Freshman backstroker Robert Whitacre earned his first career NCAA B cut on Sunday, placing second in the 200 back.

Irish Lose Heartbreaker at Iowa, Place Second

Dec. 7, 2014

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IOWA CITY, Iowa – The University of Notre Dame men’s swimming and diving team finished their trip to Iowa Sunday in close contention for first place – unfortunately, they could not pull off the come-from-behind win and finished second to host Iowa, 918.5 to 918.

“We had a solid day of racing, and put ourselves in position to have a come from behind victory – unfortunately, we came up short by the smallest possible margin,” Irish head coach Matt Tallman says. “The guys should be very proud of their accomplishments this weekend, and be excited to get back to work for the championship segment of our season.”

The 1650 free kick-started the afternoon session, where 12 swimmers competed under Irish colors and six finished in the top 10. Freshman Benjamin Jany had the top time with his fourth-place finish (15:30.63), while John Nappi placed sixth (15:38.18); Joseph Petrone finished seventh (15:38.98); Trent Jackson earned eighth place (15:43.15) and Richard Mannix placed ninth (15:49.85). Senior Patrick Murphy rounded out the top 10 with his 15:52.14 showing.

In the 200 back, Robert Whitacre placed second in the prelims and earned his first career B cut, 1:45.52. He went on to place fifth in the finals (1:46.01). Other backstrokers for the Irish included Thomas Anderson (seventh, 1:47.14), James McEldrew (ninth, 1:49.19) and Bogac Ayhan (10th, 1:49.65).

In the 100 free, Justin Plaschka placed fourth (44.93) while Kevin Hughes took sixth (45.41). Freshmen Joseph Krause, Gabe Ostler and Harlin Bessire all had favorable times as well – Krause finished in 45.84; Ostler, 46.51; in the prelims, Bessire touched the wall in 47.25.

In the 200 breast, Zachary Stephens punched his ticket to NCAAs for the fourth time this weekend, earning a B cut and winning the finals with his 1:55.49 time. Patrick Olson finished fifth (2:01.88), and Cameron Miller (2:02.01) and Andrew Jensen (2:04.41) took sixth and eighth place respectively.

In the last solo event of the weekend, Jonathan Williamson took second in the 200 fly (1:44.18), again logging an NCAA B-cut time (first B-cut of the weekend came from his third-place finish in the 100 fly). In the prelims, Williamson had the top time of 1:44.37, out-touching Iowa’s Jerzy Twarowski, but Twarowski finished ahead of Williamson in the evening swim.

With the end of the meet in sight, the 400 free relay dove into the water, but the A-team lineup of Plaschka, Stephens, Krause and Hughes was disqualified. The B-team pairing of Jany, Jackson, Reed Fujan and Whitacre placed fourth (3:02.91).

In platform diving, senior Nick Nemetz had the top score with 294.35 and set a new school record in the event. He earned 13 points for the Irish and placed sixth, while Michael Kreft finished eighth (250.85) and scored 11 points for the team.

” Our divers made a great effort to compete on the platform this weekend,” head diving coach Caiming Xie says. “This is the first time we’ve had a chance to practice and compete on the platform since our trip to Georgia Tech over fall break. I am so proud of Nick and Lindsey [Streepey] for setting the new school records in platform this weekend.”

Notre Dame will break for the Holidays and finals, before taking their annual trip to Puerto Rico during the semester break. They return to NCAA action on January 10th with another Big Ten road meet – this time at Michigan against Michigan and Northwestern.

Lizzie Mikes,

Media Services Coordinator