MINNEAPOLIS - Brandon Loschiavo won a conference title in platform diving and Joe Young eclipsed another program record in a backstroke event, highlighting the final day of action at the Big Ten Championships for Purdue swimming & diving.
The Boilermakers finished in fourth place in the team scoring with 735.5 points, outscoring meet host and 21st-ranked Minnesota. The fourth-place finish matches the best in program history. The Boilermakers have now finished fourth four times in the last 10 seasons dating back to 2008-09. Prior to 2009, they had not finished fourth since 1996-97.
Loschiavo won his first career Big Ten title, becoming the fourth men's diver in program history to win gold at the conference championship meet. He was first in both the prelims and championship final on platform. Loschiavo earned six 10s on his first dive of the championship final, producing a score of 96.00. It helped lead to a career-best list score of 523.65. But he was also very consistent throughout the final, earning no less than 81 points on any of his six dives. The sophomore improved on his third-best list score in program history.
He opened his list with a near-perfect dive & went on to win the Big Ten title. Have another look at @BrandoLoschiavo's career-best list on the big stage of Big Tens. #BoilerUp pic.twitter.com/suWqcfufju
-- Purdue Swim-Dive (@PurdueMSwimDive) February 25, 2018
With Steele Johnson also winning the platform consolation final Saturday, the Purdue divers were victorious in five of the nine full rounds (prelims/consolation/championship) of competition at Big Tens this year. Johnson was victorious in the 3-meter prelims and championship final Friday. He and Loschiavo joined David Boudia and David Colturi (2010) as the only diving duos in program history to each win a Big Ten title in the same season.
Johnson and Loschiavo were both named first team All-Big Ten for winning conference titles.
Dating back to 2009, the Boilermakers have won five of the last 10 conference titles in the men's platform competition.
Young qualified for the A final of a backstroke event for the second night in a row. He eclipsed the program record in the 200 back in both the prelims and finals, setting the new standard at 1:42.56 as the only Boilermaker ever to break 1:43 in the event.
Marat Amaltdinov qualified for the A final of the 200 breaststroke for the fourth year in a row. But he was unable to win a third straight conference title in his premier event. The senior finished eighth in the A final Saturday.
Adam Noens also scored at Big Tens for the fourth year in a row. In his final career event at the meet, he posted the third-fastest time (1:43.25) in program history in the 200 back while qualifying for the B final. His time was just one hundredth of a second off the team record entering the meet.
Fellow seniors Chris Bals, Alex Close and Jake Thomas also scored in their final races at Big Tens. Bals (1:57.14, 5th) and Close (1:47.13, 8th) posted career-best times in the 200 breast and 200 butterfly. Senior Hudson Bursch was recognized as Purdue's Big Ten Sportsmanship honoree this weekend.
Nick McDowell moved into third place in program history in the 1,650 freestyle, finishing 13th overall with a time of 15:10.79. Nikola Bjelajac (100 free, 9th), Tim Barth (200 back, 10th) and Erik Juliusson (100 free, 13th) also posted career-best times that elevated them on Purdue's all-time leaderboards.
Freshman Trent Pellini scored in all three of his individual events this week, moving up into seventh place in program history in the 200 breast (1:57.99) while qualifying for the C final Saturday.
A complete scoring breakdown of the Boilermakers' week at the Big Ten Championships will be posted at PurdueSports.com in the coming days.
Meanwhile, selected Purdue swimmers may choose to race at Ohio State's NCAA Last Ditch meet March 4. Men's swimming qualifiers for the NCAA Championships are expected to be announced March 6 or 7. The Zone C Diving Championships, set for March 8 to 10 in Columbus, will serve as the NCAAs qualifier for the divers.
FINAL TEAM SCORES
1.) No. 3 Indiana 1658
2.) No. 7 Michigan 1617.5
3.) No. 16 Ohio State 1300.5
4.) Purdue 735.5
5.) No. 21 Minnesota 712.5
6.) Wisconsin 696.5
7.) Iowa 614.5
8.) Penn State 389.5
9.) Northwestern 260
10.) Michigan State 247.5