Jan. 27, 2018
by Tony Jones
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Not wanting to rest on their laurels from a dynamic Friday performance to open the weekend, the University of Notre Dame men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams brought that same level of intensity to the final day of the 2018 Shamrock Invitational. Behind record times and NCAA B-cut qualification swims, the No. 22 Irish swept the Saturday invitational showcase on Senior Day at Rolfs Aquatic Center.
The Notre Dame men’s squad scored 988.50 points to defeat No. 18 Ohio State (933.50 points) No. RV Iowa (691 points), Wisconsin (601 points) and Missouri State (409 points). The Irish women scored 1,023.50 points to down Akron (842 points), No. 13 Ohio State (735.50 points), No. 18 Wisconsin (650.50 points) and Iowa (395.50 points). All told, Notre Dame athletes set nine Rolfs Aquatic Center records during the meet on the way to the team triumphs.
Coach Litzinger Said
“It was great certainly to win the meet, which is your goal, but also to send our seniors off in great fashion. We’re at the top of the rests, everything is pointing toward the conference meet so you have an opportunity to get names up on the record board. We talk about it during practice, and a number of people went for it and got it. Our relays, Zach Yeadon, Rob Whitacre, all of those guys got us off to a great start and I am very pleased with where the team is at right now.”
“One of the nice things about our program is that the training pool is where we are getting a lot done, but everyone there holds each other accountable. As we move forward the depth of our team really shows, and I think that will be a huge difference maker for us at the conference championships.”
“Support on the diving end is key and you can’t do it without both swimming and diving. Sometimes diving can get a little overshadowed because there are so many swimming events, but having someone like Joe Coumos on the board, Erin Isola and Kelly Straub, they do a great job. We’re really pleased with how that part of our team is coming along, and of course it is always great to compete at home. You could tell by the last few events that the home crowd can play into our success and adds to the emotion and excitement.”
“It will be fun to host Green Bay and Ball State up here next weekend, but as you head into the conference championships we’re going to lighten the load on some of our top performers. We’ll have our depth carry those meets and that will be the focus, get some starts for people who don’t always get into those particular events. I think it will be a really well-rounded meet and with two really nice teams coming in to compete against. It will be our last tune-up before we really move on.”
Top Irish Performances
Women’s 1650 Freestyle – Lindsay Stone set both a Notre Dame and Rolfs Aquatic Center record with a time of 16:12.78 to take first place. Teammate Molly Treble was event runner-up with a time of 16:31.63 to narrowly finish above an NCAA B-cut. Sammy Steigerwald scored a sixth-place finish for the Irish with a time of 17:14.71, with Reilly Lanigan in seventh at 17:16.67 and Ellie Berdusco eighth with a time of 17:19.73. Rebecca Walton rounded out the Notre Dame competitors in 10th place with a time of 17:24.65.
Men’s 1650 Freestyle – Zach Yeadon raced to the event victory with a Rolfs Aquatic Center record time of 15:02.06 to lead Notre Dame. Sadler McKeen posted a fourth-place finish with a time of 15:57.27, with Richard Mannix just behind in fifth at 16:00.62. Benjamin Jany checked in with a 10th-place finish in 16:26.97.
Women’s 200 Backstroke – Alice Treuth led all Notre Dame entries with a runner-up finish and NCAA B-cut in 1:56.39. Kyra Sarazen placed third with a time of 1:58.71, with Carly Quast in 10th place with a time of 2:01.66.
Men’s 200 Backstroke – Rob Whitacre set a Rolfs Aquatic Center record with a winning time of 1:42.90 for an NCAA B-cut and first-place points. Jack Montesi finished fourth with a time of 1:47.76, while William Cumberland was fifth in 1:47.92. Joseph Turk rounded out Notre Dame finishers in 11th place with a time of 1:49.95.
Women’s 100 Freestyle – Abbie Dolan captured the win with an NCAA B-cut time of 49:12. Skylar Fore brought home third place with a time of 50.01, with Lauren Heller in sixth place with a time of 50.27. Katie Smith (10th, 51.10) and Kelly Jacob (13th, 51.40) rounded out point scorers for Notre Dame.
Men’s 100 Freestyle – Tabahn Afrik sprinted to victory with an NCAA B-cut time of 44.07. Daniel Speers placed 10th with a time of 45.27, with Dan Fujan checking in 12th at 45.75 for the Irish.
Women’s 200 Breaststroke – Sherri McIntee picked up a runner-up finish with a time of 2:17.61 to pace Notre Dame. Meaghan O’Donnell was narrowly behind in third at 2:18.91, while Alyssa Storino scored points in 12th place with a time of 2:23.53.
Men’s 200 Breaststroke – Garrett Clarke led all Notre Dame competitors with a third-place finish and time of 2:00.92 to score top points for the Irish.
Women’s 200 Butterfly – Nicole Smith claimed third-place honors to lead all Notre Dame entries with a time of 2:00.66. Katie Rentz posted a ninth-place time in 2:03.49, with Paige Kaplan (14th, 2:05.34) and Erin Sheehan (15th, 2:05.36) adding point-scoring swims.
Men’s 200 Butterfly – Justin Plaschka raced to the wall with a winning time of 1:48.33. Matt Grauslys was the next Notre Dame finisher in third place with a time of 1:49.39, followed by Aaron Schultz in fifth place with a time of 1:49.53. Brendan Santana (ninth, 1:52.22) and Soren Holm (13th, 1:53.70) contributed point-scoring efforts to the Irish cause.
Women’s 400 Freestyle Relay – The Notre Dame ‘A’ entry of Abbie Dolan, Carly Quast, Skylar Fore and Sofia Revilak established a Rolfs Aquatic Center record with a time of 3:17.05 to take first place. The Irish lineup of Lauren Heller, Erin Sheehan, Kelly Jacob and Kyra Sarazen finished fifth in 3:22.56.
Men’s 400 Freestyle Relay – The Notre Dame ‘A’ lineup of Tabahn Afrik, Justin Plaschka, Aaron Schultz and Daniel Speers raced to a Rolfs Aquatic Center record of 2:54.59 to win the event. The Irish contingent of Daniel Fujan, Jack Montesi, Sadler McKeen and Zach Yeadon placed fifth with a time 3:01.08.
Women’s 1-Meter Diving – Erin Isola posted an event win with a season-high score of 301.80 points for Notre Dame. Kelly Straub finished as runner-up with 301.60 points. Claire Andrews placed fourth with 290.25 points, and Annie Crea chipped in a 16th-place finish with 237.00 points.
Men’s 3-Meter Diving – Joe Coumos set a Rolfs Aquatic Center and Notre Dame program record with 419.80 points to sweep the weekend’s diving events. Peter Myers placed sixth with 336.30 points, with David Waszak taking 12th with 325.65 points. Cristian Herrera placed 16th with 274.45 points.
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.