Notre Dame finishes fifth at ACC championships
Observer Sports Staff | Tuesday, March 3, 2015
After a sixth-place finish last season in its first ACC championships, Notre Dame did one better this year, finishing fifth in the league meet the second time around, held at Georgia Tech Aquatic Center in Atlanta.
Irish swimmers broke three school records and earned several NCAA ‘B’ cuts in a meet in which they finished better than No. 25 Virginia and Florida State.
After the men’s diving team scored some valuable points for the Irish last week, the swimmers jumped into the water Wednesday and performed well enough to sit in third place after the first day of swimming competition, behind just No. 17 Virginia Tech and No. 10 Louisville. The 800-yard freestyle relay quartet of sophomores Trent Jackson, Reed Fujan and Tom Anderson and freshman Benjamin Jany set a school record with a time of 6:21.51, while Jackson earned an NCAA ‘B’ cut with his split of 1:35.04.
After Thursday’s events, the Irish plummeted to eighth place but received some strong swims in the 500-yard freestyle and 200-yard individual medley. In the 500 free, Anderson finished 14th in 4:24.87, and Jackson earned his second ‘B’ cut with a personal-best time of 4:23.37 seconds in the C final.
In the 200 IM, senior standout Zachary Stephens finished 10th in 1:45.62, while Fujan and senior Cameron Miller also got in times good enough to hit the ‘B’ cut.
On Friday, the Irish surged into fifth place on the backs of strong performances in the 400-yard individual medley, 100-yard freestyle and 200-yard freestyle; Anderson touched the wall at 3:47.45 in the 400 IM final to snag a seventh-place finish.
In the 100 free, freshman Justin Plaschka missed out on a new school record by .06 seconds before Jackson led the Irish in the 200 free with a ninth-place time of 1:36.24. Fujan touched the wall a couple of seconds later with a 16th-place finish.
On the final day, Saturday, the Irish broke a pair of school records and held off host Georgia Tech, Florida State and Virginia to finish fifth. Nappi broke the school record in the 1,650-yard freestyle with a 11th-place time of 15:14.62, and Jany finished behind him in 15th.
In the 200-yard backstroke finals, freshman Rob Whitacre broke the school record and finished 10th with a time of 1:43.87, while Anderson and junior Bogac Ayhan touched the wall right behind him, finishing 11th and 13th, respectively, to grab the Irish more points in the event.
After a fifth-place finish in the ACC championships, the Irish will now prepare for the NCAA championships; the Zone C Diving Meet begins March 12.