Notre Dame heads to Iowa for NCAA championships
Observer Sports Staff | Thursday, March 26, 2015
Notre Dame will embark on its final and biggest test of the season over the next three days, with three individual swimmers, one diver and a pair of relay teams set to compete at the NCAA championships in Iowa City, Iowa.
The Irish — who finished with a 6-6 mark in dual meets this year — will send a pair of All-Americans into the pool, as seniors Zachary Stephens and Jonathan Williamson return to the championships for the third consecutive year.
Stephens qualified for the 200-yard individual medley with a time of 1:44.26, the 100-yard breaststroke with a seed time of 52.54 and the 200-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:55.49.
His teammate Williamson qualified for a pair of events, the 100- and 200-yard butterfly, with qualifying times of 47.48 and 1:43.57, respectively.
Last year, Stephens finished 25th in the 100 breaststroke, while he was also a part of the 400-yard freestyle relay team that placed 21st. Williamson took home a 24th-place finish in the 200 fly, while he was a part of the 800-yard freestyle relay team that finished 19th.
Sophomore Tom Anderson was the only other Irish individual to qualify for the championship and will be making his first trip as an individual swimmer; he was a part of a pair of relay teams last year.
Anderson will be competing in a trio of individual events — the 200-yard backstroke, the 400-yard individual medley and the 500-yard freestyle — in Iowa City and qualified automatically for the 400 IM at the last-chance meet three weeks ago.
A quartet of swimmers — sophomores Trent Jackson and Reed Fujan and freshmen Benjamin Jany and Justin Plaschka — will travel as relay-only swimmers to compete in the 200-yard medley relay and 800-yard freestyle relay.
Sophomore Joseph Coumos will also make the trip to Iowa as a qualifier in the diving events. Coumos finished in a qualifying position in the 3-meter dive at the Zone C meet earlier this month and will also be eligible to dive in the 1-meter and platform events. It marks the second trip to the championships for Coumos, who also competed at the NCAAs as a freshman.
The NCAA championships get underway today in Iowa City and run through Saturday.