Nov. 20, 2015
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – The University of Notre Dame men’s swimming and diving team currently sits third after one day of competition at the Purdue Invitational. Sophomore Justin Plaschka earned the team’s first NCAA B-cut of the season, touching the wall in 20.05 in the 50 free.
“We had some really good swims tonight; we need to be sharper in the morning, but tonight shows we are heading in the right direction,” head coach Matt Tallman states. “Justin [Plaschka] had a great 50 to lead off the 200 free relay, racing a lifetime best. WE had other lifetime bests throughout the night as well, from Rob Whitacre, Kevin Bradley, and Reed Fujan. I’m looking forward to what the rest of the weekend has in store for us.”
Plaschka’s preliminary time of 20.25 in the 50 free seeded him in the A-final of the evening race, where he finished second in 20.05. Other top finishers for the Irish included Connor Brown, who placed ninth in the 500 free (4:28.02) and Reed Fujan, who also finished ninth in the 200 IM (1:49.35). Freshman Tabahn Afrik was the second fastest sprinter for the Irish Friday night, touching in at 20.43 in the 50 free, good for ninth place as well.
In the relay events, the A-team of Plaschka, Afrik, Daniel Speers and Kevin Bradley claimed second in the 200 free relay (1:20.08), while the A-team of Bogac Ayhan, Zachary Stump, Plaschka and Afrik followed suit in the 400 medley relay (second, 3:16.65). The Irish scored 160 points on Friday, good for third place heading into Saturday’s races.
In diving, James Lichtenstein and Zane Parker competed in the men’s 1-meter event, with Lichtenstein placing fourth (281.45) and Parker finishing seventh (250.95). Both gentlemen will compete in the 3-meter competition tomorrow.
The Irish begin day two of the Purdue Invitational on Saturday, with the preliminary session kicking off at 10 a.m. ET.
— ND —
Lizzie Mikes serves as Media Services Coordinator at the University of Notre Dame. A 2013 graduate of Johnson & Wales University, she oversees credential management and is the athletic communications director for Fighting Irish men’s and women’s swimming and diving. She has assisted with numerous NCAA postseason events hosted by Notre Dame, and is heavily involved in the day-to-day tasks of the athletic communications office.