Jan. 20, 2018
by Tony Jones
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Complete team competition and effort allowed the University of Notre Dame men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams to take a day one lead at Florida State. More of the same followed for the No. 22 Irish on Saturday, as Notre Dame claimed a crucial Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) sweep over the No. 20/25 Seminoles by way of a 191-162 men’s score and a 193-160 decision on the women’s side at the Morcom Aquatics Center.
The Irish men’s squad (7-2) rode six race victories and a pair of NCAA B-cut times to pull away from the 20th-ranked Seminoles on Saturday. Senior Rob Whitacre was a triple-winner for Notre Dame on the day, taking the 200 backstroke and 200 IM titles along with swimming in the triumphant 400 medley relay. Junior Tabahn Afrik added wins in the 100 free and with the 400 medley relay, while freshman Zach Yeadon swept the meet’s distance events with an NCAA B-cut win in the 500 freestyle. Senior Joe Coumos completed the weekend diving double with a win off the 1-meter board.
The Notre Dame women’s team (9-1) was vaulted ahead by three event wins and a number of point-earning swims to defend its sizeable lead from day one. Both junior Alice Treuth (200 backstroke) and sophomore Abbie Dolan (100 freestyle) posted Saturday victories for the Irish, while freshman Lindsay Stone put on another stellar performance in a 500 freestyle win.
Notre Dame returns to Rolfs Aquatic Center to host the annual Shamrock Invitational on Jan. 26-27.
Coach Litzinger Said
“A great win by both of our teams this weekend. Our women continued to perform as a focused group and got off to a great start by taking the 500 freestyle, 100 freestyle and 200 backstroke. Florida State made a great charge in the last few events but we had gotten our work done. I am very proud of this team, and am very excited to see what they can do in the championship month of February.”
“Leading by only eight points after yesterday, our men put the meet to rest by winning an all-important 400 medley relay. That event was key as FSU truly has some strong relays, and the points swing spurred a 1-2-3 finish in the 500 freestyle. Tabahn Afrik came from behind to win the 100 free, and Rob Whitacre continued a great senior year with wins in both the 200 backstroke and 200 IM, pulling off a triple. Joe Coumos added a diving sweep, and we reached our goal of 177 points before the last event. It was a fantastic effort by our guys as we look ahead to February.”
Top Irish Performances
Women’s 400 Medley Relay – The Notre Dame ‘A’ entry of Alice Treuth, Meaghan O’Donnell, Nicole Smith and Abbie Dolan earned second-place points with a time of 3:42.61. The Irish lineup of Kyra Sarazen, Alyssa Storino, Cailey Grunhard and Kelly Jacob placed fourth with a time of 3:50.15.
Men’s 400 Medley Relay – The Notre Dame contingent of Rob Whitacre, Steven Shek, Justin Plaschka and Tabahn Afrik raced to victory with a time of 3:14.30. The Irish entry of Jack Montesi, Garrett Clarke, Matt Grauslys and Daniel Speers finished fourth with a time of 3:21.20.
Women’s 500 Freestyle – Lindsay Stone swept the weekend distance slate with a winning time of 4:50.98 to take the victory by more than five seconds. Teammate Molly Treble was runner-up with a time of 4:56.03. Reilly Lanigan placed fourth with a time of 5:02.08.
Men’s 500 Freestyle – Zach Yeadon led a dominant Notre Dame effort in the distance that saw a podium sweep for the Irish. Yeadon’s winning time of 4:21.62 was well under an NCAA B-cut. Sadler McKeen took second place with a time of 4:29.51, while Richard Mannix was third in 4:30.00.
Women’s 100 Freestyle – Abbie Dolan picked the win by touching the wall in 49.91 for the race triumph and an NCAA B-cut. Skylar Fore was runner-up in 50.47, and Lauren Heller placed fourth with a time of 51.25.
Men’s 100 Freestyle – Tabahn Afrik narrowly missed an NCAA B-cut, but took home top honors with a time of 44.62. Daniel Speers scored a fifth-place finish in 45.71.
Women’s 200 Backstroke – Alice Treuth completed the backstroke sweep for the meet, scoring a win with a time of 1:56.28 for an NCAA B-cut. Kyra Sarazen was runner-up with a time of 1:59.92, while Carly Quast placed fifth after touching in at 2:03.14.
Men’s 200 Backstroke – Rob Whitacre pulled away from the field to take the win with a time of 1:45.87, good enough for an NCAA B-cut. Jack Montesi finished third with a time of 1:48.50, and William Cumberland was fourth with a time of 1:49.19.
Women’s 200 Breaststroke – Meaghan O’Donnell was the top Notre Dame finisher, placing second with a time of 2:17.26. Sherri McIntee finished fourth in 2:18.04.
Women’s 100 Butterfly – Rachel Wittmer claimed runner-up honors with a time of 55.30. Sofia Revilak finished third with a time of 55.34, and Cailey Grunhard was fifth with a readout of 55.73.
Men’s 100 Butterfly – Justin Plaschka paced all Notre Dame competitors with a second-place time of 48.33 to just miss an NCAA B-cut. Matt Grauslys finished fourth with a time of 49.06.
Women’s 200 IM – Nicole Smith claimed second-place points for Notre Dame with a time of 2:04.98. Erin Sheehan took third in 2:05.45 and Kyra Sarazen placed fifth with a time of 2:06.89.
Men’s 200 IM – Rob Whitacre helped the Irish cement the meet victory with a race win in a time of 1:49.97. William Cumberland was runner-up with a time of 1:50.07, and Aaron Schultz finished third in 1:51.72.
Women’s 200 Freestyle Relay – The Notre Dame ‘A’ entry of Abbie Dolan, Carly Quast, Lauren Heller and Sofia Revilak placed second with a time of 1:32.93. The Irish lineup of Rachel Wittmer, Katie Smith, Kelly Jacob and Skylar Fore finished third in 1:33.10.
Women’s 3-Meter Diving – Claire Andrews took third place with a score of 293.40 points. Erin Isola placed fourth with a score of 274.43.
Men’s 1-Meter Diving – Joe Coumos capped a weekend sweep with a winning score of 327.53 points off the 1-meter board. David Waszak was fourth with 286.95 points and Peter Myers fifth with 266.02 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.