INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Four members of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish men’s swim team will represent the University at the annual NCAA Men’s Swimming Championships in Austin, Texas, March 27-30. Of the group, two of the individuals earning invites are new to the team in the 2018-19 season, qualifying for a spot during their freshman seasons.
“We are excited about qualifying four men for this year’s NCAA Championships,” head coach Mike Litzinger said. “This year’s field has been exceptionally competitive, and having three first-time qualifiers speaks volumes of our program.”
Zach Yeadon returns to the championship meet looking to highlight the 500 free and 1650 free races, with the eighth fastest time in the 1650 free, clocking in at 14:39.60. He posted the fastest time of his season and 19th fastest 500 free time in the country heading into the NCAA Championships at the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, touching the wall in 4:13.68.
At the 2018 NCAA Championship meet, Zach Yeadon earned All-American honors with a second place finish in the 500 free consolation final and 10th overall. He followed up that performance with a fourth place individual finish in the 1650 free on the final day of competition, tying the program-best place for an individual finisher. Having earned honorable mention honors for his 500 free swim, his fourth place finish in the 1650 boasted first-team honors.
Newcomer Marci Barta, who once boasted the nation’s top time in the 400 IM, has qualified for the national meet with his time of 3:41.67 at the Ohio State Invitational which is eighth in the country.
Following his third place finish and school record time in the 200 breast at the ACC Championships earned Joshua Bottelberghe an invite to the national meet as his time of 1:53.90 ranks 28th in the nation.
The final Irish representative, Aaron Schultz, earned his spot at the meet following his double record breaking performance at the Boiler-Make-It Last Chance meet on March 10. After setting the school record during the preliminary race, Schultz went on to break his own record of 1:42.37 in the 200 fly, touching the wall in 1:41.70 and the 16th best time in the nation.
“Zach Yeadon has been highly ranked all season, getting two freshmen in with Marci and Josh is big, and having Aaron make it at the Last Chance meet rounds out the group,” he concluded.
The first of the NCAA contests begins this week with the Diving Zone C Championships (March 14-16). Five Irish divers will compete at the meet, looking for a spot at the NCAA Swim and Dive Championship meets later this month.
Prior to the men’s meet at the end of March, Notre Dame will have a record eight individual women compete at the women’s championships next week (March 20-23) and 12 total participants.