Feb. 28, 2009
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The Purdue men's swimming and diving team finished fourth with 494 points as the Big Ten Championships concluded Saturday inside the Boilermaker Aquatic Center.
"These guys talked about being third, which is an outward goal and there's not much you can do about it," head coach Dan Ross said. "You have to just do all the things you need to do to be unselfish and become a team. What I'm most proud of is we did that. We didn't get third place, but I don't know what else we could've done. We are just a team. That's what is so cool about this group. (Head diving coach) Adam (Soldati), (assistant swimming coach) J (Agnew) and I are just so into each other and working together. I couldn't be prouder of the guys."
The Boilermakers cleaned up in the awards section. Ross was voted Big Ten Coach of the Year, head diving coach Adam Soldati was named Big Ten Diving Coach of the Year and David Boudia left with Big Ten Freshman of the Year, Big Ten Diver of the Year and Big Ten Diver of the Championships trophies.
Boudia completed his sweep of the diving events by scoring a Big Ten, Doris Z. Holloway Pool and Purdue record of 533.60 points from the platform Saturday night. Boudia put his name on top of all three record books during the preliminaries with his 530.35 score before breaking that record in the final.
"Tonight was very successful," Boudia said. "It went as planned, and I swept all three events. I was very excited because I didn't think I was going to be able to break the preliminary score, but I did. Again, that's what I'm looking for is consistency. The awards, that right there is an accomplishment. The Big Ten isn't like any other meet, and I was glad to share it with all the Purdue fans and my teammates."
Ross earned his third Big Ten Coach of the Year honor and first since 1997 after guiding Purdue as it matched the school's highest conference finish. The Boilermakers have now finished fourth 12 times.
"It makes me very emotional just thinking about all the stuff," Ross said. "The guys have pulled together. The Coach of the Year thing, I voted for the Michigan coach (Mike Bottom) because they won. I'm very, very flattered and honored. I'm happy for my team, and I'm happy for J. J did most of the coaching this year when I was gone all the time. It's been a great weekend."
For Soldati, it was his second honor in as many weeks after also being named Big Ten Diving Coach of the Year for the women. Soldati earned his third overall conference recognition after also being named men's Diving Coach of the Year in 2006.
"It's a great honor to be recognized by your peers," Soldati said. "It doesn't happen without the grace of God, an incredible athletic department that gives us the facilities to do this, an awesome support staff from our swimming coaches and a great bunch of kids that make this environment a championship environment that people want to come and be a part of."
Senior John Schmitt earned a school record in the preliminaries of the 100 freestyle with his 43.08 clocking that lowered the previous mark of 43.82 by Louis Paul in 2005. In the final, Schmitt swam 43.16 and finished third. Fellow senior Andrew Langenfeld finished fourth in the race after touching the wall in 43.50. Langenfeld moved behind only Schmitt on Purdue's all-time performance list in the event with his 43.37 clocking in the afternoon session.
Sam Wilcher broke Purdue's school record in the 200 butterfly twice on Saturday. The junior from Arlington Heights, Ill., lowered his school record of 1:45.53 with his 1:44.73 time in the afternoon session. Wilcher then swam a time of 1:44.56 to break the record again and place fifth in the final.
Daniel Jung broke his third freshman record of the championships with his 44.44 clocking during the 100 freestyle preliminaries. The Darien, Ill., native surpassed Javier Diaz's 44.86 time from 1999 and moved to fourth on Purdue's all-time performance list in the event. Jung broke the school freshman record in the 50 freestyle Thursday and became the fastest freshman in school history in the 100 backstroke Friday.
Sophomore Matt Stewart moved to second on Purdue's all-time performance list with his 15:19.69 time that also eclipses the NCAA `B' standard. The Rochester, Minn., native also is second on Purdue's all-time 1,000 freestyle list and third in the school's all-time 500 freestyle list. Also in the 1,650 race, Drew Wolfred moved to fourth on Purdue's all-time performance list with his 15:31.01 time.
Sophomore David Colturi improved his standing in second on Purdue's all-time performance list in the platform diving competition as he scored 458.75 points and finished third. J.P. Perez moved to third on that all-time list with his 412.45-point performance in the afternoon session. Junior Kyle Mitrione is now fifth on the school's platform all-time performance list after he scored 402.10 points in the finals and placed fifth. Danny Cox won the consolation final and finished ninth overall with his score of 409.90 that moves him to fourth on Purdue's all-time performance list in the platform competition.
Aaron Koger took seventh in the 200 breaststroke with his 1:58.68 clocking. In the afternoon session, Koger improved his standing in fourth on Purdue's all-time performance list in the event with his 1:58.33 time.
In the 200 backstroke, junior Andre Koop finished 16th in the final after he recorded a season-best time of 1:46.58 in the afternoon session. Wyatt Hodges placed 22nd in the 200 breaststroke after touching the wall in 2:01.88.
In addition to the swimmers in the finals, Purdue earned seven season-best times in the afternoon session. Senior Tim Watts touched the wall in 1:47.90 in the 200 backstroke one day after moving into a tie for the school record in the 100 backstroke. Sophomore Chris Pfaff swam a time of 1:49.95 in the 200 backstroke, and Albert Miller touched the wall in 2:04.65 in the 200 breaststroke. In the 100 freestyle, the Boilermakers swam to four more season-best times. Gage Barry touched the wall in 45.26, Jimmy Brooks finished in 45.63 and A.J. Boeh and Kyle House stopped the clock in 45.89 and 46.32, respectively.
Michigan won the team title with 829 points. The Wolverines were followed by Ohio State with 521 points and Minnesota with 507. Indiana scored 449.5 points to round out the top five.
The Boilermakers now transition into the NCAA Championship section of the schedule. The divers travel to Minneapolis, Minn., March 13-15 for the NCAA Zone C Diving Championships. After that meet, the divers will combine again with the swimmers for the NCAA Championships in College Station, Texas, March 26-28.