May 17, 2016
By Lizzie Mikes
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – With a new coaching dynamic, and two teams merging to one program, University of Notre Dame head swimming coach Mike Litzinger has moved forward full steam ahead in preparing his team for 2016-17. Litzinger and eight members of next year’s team traveled to Charlotte, North Carolina over the weekend, to compete at the Arena Pro Swim Series meet.
Women’s team alumna Emma Reaney (class of 2015) joined Kyra Sarazen, Trent Jackson, Catherine Mulquin, Alice Treuth, Sofia Revilak, Matthew Grauslys, Justin Plaschka and Kevin Bradley all swam in the Arena meet, held at the Mecklenberg County Aquatics Center. Each Irish swimmer advanced in at least one event they swam to the finals.
“The Arena Pro Series is a series of meets that USA Swimming sponsors throughout the year,” Litzinger explained. “It’s a FINA-organized competition, and what that means is you can qualify for World Championships, the Olympics, and a National Team for your country – the meet is recognized by the world swimming body. And it’s important for us to attend these types of meets because in our case, we have two athletes – Justin Plaschka and Sofia Revilak – that can represent another country in international competitions, and they need to get swims under their belt at these meets. The other reason to swim at these meets is to qualify more people for Olympic Trials, or improve seed-times for the Trials meet, both of which we did.”
Sarazen (North Hampton, N.H. / backstroke, freestyle) was the first swimmer in the water for the women’s 200m freestyle prelims on Friday, finishing 34th overall (2:06.44). She also dove in for the 100m back, finish 19th (1:03.21 finals, 1:03.83 prelims), and placed 13th in the 200m back – clocking in at 2:18.29 in the prelims, and 2:17.41 in the finals. Sarazen also swam the 200m IM in 2:22.82, good for 30th in the prelims.
Reaney (Lawrence, Kan. / breaststroke, IM) swam a preliminary time of 1:11.19 in the 100m breast, advancing to the B final where she finished in 10th place (1:10.55). She also swam in the 100m fly, touching in at 1:03.56 in the preliminaries, and went on to finish 14th in the 200m breast (2:33.06 finals, 2:32.78 prelims) before taking sixth in the 200m IM (2:17.41 finals, 2:17.00 prelims).
“I was really pleased with Emma’ individual medley swim,” Litzinger commented. “She’s certain been faster in the breaststroke races this year, and we’ve been training her really hard lately. She needs to step a few things up, and will be good for the US Trials.”
Jackson (Austin, Texas / freestyle, breaststroke) was the lone entrant in the 100m breast, touching the wall in 1:05.12 (prelims) to advance to the C final, where he finished 20th (1:04.39). In addition, he swam in the 200m breast (2:22.14 prelims), taking 15th in the B final (2:22.11) and clocked in at 52.48 in the 100m free preliminaries.
Mulquin (Laytonsville, Md. / backstroke, freestyle) had a strong meet throughout the weekend. She advanced to the B final in the 50m back with her 29.42 prelim time, finishing 10th (29.33), and earned a spot in the D final of the 50m free on her 26.66 preliminary swim, finishing 30th (26.56). She also came in 24th in the 100m back (1:06.68 finals, 1:04.08 prelims) and 27th in the 100m free (58.42 finals, 59.08 prelims).
Treuth (Salisbury, Md. / backstroke) joined Old Line State teammate Mulquin in the 50m and 100m backstroke races. Treuth finished 21st overall in the 50m back, clocking in at 30.11 in the prelims and 29.97 in the finals. In the 100m back, she took 18th with a 1:03.27 preliminary mark and 1:03.00 finals time. Her highest finish – and the highest finish among active Notre Dame swimmers at Charlotte – came in the 200m back where she earned a berth in the A final (2:13.83 prelims) and placed seventh (2:14.29). She also swam in the 400m free, touching the wall in 4:23.61 in the prelims and 3:24.19 in the finals, and clocked in at 2:22.82 in the 200m IM prelims.
“Kyra Sarazen and Alice Treuth were tremendous this weekend,” Litzinger said. “Both improved their Olympic Trial seed times, and I think especially Alice in the 200 back is poised to do something special at the end of the summer. Kyra is as well.”
Revilak (Mexico City, Mexico / butterfly, freestyle) clocked in at 26.95 in the 50m free prelims and finished 20th in the 100m fly event (1:01.29 finals, 1:01.68 prelims). She also swam in the 200m IM, finishing in 2:25.77 in the prelims and 2:25.96 in the finals, good for 27th. She finished the meet in the 100m free, swimming the prelim race in 59.05 seconds and her finals race in 59.50, which earned her 29th in the overall standings.
