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Program Records Lift #19 Irish Into 4th At ACCs

Feb. 24, 2018

by Tony Jones

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GREENSBORO, N.C. – Two individual records notched by University of Notre Dame men’s swimming athletes keyed a Friday move up the leaderboard, as the Irish settled into fourth place after day three of the 2018 Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Swimming and Diving Championships at the Greensboro Aquatic Center.

No. 19 Notre Dame checks in with 640 points after three days of racing, only 2.5 points from catching Florida State for third place. Justin Plaschka (NCAA A-cut in the 100 butterfly) and Rob Whitacre (NCAA B-cut in the 100 backstroke) lowered their own team records in each event, while Aaron Schultz posted a 2017 NCAA Championships invitation time in the 100 fly to pace the Irish.

The fourth and final day of the 2018 ACC Championships kicks off on Saturday with the prelims of the 200 backstroke beginning at 10 a.m. (ET) at the Greensboro Aquatic Center.

Coach Litzinger Said

“Another record-setting day for us. After multiple best times and impressive racing, we are in a tight battle for third place.”

“Justin Plaschka got us started right out of the gate with a Notre Dame record and NCAA A-cut in the 100 fly. Justin has always been one of the premier flyers in the ACC, and tonight his time was third-fastest in the league.”

“Our youth was served with Sadler McKeen in the 200 free, Brendan Santana and Jack Montesi pulling off an incredible double in the 100 fly and 100 back, and Joe Turk turning in a solid 400 IM.”

“Rob Whitacre led the way with a record swim in the 100 back this morning on his way to eighth place in the finals. He also led off a great fourth-place 400 medley relay swim combined with Steven Shek, Justin Plaschka and Daniel Speers for an NCAA B-cut.”

“We have our work cut out for us tomorrow, but also have our strongest day ahead. I am excited about the opportunity to watch this team race and support each other as we pursue our goals.”

Top Irish Performances

Men’s 100 Butterfly – Justin Plaschka broke his own team record with a time of 45.41, picking up an NCAA A-cut in the process. Aaron Schultz touched in with a time of 46.06 for a 2017 NCAA invitational performance and ninth place. Brendan Santana finished 12th with an NCAA B-cut time of 46.56, with Matt Grauslys (19th, 47.26) and Jack Montesi (20th, 47.33) also scoring points.

Men’s 400 IMJoseph Turk (3:49.47) and Richard Mannix (3:50.13) claimed 13th and 14th place, respectively. Turk (3:48.42) and Mannix (3:48.84) notched NCAA B-cuts in prelims. Nick Milikich scored 24th with a finals time of 3:54.80 (NCAA B-cut of 3:52.24 in prelims).

Men’s 200 FreestyleSadler McKeen took 17th with an NCAA B-cut time of 1:35.89. Tabahn Afrik placed 21st with a time of 1:36.96 (NCAA B-cut of 1:36.20 in prelims) and Benjamin Jany finished in 22nd place with a finals swim of 1:37.08 (NCAA B-cut of 1:36.60 in prelims).

Men’s 100 BreaststrokeSteven Shek led the way for Notre Dame in eighth place with a finals time of 53.42 (NCAA B-cut of 53.30 in prelims). Benjamin Gorski and Garrett Clarke tied for 14th place with matching times of 53.70.

Men’s 100 Backstroke – After swimming a program record time of 46.46 in morning prelims for an NCAA B-cut, Rob Whitacre took seventh with a finals time of 46.99. Jack Montesi finished 10th in 46.75 (NCAA B-cut of 46.66 in prelims), while Brendan Santana was 17th with an NCAA B-cut time of 47.40.

Men’s 400 Medley Relay – The Notre Dame lineup of Rob Whitacre, Steven Shek, Justin Plaschka and Daniel Speers placed fourth with an NCAA B-cut time of 3:08.32.


Tony Jones, athletics communications assistant director at the University of Notre Dame, has been part of the Fighting Irish athletics communications team since 2012 and coordinates all media efforts for the Notre Dame softball, men’s soccer and swimming and diving programs. A native of Jamestown, New York, Jones is a 2011 graduate of St. Bonaventure University, and prior to arriving at Notre Dame held positions at the University of Louisiana Monroe and with the National Football League’s Buffalo Bills.