Irish get feet wet with win in first meet of season
Observer Sports Staff | Monday, October 12, 2015
Notre Dame scored 200 points to finish in first place at the 51st Dennis Stark Relays on Friday at the Rolfs Aquatic Center.
The Irish bested Olivet Nazarene, Wright State, IUPUI and Oakland to claim the victory in their first action of the season.
Notre Dame picked up victories in the 200-, 400-, 3 x 500- and 800-yard freestyle, the 400-yard individual medley (IM), 3 x 100-yard butterfly and 200-yard medley relays as well as in one of the two diving events.
The 200 freestyle led off the men’s competition, and gave the Irish their first of seven event wins on the evening. Sophomore Justin Plaschka, freshmen Daniel Speers and Tabahn Afrik and junior Kevin Bradley combined for a time of 1:21.98, more than two seconds in front of the second-place team from IUPUI.
Notre Dame grabbed its second win of the evening in the 800 freestyle, where sophomore Richard Mannix, freshman Steven Shek and juniors Trent Jackson and Joseph Petrone finished in 6:52.63, good enough to best the team from Wright State by almost three seconds.
The 400-IM squad of juniors Tom Anderson, Bradley and Reed Fujan and sophomore Robert Whitacre posted a 3:28.09 to give the Irish their third win of the night.
In the three-man relay races, Notre Dame picked up a victory in the 3 x 100 butterfly. Freshmen Matthew Grauslys and David Stewart and Plaschka won the relay with a time of 2:29.56. The Irish also took home the top billing in the 3 x 500 freestyle race, as Mannix, Petrone and freshman Connor Brown touched the wall in 14:04.84. The Irish team of freshmen Zachary Stump and Benjamin Gorski and senior Andrew Jenson settled for a third-place showing in the 3 x 100 breaststroke event.
Senior Bogac Ayhan, Gorski, Grauslys and Plaschka topped the 200 medley race with a time of 1:32.54. Notre Dame’s swimmers finished picked up their sixth and final win in the 400 freestyle as Afrik, Speers, Fujan and Jackson combined for a 3:02.60 time.
In the 400-yard medley relay, Notre Dame’s all-senior squad of Ayhan, Jensen, Shane McKenzie and Michael Hudspith touched the wall in 3:25.90. The time was just under two seconds slower than the winning team from Oakland, but still earned the team a runner-up finish.
Divers sophomore Peter Myers and junior Zane Parker picked up the seventh and final Irish event win of the night in the 3-meter diving event, while the duo finished second off the 1-meter board.
Notre Dame’s next event is Oct. 30 when it welcomes Michigan State to the Rolfs Aquatic Center.