Yeadon, ND find success at men’s NCAAs
Jimmy Ward | Thursday, April 4, 2019
Notre Dame concluded their season this weekend at the NCAA Championships in Austin, Texas. After the Irish women sent 12 individual competitors to the the NCAAs, the men sent 4 swimmers to the championship meet. The men were represented by freshmen Josh Bottelberghe and Marton Barta, sophomore Zach Yeadon and junior Aaron Schultz. Yeadon earned two All-American Honorable Mentions over the weekend for his performances in the 500 and 1650 yard freestyle finals. Yeadon touched the wall in 4:14.84 and 14:42.90 in the races, respectively.
Irish head coach Mike Litzinger spoke highly of Yeadon’s All-American performance.
“I think Zach had a real solid year,” Litzinger said. “His fall was really great and he was was coming off a great freshman year and a really good summer of training and his performance at the Ohio State Invite was fantastic. I think at that at the ACCs leading up to the NCAAs he was in a really good spot and he just didn’t perform the way he was hoping at the NCAAs. It was still a really great performance because it was a super fast meet and highly, highly competitive so to still be named Honorable Mention All-American in both his primary events is a great achievement but I think the coaching staff and Zach knows there’s a lot more in the tank there.”
Litzinger also praised Barta.
“You look at his fall as well, he was really hot in the fall and then kind of cooled off,” Barta said. “The one thing I can say about [Barta] is he has been on campus since Aug. 6 and hasn’t had a chance to go home or be with his family so it’s tough for kids from another country when they have to sacrifice like that to be at Notre Dame. But, I think at the end of the day, he learned an awful lot — what it takes to compete at the NCAA level and, I think after a great spring and summer training, he’ll be bouncing back.”
Litzinger also spoke of the other two athletes that qualified for the NCAA Championships, Schultz and Bottelberge.
“We had two other guys that kind of swam in the shadows a little bit year long,” LItzinger said. “Aaron Schultz … did a tremendous job and set our school record for the 200 butterfly and Josh [Bottelberge] dropped from a 1:57 in the 200 breaststroke to a 1:53, and when you drop 4 seconds in one year in the 200 event, that’s pretty massive.”
The Irish team, in general, is very youthful on both the women’s and the men’s side especially in the diving pit. Litzinger touched on how important this youth is looking forward for the Irish.
“When you look at our NCAAs we had two freshmen, a sophomore and a junior there so the future is really bright for our team,” Litzinger said. “We just have to craft some leadership this spring, get our 2019-2020 team philosophy in line and then we’re going to move on and see what we we can do.”