Jamaica’s Justin Plaschka continued to blaze a path for his countrymen to follow at his final NCAA Division I Championships in Minnesota on Friday May 23.

Justin Plaschka 2017 Texas and m
Justin Plaschka in action  Photo courtesy of

Already the only Jamaican man to qualify for the prestigious elite Championships in the 100 yard butterfly back in March 2016 he has now done it three times.Each time he has gone faster and placed higher. In the morning heats he produced his a time of 46.02 to place 23rd overall. Justin holds the school and Jamaican best time in yards at 45.41. He also owns the 100 metre butterfly standards in the 25 metre and Olympic sized pools at 52.31 and 54.71 respectively.

Date Time split Place
March 2018 46.02 21.28 23rd
March 2017 46.84 21.53 37th
March 2016 47.26 21.97 41st
Justin Plaschka und NCAA Division 1
Justin Plaschka Photo courtesy of

In the 200 yard medley relay he had been flirting with the 20 seconds barrier for the butterfly leg since the 2017 NCAA Championships. Last year he recorded a split of 20.39. In the heats of the event he came close again with a split of 20.09 to help the Fighting Irish earn a B final berth with a total time of 1:25.17 .

Notre Dame swimming on Instagram
Justin Plaschka with his teammates on the 200 yard medley relay after the morning heats Photo courtesy of Notre Dame Swimming on Instagram

In that race he would break through with the fastest split of the B final in a time of 19.94. It was the third fastest time overall as only two swimmers in the Championship final produced faster times. The team finished 7th in a time of 1:25.21. It is the best relay position for the Jamaican as his teams in 2015 and 2017 placed 24th overall.

Date   TeamTime  butterfly split
March 2017 1:26.20 20.39
Jan 2018 1:27.40 20.87
Feb 2018 1:25.37 20.21
March 2018 1:25.17 heats 20.09
March 2018 1:25.21 19.94


Notre Dame’s Jamaican senior Justin Plaschka added to his legacy at the NCAA Division I level when he swum the heats of the 200 yard freestyle relay at the Championships on Thursday March 22 in Minnesota.

Justin Plaschka und NCAA Division 1
Justin Plaschka Photo courtesy of

Plaschka led off the team with a split of 19.50. His teammates Daniel Speers 19.20 ,Aaron Schultz 19.53 and Tabahn Afrik 19.63 followed to register a total time of 1:17.86.That team performance was just off their season best of 1:17.61 and placed them 20th overall. It also marked the first time a Jamaican man has participated in three consecutive Division I championships in the relay swims.

Justin Notre Dame 2018
Justin Plaschka Photo courtesy of

A few events later the Marketing Major would rewrite the history books again as he became the first Jamaican man to swim in three consecutive Division I championships in an individual event , the 50 yard freestyle. In the morning swim he registered his best ever time in the individual race with a swim of 19.42 to place 30th overall.

Date Time split
March 2016 19.56 9.35
March 2017 19.58 9.34
March 2018 19.42 9.29

He closed out the session with a 45.89 butterfly split for the Fighting Irish in the 400 yard medley relay. The team placed 21st with a total time of 3:09.31.


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.

Notre dame graduating seniors
Justin Plaschka with members of the Notre Dame graduating class Photo courtesy of

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

Year Time split
2018 19.30 9.22
2017 19.38 9.32
2016 19.72 9.44
2015 20.12 9.65

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.

Notre Dame tribute to Justin 2016 World
University of Notre Dame tribute to Justin Plaschka for setting the Jamaican at the 2016 World Short Course Swim Championships Photo courtesy of

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.

Shaune Fraser
Shaune Fraser Photo courtesy of

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.



