Hoagland marks down first Olympic Trial qualifier time, while Yeadon’s 500 Free ranks third in the nation
COLUMBUS, Ohio — After the first day of competition at the Ohio State Invitational, the Irish men hold the third place slot, while the women stand in fourth. The day was comprised of preliminary races in the morning and final races in the evening, separated in the middle by the diving competition.
In the morning, preliminary events were swam on a long course, allowing any times posted in these races to be eligible to be used as U.S. Olympic Trial Qualifiers. Irish swimmers Abbie Dolan and Zach Yeadon had already marked down previous qualifying times entering the weekend, and Yeadon did so again in the same event, touching the wall in 3:52.54 in the men’s 400 Free. Jack Hoagland followed suit, posting his first Olympic Trial qualifying time with a 3:54.95 in the 400 Free. Yeadon and Hoagland entered finals (swam in the 500 Free format) as the top two seeds.
“Jack was great today, and again, every time he hits the water, something special can happen,” Notre Dame head coach Mike Litzinger shared. “We’re very proud of him and his progress.”
On the whole, Irish swimmers claimed forty slots in final races this evening, and got a break while the divers took the board. The men started on the 1-meter, and Austin Flaute (303.65) ranked fifth coming out of prelims, while David Petrison (259.25) ranked 12th. Will Rains (240.50) and David DeBacker (237.50) followed in 17th and 18th, respectively.
For the Irish women on the 3-meter, Kelly Straub (272.20) led Notre Dame in sixth place, followed by Claire Andrews in 13th (256.85), Annie Wiese in 18th (234.40), Erin Isola in 19th (232.50), Sam Gillis in 23rd (203.30) and Kate McCahan in 31st (179.20).
Consisting of five events (200 Free Relay, 500 Free, 200 IM, 50 Free and 400 Medley Relay), the night started off strong for Notre Dame with a third-place finish from the women in the 200 Free Relay. The team of Dolan, Carly Quast, Kelly Jacob and Rachel Wittmer turned in a 1:30.85. The men’s squad of Topher Stensby, Aaron Schultz, Cason Wilburn and Sadler McKeen narrowly missed the podium with a fourth-place 1:20.42.
In the women’s 500 Free, Dolan (fifth), Madeline LaPorte (ninth) and Lindsay Stone (10th) all placed in the top 10 of the A final. On the men’s side, Notre Dame staged a takeover, with Yeadon (4:14.31), Hoagland (4:17.56) and McKeen (4:18.03) sweeping the Top Three and all earning NCAA B-Cut times. Max Miranda added a sixth place finish in the event.
“Our 500 Free athletes really did the bulk of great work tonight on both sides,” Litzinger expressed. “Of course, it’s a blessing to have talent, but when they realize it, that’s when it becomes really fun. Zach’s swim is No. 3 in the country right now, and to have a few of our other guys raising their game is exciting.”
Coleen Gillilan held her own in the women’s 200 IM, placing fourth (1:57.87) with another B-Cut time. Will Cumberland (1:48.58), Andrew Winton (1:48.59) and Marci Barta (1:48.60) made an impact in the men’s 200 IM, placing fifth, sixth and seventh in the A final. Schultz made a splash in the B final, posting a 1:46.92. Quast placed first (11th overall) in the B final of the women’s 50 free with a 22.98.
The 400 Medley Relays closed the night, with the Notre Dame women (Quast, Gillilan, Cailey Grunhard and Dolan) placing third with a 3:35.20 and the men (Jack Montesi, Matthew Limbacher, Zach Smith and Schultz) posting a second-place finish with a 3:12.19.
On the diving end, Flaute finished eighth (282.65) to lead the Notre Dame men, while Straub moved up to fifth (271.60) to lead the women.
Notre Dame ended the day in third place on the men’s side, just 21 total points off the lead (Ohio State), while the women sit in fourth (534).
Competition resumes Friday at 10 a.m. with preliminary races for the 200 Medley Relay, 100 Fly, 400 IM, 200 Free, 100 Breast, 100 Back and 800 Free, followed by the women’s 1-meter diving and men’s 3-meter diving.
Live scoring can be found on Meet Mobile and at https://data.ohiostatebuckeyes.com/livestats/w-swim/index.htm. Follow along on Twitter and Instagram (@NDSwimDive) throughout the weekend for updates.