March 10, 2017
By Sinhue Mendoza
NOTRE DAME, Indiana -- The No. 19 University of Notre Dame men's swimming and diving team had eight swimmers qualify for the 2017 NCAA Division I Men's Swimming and Diving Championships. The Irish have not qualified more student-athletes for the NCAAs since 2013 when the program sent a school-record nine.
Four Notre Dame swimmers will compete in individual races and four more will join the squad in relays. The championships will be held March 22-25 at the IU Natatorium in Indianapolis.
Freshman Daniel Speers, junior Justin Plaschka, junior Robert Whitacre and senior Trent Jackson will compete in eight individual contests. Freshman Aaron Schultz, sophomore Tabahn Afrik, junior Benjamin Jany and senior Reed Fujan will race in the relays.
A total of 322 participants (281 swimmers and 41 divers) will compete in the championships. Swimmers qualified for the championships by meeting the established minimum time for the events in which they entered. Divers will be determined by performances at the Zone Diving Meets held March 6-11. The complete list of swimmers competing in the championships is available at www.usaswimming.org/ncaa. Selected divers will be announced Sunday, March 12.
THE IRISH HEADED TO INDY
Daniel Speers: 50 free, 100 free, 200 medley relay, 400 medley relay, 200 free relay, 400 free relay.
Justin Plaschka: 50 free, 100 free 100 fly, 200 medley relay, 400 medley relay, 200 free relay, 400 free relay.
Robby Whitacre: 200 IM, 100 back, 200 back, 200 medley relay, 400 medley relay.
Trent Jackson: 100 breast, 200 breast, 200 medley relay, 400 medley relay.
Relay swimmers: Aaron Schultz, Tabahn Afrik, Benjamin Jany, Reed Fujan.
200 medley relay: Daniel Speers, Justin Plaschka, Robby Whitacre, Trent Jackson.
400 medley relay: Justin Plaschka, Daniel Speers, Robby Whitacre, Trent Jackson,
200 free relay: Daniel Speers, Justin Plaschka, Tabahn Afrik, Reed Fujan.
400 free relay: Daniel Speers, Justin Plaschka, Tabahn Afrik, Reed Fujan.
800 free relay: Benjamin Jany, Aaron Schultz, Tabahn Afrik, Reed Fujan.
COACH LITZINGER'S THOUGHTS
On his men's squad going to the national championships...
"This is a great group of men that we've qualified for the NCAA Championships. We're one of only 13 teams in the country to have all five of our relays qualify and we're in a great position to swim really well. "
On his individual swimmers...
"Having four individual qualifiers in all four disciplines; free, fly, back and breast really says a lot about the depth and quality of our team. This is shaping up to be an exciting championship for Notre Dame."
THE BRONZE IRISH
Notre Dame continued its renascent 2016-17 campaign when it made history by earning third place at the 2017 ACC Championships. It was the first podium finish for the Irish since they joined the ACC in 2014. Notre Dame finished with 923.5 points -- the most for the Irish at the ACC Championships in school history.
Notre Dame earned two bronze relay medals (200 medley relay and 400 free relay). The Irish also earned two individual silver medals. Afrik earned silver in the 100 free, while Plaschka captured silver in the 50 free.
HOW TO FOLLOW
ESPN3.com will stream the finals sessions live on Friday and Saturday. Wednesday's evening session, Thursday's sessions along with the morning sessions on Friday and Saturday will be streamed live on NCAA.com and indianasportscorp.org/ncaasd. Additionally, ESPNU will air a broadcast via tape delay at 5 p.m. ET, Wednesday, April 5. Live results for the championships will be available on NCAA.com.
Notre Dame fans 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.