Members of Jamaica’s team to the 2016 and 2014 World Short Course Swim Championships got 2018 off to solid starts for 2018

Justin Plaschka Photo courtesy of Michael Lyn

Justin Plaschka, who competed in Windsor in 2016, represents Notre Dame in the NCAA Division I, travelled to Iowa for a meet against Iowa on Jan 12 and 13. Justin recorded individual wins in the 50 yard freestyle in 20.16 under the NCAA B time of 20.19, 100 yard butterfly 48.90 .In the 200 yard medley relay the Fighting Irish finished second in a time of 1:29.01 Justin contributed a 20.82 butterfly leg. He had second place finishes in the 400 yard medley relay 3:18.09 and his butterfly split was 49.09,400 2:59.07 and 200 1:20.87 yard freestyle relays. On the freestyle relay teams he led off the team with splits of 20.47 and 44.54. Notre Dame beat Iowa 187-113.

Kelsie 2018.PNG

His teammate in 2016 Kelsie Campbell who represents Florida International University also in Division I was in action on Jan 5 at her home pool at the Biscayne Bay Aquatic Center . She had her top performance in the 50 yard butterfly where she touched in 27.32. Kelsie would record other top ten performances in the 100 yard butterfly 59.17 fourth place and the 50 yard backstroke 27.60 sixth. She would place 14th in the 100 yard individual medley in 1:04.09. FIU would top the 11 strong women’s field with 756 points.

Nico Campbell 2018
Nico Campbell Photo courtesy of

Nico Campbell who represented the country at the 2014 Doha World Championships had back to back dual meets against Emory and Nova Southeastern on Jan 12 and 13 respectively for his Division II Florida Southern College. Against Emory Nico won the 100 yard freestyle in 46.29.He was runner up in the 50 yard freestyle in 21.36. He was also a member of the 200 yard freestyle relay team that place 2nd in 1:25.56. On the following day his 200 yard medley relay won in 1:33.56 against Nova. Nico anchored the team with 20.99 freestyle leg. On the 200 yard freestyle relay he led off with a 21.76 as his A team placed second in 1:25.80.  He would also finished second in the 100 freestyle in 46.53.The 50 yard freestyle saw him finishing third in 21.57. Florida Southern won both contests turning back 131 to 74 Nova 134 to 128.



Notre Dame with Jamaican senior Justin Plaschka in their ranks recorded top ten relay times in the 400 medley and 200 yard freestyle relays against Texas A&M last weekend. The dual meet which was hosted by the Fighting Irish from Oct 13-14 saw them going down 159.5 to 193.5. Despite the loss the team still recorded strong performances.


In the 200 yard freestyle relay the team of Plaschka 20.46, Tabahn Afrik 19.98, Dan Fujan 20.66 and Daniel Speers 19.90 recorded 1:21.00 to win the event. That total time bettered the 1:21.31 they recorded at the Dennis Stark relays on October 6.It also places them as the 8th fastest team in the NCAA this season so far.

Justin Plaschka 2017 Texas and m
Justin Plaschka in action in dual meet against Texas A&M Photo courtesy of


The 400 yard medley with Justin handling butterfly duties placed 2nd in the race with a time of 3:16.16. Plaschka, with a split time of 47.36 helped Notre Dame post their fastest time so far and the 5th best ranked time in the NCAA. Notre Dame’s previous best time was 3:23.56.

The 400 yard freestyle relay team of Afrik 44.68, Plaschka 44.48,Aaron Schultz 44.01 and Speers 45.12 had a winning time of 2:58.29. That was just off their 6th ranked and season best effort of 2:58.11.

Plaschka would get his hand first to the wall in the 50 yard freestyle when he stopped the clock in a time of 20.22. The longer sprint, the 100 yard freestyle saw him narrowly defeated by Texas A&M’s 44.20 to 44.28 (split time 21.09).

Justin Plaschka Photo courtesy of Michael Lyn

Justin, who is marketing major enrolled in the Mendoza College of Business, is the fastest active swimmer from the island in the 50 and 100 metre freestyle as well as the 50 and 100 metre butterfly. He holds the national records in three of the aforementioned events and will be one of the swimmers that should be on the teams representing Jamaica internationally for the 2017-2018 season.

