Nov. 7, 2014
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The University of Notre Dame men’s swimming and diving team showed improvement Friday evening as they finished the first day of their double-dual meet ahead of Pittsburgh but behind defending Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Champions Virginia Tech. Through 10 events, the Irish earned three first-place victories and five runner-up finishes.
“The guys swam well tonight, and again we got good times,” Irish head coach Matt Tallman reflects. “But we’re getting touched out at the finishes. This meet is a lot closer than the score indicates because of that.”
The Irish got off to a good start with a first place win in the 200 free relay. The lineup of freshman Justin Plaschka, senior Zachary Stephens, junior Matthew Buerger and freshman Joseph Krause touched the wall in 1:21.94.
In the 400 IM, Tom Anderson came in second (3:59.47) to Virginia Tech’s Robert Owen (3:58.54). Anderson’s Irish teammates Kevin Bradley (4:03.69) and John Nappi (4:04.47) finished fifth and seventh respectively.
Veteran butterflier Jonathan Williamson placed fourth in the 100 fly (49.39) and not far behind, Plaschka finished sixth (50.19) and classmate Patrick Olson claimed seventh (50.24).
In the 200 back, The Irish earned third, fourth and fifth place finishes, behind a pair of Virginia Tech swimmers. Robert Whitacre had the top time with his 1:49.91 showing.
After sitting out the 100 breast last week versus Purdue, Stephens won out against Hokies foe Brandon Fiala, 54.93. Olson, Cameron Miller and Andrew Jensen were right behind the top two finishers as they placed third through fifth.
In the 100 free, Matthew Buerger put in a strong showing but could not edge in front of a pair of Virginia Tech swimmers. Buerger was narrowly out-touched by Lucas Bureau to finish third (45.74). Joining him in the top 10 were teammates Plaschka (fifth, 45.94), Michael Hudspith (seventh, 46.34) and Kevin Hughes (eighth, 46.55).
In the longest event of the evening, the Irish gave onlookers a preview of things to come with second, third and sixth-place finishes in the 1,650 free. Senior John Nappi finished second (15:56.64) but freshman Benjamin Jany pushed his senior teammate the whole way to finish third (15:59.09). Sophomore Joseph Petrone swam his way to a sixth-place finish with his 16:09.81 time.
The Irish swept the top two spots in the 200 medley relay with the A-team lineup of Whitacre, Miller, Plaschka and Stephens touching the wall in 1:30.68 and the B-team composite of Bogac Ayhan, Olson, Williamson and Krause clocking in at 1:31.46. The C-team relay Gabe Ostler, Jensen, Broderick Kelley and Jany claimed fifth with their 1:35.43 mark.
In the last event of the evening, Notre Dame took second and fifth in the 800 free relay. Hudspith, Kevin Hughes, Trent Jackson and Kevin Bradley teamed up and to log a 6:44.60 time, while Krause, Anderson, Harlin Bessire and Jany earned their fifth-place result with a 6:56.87 showing.
In diving, Michael Kreft had the top score in the men’s 3-meter event, placing second behind Virginia Tech’s Thomas Shinholser with his 335.85 score. The Irish earned additional scores from the diving blocks with Nick Nemetz’s fourth-place 323.35 score and Joseph Coumos’s 319.10, fifth-place showing.
Looking ahead to Saturday morning, Tallman says “Winning this meet is not out of reach; we’re swimming very well, we just have to hopefully get some things reversed tomorrow in our favor.
“Tomorrow should be a good day with a lot of key events for us – events that we swim well. We’ve got a good meet going with Pittsburgh, but we need to nip away at Virginia Tech’s lead in the morning,” he continues.
The double-dual ACC showdown continues Saturday morning at 10 a.m. with a live-stream video feed provided by WatchND. Meet Mobile and Live Stats will also be provided.
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