WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - New program records established by Taite Kitchel and Kaersten Meitz along with convincing event victories by Marat Amaltdinov and Brandon Loschiavo highlighted the final day of the Purdue Invitational at the Morgan J. Burke Aquatic Center.
Meitz won the 1,650 freestyle while becoming the first Purdue woman to break 16 minutes in the mile. Her time of 15:54.41 allowed the senior to eclipse Caitlin Hamilton's program record by 7.61 seconds. Meitz now owns program records in the 500, 1,000 and 1,650 free. She eclipsed her 500 free mark twice Thursday while winning the event.
Kitchel took possession of her first career Purdue record with a time of 1:56.42 in the 200 butterfly. She eclipsed Emmy Rawson's record from 2016 by a tenth of a second. Coincidentally, Rawson (1:58.00) raced in the adjacent lane to Kitchel in the A final of the event Saturday. The duo both posted NCAA B Cuts while teaming up for a 2-3 finish behind Virginia Tech's Klaudia Nazieblo.
Amaltdinov rallied for victory in the A final of the 200 breaststroke, closing the race with an impressive 50-yard split of 29.35 to win with a time of 1:54.27. He improved on his prelim time by more than three seconds and remained tough to beat in the 200 breast, especially in his home pool. The A final of the 200 breast featured a fast field with each of the top five finishers representing a different university. The race was reminiscent of Amaltdinov's victory in the event at the 2016 Big Ten Championships, which was the first of his consecutive conference titles.
Loschiavo soared to a 134-point victory in platform diving. He posted a list score of 481.20 points that ranks as the best of his collegiate career. The sophomore improved on his third-best score in program history, remaining behind only multiple-time NCAA champions David Boudia and Steele Johnson. He earned scores of at least 84 points in four of the six rounds.
The Boilermakers finished in fourth place in both sides of the team scoring. The No. 3 Florida men and No. 8 Indiana women took the team titles among the fields of eight scoring teams for both genders.
JOINED THE PURDUE ALL-TIME LEADERS
Jinq En Phee, Nick McDowell and the women's 800 free relay team all posted times that ranked among the programs' all-time top 10.
Phee capped her big week by winning the B final of the 200 breast with a career-best time of 2:15.57, moving her into sixth place in team history. Friday, she moved up to second place in program history in the 100 breast (1:00.35).
McDowell finished the mile in 15:19.08, good for seventh-fastest in team history. The NCAA B Cut made him the first Boilermaker to post a new top-10 time in the mile since Jan Karel Petric during the 2014-15 season.
The Purdue women finished as the runner-up in the 400 free relay to close the meet. Danielle Auckley, Jackie Smailis, Megan Johnson and Meitz teamed up for a time of 3:18.01 that ranks third in program history. Smailis, Auckley and Meitz were also part of the 400 free relay team at Big Tens last year whose time of 3:17.90 was good for second place in the record book.
TOP-SCORING FINALISTS, RACE WINNERS IN FINALS
Emily Meaney (3rd in platform diving), Cady Farlow (4th in 200 breast), Emily Bretscher (8th in platform diving), Alex Close (8th in A final of 200 fly) and Auckley (7th in A final of 100 free) represented the other Boilermakers to account for double-figure team points Saturday. They qualified for A finals or, in the case of the divers, finished among the top eight of the finals-only platform competition. Auckley was an A finalist in the 50, 100 and 200 free this week. Kitchel and Meitz were the only other Purdue student-athletes to be three-time A finalists (or equivalent in the mile).
Meitz's session-opening victory and team record in the mile set the tone for what turned out to be the Boilermakers' most successful session of this year's fall invite. It was the first of seven individual event races Purdue won Saturday night. Along with Amaltdinov, Meitz and Phee, Johnson also impressed individually by winning the B final of the 100 free. Michael Smith (C final of 200 fly), Joe Young (C final of 200 back) and Breanna Robinson (D final of 200 back) won their races with season-best times in the evening session as well. Robinson accounted for a team season best.
MORE ABOUT THE MILE RECORD
Hamilton's record in the mile (16:02.01) had stood since her All-American performance at the 2010 NCAA Championships, which Purdue hosted. Entering the week, it shared longest-standing honors with Allie Smith's benchmark in the 200 backstroke (1:55.72) that was also established at NCAAs in 2010.
A year ago at the USA College Challenge in Indianapolis, Meitz (9:38.79) eclipsed Hamilton's team record in the 1,000 free (9:41.87). Meitz had the rare opportunity of competing in a 1,000 race on a big stage. Traditionally, a 1,000 free record comes as a byproduct of a strong showing in the mile at a taper/rested/suited meet. Considering that Meitz bested Hamiton's record by more than seven seconds, it's somewhat surprising Meitz's 1,000 split Saturday was just 9:40.02. Meitz posted 15 consecutive sub 29-second 50 splits over final 750 yards of the race.
Now an assistant coach at Indiana, Hamilton was at the Burke Aquatic Center for much of the meet this week, but was not in attendance Saturday.
PROJECTED NATIONAL RANKINGS FROM SEASON-BEST TIMES AT PURDUE INVITE
Via data compiled by CollegeSwimming.com
Brandon Loschiavo -- 1st in Platform Diving (481.20)
Kaersten Meitz -- 2nd in the 1650 Free (15:54.41), 4th in the 500 Free (4:36.71)
Marat Amaltdinov -- 2nd in the 200 Breast (1:54.27)
Taite Kitchel -- 12th in the 200 Fly (1:56.42)
NEW POOL RECORDS FROM PURDUE INVITE
Men's 50 Free -- Caeleb Dressel (Florida), 18.66
Men's 100 Free -- Blake Pieroni (Indiana), 42.10
Men's 200 Free -- Blake Pieroni (Indiana), 1:32.33+
Men's 200 IM -- Caeleb Dressel (Florida), 1:40.61
Men's 200 Free Relay -- Dressel, Switkowski, Szaranek & Martinez (Florida), 1:16.67
Women's 200 Medley Relay -- Rockett, King, Jensen & Haskett (Indiana), 1:34.58
Men's 400 Medley Relay -- Samy, Finnerty, Lanza & Pieroni (Indiana), 3:05.57
+ Tied his own record from the 2016 Big Ten Championships