Grauslys (Manchester, N.H. / butterfly) raced in the 50m, 100m and 200m fly races as well as the 200m IM throughout the weekend. In the 100m, he earned the highest finish amongst his teammates in 14th (55.02 finals, 55.16 prelims) and went on to finish 17th in the 200m (2:04.39 finals, 2:06.71 prelims) and 19th in the 50m (25.43 finals, 25.63 prelims). In the IM, he clocked in at 2:11.22 in the prelims and finished 27th overall (2:12.43) in the finals.
Plaschka (Smithtown, N.Y. / butterfly, freestyle) placed 17th in the 100m fly (55.17 finals, 55.72 prelims) and 10th in the 50m fly (24.46 finals, 24.84 prelims). He joined Jackson in the 100m free, swimming to 31st (53.03 finals, 51.59 prelims) and was the sole entrant in the 50m free, where he placed 25th (23.30 finals, 23.66 prelims). He is one of several international talents the Irish have returning in 2016-17, and hopes to make the Jamaican national team for the 2016 Summer Olympics in the coming month.
Bradley (Milford, Mass. / butterfly, freestyle, IM) advanced to the finals in each of his three events in Charlotte. His highest finish came from the 200m IM, where he swam a 2:05.80 prelim mark to advance to the B final, where he took 10th (2:05.23). After a preliminary time of 2:05.35, he finished 20th in the 200m fly (2:05.47), and came in 24th in the 100m fly (56.13 finals, 55.84 prelims).
The Irish are next in action June 26 through July 3, as several swimmers – incoming freshmen, current roster members and Reaney – will swim at the U.S. Olympic Trials in Omaha, Nebraska.
“We have seven present, and eight incoming freshmen athletes, that have trial cuts,” Litzinger stated, “so Notre Dame will have a nice, strong presence in Omaha. As far as making the U.S. team, Emma’s in the front of our pack, no question. She’s in the top six in the country in each of her events. The goal is simply to survive and advance, like the NCAA Basketball Tournament. You’ll have a prelim swim, then they cut to the top 16 and you have a semifinal swim, and then they cut again to the top eight and you have a finals swim. So if you advance along those lines, then you work your way into that top eight and anything can happen. This meet, it’s honest to gosh the fastest meet in the world, top to bottom. It’s exciting, and anything can happen, but for the rest of our group to get that second swim, they have an excellent shot at being in that top 16.
“These meets are great opportunities for us to compete at a high level while we’re not in school,” Litzinger said, “And it just shows the progress of the team and that our mindset is changing to emphasize that these are the competitions we need to be at, and be successful at, to be successful over the long run. The Olympic Trials is a big meet, it’s a huge one, but looking ahead to the college season, we’re also going to compete at the U.S. Open in August at the University of Minnesota, and that meet sets up the college season for us.”
Notre Dame Swimming Results – Arena Pro Swim Series at Charlotte, N.C.
W 200m free
34. Kyra Sarazen 2:06.44 (prelim)
W 100m Breast
13. Emma Reaney 1:10.55 (1:11.19 prelim)
M 100m Breast
20. Trent Jackson 1:04.39 (1:05.12 prelim)
W 50m Back
10. Cat Mulquin 29.33 (29.42 prelim)
21. Alice Treuth 29.97 (30.11 prelim)
W 100m Fly
M 100m Fly
M 200m Fly
17. Matt Grauslys 2:04.39 (2:06.71 prelim)
20. Kevin Bradley 2:05.47 (2:05.35 prelim)
W 50m Free
30. Cat Mulquin 26.56 (26.66 prelim)
39. Sofia Revilak 26.95 (prelim)
M 50m Free
25. Justin Plaschka 23.30 (23.66 prelim)
W 100m Back
W 200m Breast
14. Emma Reaney 2:33.06 (2:32.78 prelim)
M 200m Breast
15. Trent Jackson 2:22.11 (2:22.14 prelim)
M 50m Fly
10. Justin Plaschka 24.46 (24.84 prelim)
19. Matt Grauslys 25.43 (25.63 prelim)
W 400m Free
28. Alice Treuth 4:24.19 (4:23.61 prelim)
W 200m IM
M 200m IM
10. Kevin Bradley 2:05.23 (2:05.80 prelim)
27. Matt Grauslys 2:12.43 (2:11.22 prelim)
W 200m Back
W 100m Free
27. Cat Mulquin 58.42 (59.08 prelim)
29. Sofia Revilak 59.50 (59.05 prelim)
M 100m Free
-- ND --
Lizzie Mikes serves as Media Services Coordinator at the University of Notre Dame. A 2013 graduate of Johnson & Wales University, she oversees credential management and is the athletic communications director for Fighting Irish men's and women's swimming and diving and track and field. She has assisted with numerous NCAA postseason events hosted by Notre Dame, and is heavily involved in the day-to-day tasks of the athletic communications office.