Analysis of Plaschka’s best time and how he would have placed at the 2014 Commonwealth and CAC Games

Event Time CAC 2014 Commonwealth Games 2014
50 metre freestyle 22.77 NR 4th 10th
100 metre freestyle 50.92 4th 17th
50 metre butterfly 24.21 NR Silver 10th
100 metre butterfly 54.71 NR 5th 17th

The Fighting Irish will next be in action on Friday October 20 when they host Georgia Tech.


Notre Dame’s Jamaican senior Justin Plaschka officially opened his season with the Fighting Irish in the best possible way on Saturday October 7 at home. This as school  opened  the dual meet season with a win over number 7 ranked Louisville 153.5 to 146.5 and Justin  recorded the fastest time in the NCAA in the 50 yard freestyle.

Justin Plaschka ACC 2
Justin Plaschka Diving off the blocks

Justin outsprinted the field to get his hand first to the wall in the two lap race to record a time of 20.04.That is the top ranked time in college swimming tying with Paul Powers of the University of Michigan. Louisville’s Andrej Barna 20.17 was second and his teammate Daniel Speers was third in 20.39.

Plaschka, now a senior had his fastest ever season opening collegiate swim in the 50 yard freestyle

Analysis of 50 yard freestyle swims


Freshman 21.05
Sophomore 20.51
Junior 20.83
Senior 20.04

He would notch his individual second win in the dual meet when he took the 100 yard butterfly overtaking Louisville’s Zach Harting over the last 50 yards to take the top honours 47.91 to 48.04.Third went to Matt Grauslys in 49.04.Justin’s time places 5th overall in the NCAA.

In his final event the 400 yard freestyle relay the Irish lost a close decision Louisville 2:57.92 to 2:58.24.Justin had the second fastest split of the relay with a time of 44.00 on the second leg.

In the 200 yard medley relay his team was DQ’d.

Justin holds the school records in three individual events.He was also a  member of four record breaking relay teams .All the records were set last season

Event Time
50 yard freestyle 19.35
100 yard freestyle 42.78
100 yard butterfly 46.05
Justin Plaschka ACC 3
Notre Dame’s record breaking 400 yard freestyle relay team at the back from left to right Daniel Speers and Tabahn Afrik In front Justin Plaschka and Reed Fujan
Event Time
200 yard medley relay 1:24.88
400 yard medley relay 3:06.90
200 yard freestyle relay 1:16.97
400 yard freestyle relay 2:50.39

Notre Dame will next be in action on October Friday the 13 at home at the Rolfs Aquatic Center against Texas A&M and Michigan State.


Mikel Schreuders Photo courtesy of

Day 3 of the NCAA Division I Championships saw Aruban Olympian Mikel Schreuders and Jamaican Justin Plaschka achieving their best ever placings at the NCAA Division I championships in the 200 yard freestyle and 100 yard butterfly respectively.

Competing in the heats of the 200 yard freestyle at the IUPUI Natatorium in Indianapolis the Oranjestad native Schreuders split 46.38 on his way to a total time of 1:34.26 for 23rd place. That is a better placing position than 2016 when he finished 27th overall in a time of 1:35.27 (split time 46.24).  The improved time is clear indication of University of Missour improved sprint endurance. Mikel was also just off his personal best time of 1:34.06.

Justin Plaschka Photo courtesy of Michael Lyn

Plaschka’s best performance at the NCAA Division I championships was his 2016 debut effort of 47.26 9 (split time 21.73). That swim had placed him 41st overall. This year he was under the 47 seconds mark posting a time of 46.84 (split time 21.53). Plaschka is the fastest Jamaican of all time in the 100 butterfly in yards, short course metres (25 metre pool) and long course metres.

Event Time
100 yard butterfly 46.05
100 scm butterfly 52.31
100 lcm butterfly 54.71

The Fighting Irish 200 yard medley relay, with Justin on the butterfly leg (split 20.39) finished 24th in a time of 1:26.20. That is the fastest time by Notre Dame at the Championships in over 5 years.