Jamaica’s Justin Plaschka continues to improve his form ahead of the World Short Course Swimming Championships to be held in Windsor Canada from Dec 6-11. He showed his increased speed at the North Carolina State Greensboro Aquatic Center Invitational held from Nov 17 to Nov 19.
In the 200 yard freestyle relay he led off the Notre Dame A team with a time of 20.09 under the NCAA B standard for the 50 yard freestyle of 20.19. It was just off his season best of 20.00. The other team members comprising of Daniel Speers (19.21), Tabahn Afrik (19.61) and Reed Fujan (19.79) combined for a total time of 1:18.70 to place 2nd . It was the 9th fastest time in the NCAA Division 1 this season. The team’s performance was just off the school record of 1:18.46 set at the 2016 ACC competition. That exact time is also the NCAA B standard for 2017. A time that should be beaten as the season goes on.
Plaschka’s season best in the 50 yard freestyle would fall in the A final of the event. He would better the 201.19 B standard for the 5th time this season and break the 20 second barrier when he record 19.91 (split time 9.56) for 4th place.
Another season best would be realized in the 100 yard butterfly. In the final he broke the 22 seconds barrier in the 1st 50 with a split of 21.85. He stopped the clock in a time of 46.82 well under the NCAA B standard of 48.29. He was not far off his personal best and school record of 46.37.
In the 100 yard freestyle heats Justin lowered his season best from 44.84 to 44.74 to make the B final. In that race he went under the 44 seconds barrier and NCAA B time of 44.29 to record a win in a time of 43.96 (split time20.60).
In the 100 yard backstroke he was 33rd in a time of 49.73(split time 23.21). That was his fastest ever collegiate performance and his best time since May 2014.
The Fighting Irish seem set to break a number of school records in the relays this season. In the 400 yard medley relay the team of Rob Whitacre backstroke (47.81), Trent Jackson breaststroke (53.83), Plaschka butterfly (46.81) and Afrik freestyle (42.98) clocked a season best time of 3:11.43 for 3rd place. It was just off the 2016 school best time of 3:11.42 and closes in on the school record of 3:09.50.
The 400 yard freestyle relay saw the team of Afrik 43.31, Speers 43.43, Reed Fujan 43.76 and Justin 43.74 recording a total time of 2:54.24 for 2nd. It was just off the NCAA B time of 3:53.68.It places them at number 10 in the nation.
The 200 yard medley relay saw Justin turning a freestyle split of 19.43 to help the A team to 6th in 1:27.43. When asked about his performances Justin said
“I’m just overall very happy with the times that I was able to put up at the invitational. We had only suited up and rested for about three days and the fact that I was able to go 43, 19 and 46 were all awesome as I’ve never done that besides on a full taper.”
Notre Dame placed 2nd of the 8 competing teams with 1593 points.