March 26, 2016

By Lizzie Mikes

ATLANTA, Ga. — The University of Notre Dame men’s swim team’s has come to a close, with the conclusion of the 2016 NCAA Championship meet. Sophomore Justin Plaschka finished the meet swimming in the 100 fly on Friday, and the 100 free and 400 free relay Saturday.

Justin Plaschka swam the 100 fly at the 2016 NCAA Championship.

“The guys faced a few obstacles this weekend with a bit of illness and last minute personnel changes, but they persevered,” Irish head coach Mike Litzinger said. “Experience is the key with this young group, and I fully expect us to return next year with an attitude to succeed.”

Friday, Plaschka clocked in at 47.26 in the 100 fly, finishing 41st overall. Moving into Saturday morning, he finished 38th overall in the 100 free, touching the wall at 43.58.

“Justin has a great opportunity to represent Jamaica this summer in Rio; he has some work yet to do, but he is highly motivated. Swimming in meets like the NCAAs only help him on his journey,” Litzinger said.

“I think having the opportunity to compete at this meet, and at the highest level is a real honor and pleasure,” Plaschka commented on his weekend’s performances. “I wasn’t happy with all of my performances, but it definitely motivates me to continue to train hard, especially for this summer. I will keep training and try to hit my qualifying times to try and make the Jamaican Olympic team. I’m definitely motivated because I’ve dropped significant time in all of my events this year. I can’t wait to see what I can do in the pool this summer.”

To finish out the day, the Irish 400 free relay lineup of Plaschka, Daniel Speers, Tabahn Afrik and Trent Jackson dove in and earned a final time of 2:53.72, good for 20th in the standings. Plaschka’s lead-off split of 43.34 set the pace for his teammates, with Speers splitting 43.49, Afrik, 43.14 and Jackson, 43.75.

The NCAA meet concludes the 2015-16 season for the Irish, who now look ahead to the summer and the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials Meet in Omaha, Nebraska, June 26th through July 3rd.

— 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 and track and field. 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.