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No. 18 Irish Break School Record, Notch NCAA A Cut

GREENSBORO, N.C. — The No. 18 Irish kicked off the 2020 Men’s ACC Swimming Championships Wednesday night with a school record, NCAA A-cut performance in the 800 Free Relay and a strong finish in the 200 Medley Relay.

The team of Jack Montesi, Matt Limbacher, Zach Smith and Aaron Schultz began in the first heat of the 200 Medley Relay, and touched the wall in 1:25.84 to take seventh, placing out of their heat in the overall rankings. 

Notre Dame took the 800 Free by storm, as the team of Sadler McKeen, Schultz, Cason Wilburn and Zach Yeadon posted a 6:16.86, an NCAA A-Cut, to place sixth. It marked the second A-Cut of the season for the Irish, the other being Zach Yeadon’s 1650 Free (14:32.48), also a school record. 

“[The record] has been a target for that group of guys for about a year now,” Notre Dame head coach Mike Litzinger shared Wednesday evening. “We have the athletes to have a great 800 Free relay. We always knew it, and tonight that they showed up and did a great job and took down the school record.”

As the leadoff swimmer, McKeen posted a 1:33.59, making him the second-fastest performer in the 200 Free in Notre Dame record books. 

Capping off the night for the Irish, Smith posted a 1:42.97 in the 200 Fly time trial, making him the second-fastest performer in the event in Irish history. 

“The reason we do that is it’s a confidence boost, because he gets an opportunity to get a good feel for his race, which isn’t really until Saturday,” Litzinger noted. “Having that kind of performance now bodes well for the rest of his time.”

UP NEXT

Notre Dame will take the pool Thursday for the first full day of the ACC Championships beginning at 10 a.m. with preliminary races in the 500 Free, 200 IM and 50 Free. Thursday evening, finals in the 500 Free, 200 IM, 50 Free and 200 Free Relay will begin at 6 p.m.

“We have a big day tomorrow,” the Irish head coach looked ahead. “It’s the 500 Freestyle, in which we’re strong, and we have very strong 200 Individual Medley, and another relay and 50 Free. It’s going to be a great day for our program, and we just have to step up and compete.”

Live timing is available at http://sidearmstats.com/acc/swimming/index.htm, while live coverage of finals will be broadcast on ACC Network Extra at https://theacc.co/msd20accnx1

STANDINGS

  1. NC State – 165
  2. Florida State – 155
  3. North Carolina – 145
  4. Virginia – 144
  5. Virginia Tech – 132
  6. Duke – 112
  7. NOTRE DAME – 109
  8. Pitt – 104
  9. Georgia Tech – 92
  10. Louisville – 91
  11. Boston College – 66
  12. Miami – 55