Dec. 6, 2014
IOWA CITY, Iowa – The University of Notre Dame men’s swimming senior class showed off Saturday, with four of it’s graduating members – Jonathan Williamson, Zachary Stephens, Patrick Olson and Cameron Miller – earning NCAA B cuts. For Stephens, his 52.54 time in the 100 breast is also a new school record.
“We had yet another strong night,” Irish head coach Matt Tallman states. “It was great to have a school record in the 100 breast. There were a lot of other great performances, considering the time of year and where we are in our training.”
In addition to the four seniors, sophomore Trent Jackson earned a trip to the NCAAs in the 200 free, qualifying by .01 of a second with his 1:37.98 time (B cut time is 1:37.99).
In the morning preliminary sessions, several sophomores and seniors put in strong swims. Thomas Anderson (3:57.15) and Kevin Bradley (3:58.23) placed fourth and fifth respectively in the 400 IM, while James McEldrew finished eighth (4:01.05) and Matthew DeBlasio finished 11th (4:03.06).
In the finals of the 400 IM, Anderson placed second (3:54.84), while Bradley finished fifth (3:56.28). McEldrew came in seventh (3:59.00) to round out the A-finals finishers. DeBlasio put in a strong performance, claiming ninth place and the top finish in the B final with his 3:57.26 time.
In the 100 Fly, Williamson finished third behind a pair of Hawkeye swimmers, again posting a B-cut time of 47.57 (he earned his first B cut of the season in prelims, touching the wall in 48.14). Justin Plaschka repeated in ninth place from the morning (48.78 in the B final, 49.57 in the prelims) while Bogac Ayhan improved from 22nd in prelims (51.47) to 18th in the finals (50.56).
In the 200 free, 12 Irish swimmers competed in the preliminary heat, showing the depth of Tallman’s squad. Reed Fujan finished fifth (1:38.94), Michael Hudspith placed sixth (1:38.98), and Kevin Hughes claimed eighth (1:39.25) to all advance into the A final. Jackson (1:39.27), Broderick Kelley (1:40.09), Benjamin Jany (1:40.10), Joseph Petrone (1:40.13) and Joseph Krause (1:40.18) all swam their way into the B final. Patrick Murphy (1:40.20) and Harlin Bessire (1:40.42) outright qualified for the C final, and were eventually joined by Richard Mannix after a swim-off – Mannix won over Denver’s Connor Corrigan, 1:41.36 to 1:41.66.
Hughes earned the highest finish in the 200 free, tying for fourth with Iowa’s David Ernstsson (1:38.04) for 11.5 points towards the team score. Fujan wasn’t far behind, touching in at sixth (1:38.59).
Jackson, swimming in the B final, powered his way through the water to earn his first career NCAA cut. Not far behind, Jany finished 10th (1:38.71); Petrone, 13th (1:39.75); Krause, 14th (1:40.09) and Kelley, 16th (1:41.48). Murphy (1:39.28) and Bessire (1:40.93) both swam in the C final, placing 17th and 21st respectively.
In the 100 breast, Stephens claimed first and posted his third NCAA B-cut of the weekend in the prelims, touching the wall in 52.79. Not far behind, Olson (54.62) and Miller (54.88) took third and fourth, while Andrew Jensen also qualified for the A final with his 55.77 time. In the finals, Stephens again posted a B-cut time of 52.54 – clinching first place in the process – while Olson took third (54.65), Miller, fourth (55.37) and Jensen, seventh (56.17). Michael Schiffer placed 13th (58.36).
Robert Whitacre was the sole A final entrant for the Irish in the 100 back, after posting 48.99 in the prelims. He finished sixth, clocking in a 49.25.
Plaschka and Ayhan – swimming in the B finals after their respective 50.31 and 51.04 morning times – placed ninth (Ayhan, 49.81) and 11th (Plaschka, 49.93). Gabe Ostler also finished 18th, with a time of 52.55.
In the diving competition, Joseph Coumos won the 1-meter event with his score of 378.40 – his preliminary score of 289.35 had him standing in ninth place. Senior Michael Kreft also improved over his morning score of 315.95 to finish fourth with a final tally of 332.10.
The 200 medley relay and 800 free relay were also strong events for the Irish. The Irish A team of Whitacre, Miller, Stephens and Plaschka claimed second in the 200 medley (1:28.73), while the A-team combination of Jackson, Hughes, Fujan and Jany finished runners-up in the 800 free (6:34.27).
“Our relays raced well also – they gave us some good ideas on decisions that will need to be made down the road,” Tallman says on the second-place finishes.
“We are looking forward to finishing this meet strong, and putting together a still greater training regimen heading into our second semester,” he adds.
The final day of the meet will start at 11 a.m. ET Sunday, with finals heats scheduled to start at 5 p.m. ET. Fans can follow this week’s action via live results, and on the “Meet Mobile” swim meet application on cell phones and tablets. Download the application at this link: http://www.active.com/mobile/meet-mobile-app.
Tweets and Facebook posts will also be updated regularly throughout the day on team accounts.
Media Services Coordinator