The 2018 Atlantic Coast Championships came to a close on Feb 24 at the Greensboro Aquatics Centre, Greensboro North Carolina which saw Notre Dame’s star sprinter Justin Plaschka blazing to new all-time Jamaican standards in his final conference meet.
Plaschka, who was already Jamaica’s fastest swimmer of all time in the 25 yard pool, added a bit more shine to his crown. On the first day of competition Wed he gave a glimpse of his speed when he rocketed to the fastest butterfly in the 200 medley relay of 20.21.That propelled the Fighting Irish team to a news season best of 1:25.37 and an NCAA B time standard.
In the 50 yard freestyle the senior bettered his season best time of 19.60 and made his third consecutive Championship final in the event. In the final he would blaze to new school record and Jamaica best time of 19.30. It also bettered the time standard of 19.43 to be invited to the NCAA Division I final.
Plaschka’s evolution of speed
His performance ranks as the second fastest collegiate performance of all time by a CARIFTA region swimmer
He would gain another automatic invitation to the Championships when the Notre Dame team placed fourth in the 200 yard freestyle relay in a season best of 1:17.61. That just under cut the A standard of 1:17.62.
In the 100 yard butterfly Justin was just off his season best of 46.84 when he stopped the clock in 46.92. It earned him a second swim in the C final. Knowing he was in a different class than the field he was to race he demonstrated that from the firing of the starter’s gun.He blitzed the field with an opening leg of 20.97, an advantage of more than a half a second. With the field defeated it would be a question of what time he would post. He did not disappoint as he registered his first sub 46 seconds swim touching in 45.41.A swim that would have earned the Bronze medal. It blew away his school record and Jamaica best of 46.05 and also went under the 2017 NCAA invitation time of 46.10.
It also pushes him past 45.82 Cayman Olympian Shaune Fraser (Beijing 2008, London 2012) as the second fastest CARIFTA collegiate swimmer of all time.
He would help the 400 yard medley team to fourth and a season best and NCAA B time of 3:08.32 with a butterfly split of 45.34 .
In the 100 yard freestyle he would lower his season best twice .In the morning he recorded 43.48. Competing in the C final he easily topped the competition with a swim of 43.02. He had taken the wind out of the sails of the competition with a split of 20.01.In his final event the Notre Dame team recorded a season best and A qualifying time of 2:51.62.
When draftingthecaribbean caught up with Plaschka he gave his thoughts about his swims
“I was relatively happy with my swims in the 50 freestyle and 100 butterfly. I was glad I was able to take off in both and hit times that would send me to NCAA’s. Only thing I was disappointed in and know that I have to work on in the future is racing better in the mornings. It’s something I know I will be working on the next few weeks in preparation for NCAA’s”.
Notre Dame finished fourth overall with 941 points.North Carolina State topped the
topped the competition with 1457 points.
competition with 1457.