of an effort. We just need to learn how to close it out tomorrow."
On what has stood out to him...
"Justin Plaschka, Robby Whitacre and Trent Jackson continue to lead our team in their respective disciplines. I appreciate all of our guys efforts but we have some young guys here. We have freshmen that are swimming against seniors who have been through the ringer and they're showing up and doing some good work for us.”
DAY 3 NOTES
- Richard Mannix improved on his seed time in the 400 IM of 4:00.30 by swimming a B-Cut time of 3:49.20 in the C-Final.
- Nick Milikich swam the C-Final in the 400 IM in 3:51.62 -- a B-Cut and best time of the season.
- Joe Turk’s C-Final time of 3:52.89 in the 400 IM was a B-Cut time and his best of the season.
- Jack Montesi competed in the C-Final of the 100 fly and swam an NCAA B-Cut time of 47.54.
- Matt Grauslys tapped in at 47.41 in the C Final of the 100 fly and clocked an NCAA B-Cut.
- Every Irish swimmer who competed in the 200 free made the finals. One A finalist, two B finalists and one C finalist. Each swimmer also had an NCAA B-cut standard.
- Montesi’s time of 47.42 in the B Final of the 100 back was an NCAA B-Cut.
- Grauslys made the B-Final in the 100 back and tapped in a B-Cut time of 48.27.
The Irish men head into the final day of swimming in the 2017 ACC Championships Thursday. Morning prelims get started at 10 a.m. while evening final’s action gets started at 6 p.m.
Notre Dame faithful can follow the team’s run in Atlanta through the Live Link and ACC Network Extra, which will cover the final day of the 2017 ACC Men’s Swimming Championships from 6-8:30 p.m.
Supporters can also follow live results of the week’s action on the team’s Twitter account, @NDMensswimdive, with a complete recap posted to und.com at the conclusion of the meet.