WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- Nine members of the program along with the coaching staff are set to travel to Dallas this weekend to represent Purdue men's swimming and diving at the six-team Classic @ SMU, a two-night meet featuring a fast field and one of the most unique formats in the country.
Action is set for 8:30 p.m. ET Friday and Saturday evening at SMU's Perkins Natatorium, which features a six-lane competition pool. Along with Purdue and SMU, Florida, Louisville, Michigan and USC will also have nine competitors in attendance this weekend. The Wolverines (No. 1), Trojans (No. 5), Gators (No. 7) and Cardinals (No. 16) were all ranked in the last CSCAA Top 25 coaches poll.
Seven individual events and two relays are held each night. Each of the six teams enter two swimmers per event, one to race in the A final and one to race in the B final. The divers compete in the 1-meter Friday and the 3-meter Saturday. Each school is represented by one diver and one foursome per relay event. Relays are the top-scoring events of the weekend. And to encourage coaches to put their top performers in the A finals, the sixth-place finisher in the A Final earns more team points than the winner of the B final.
The unique six-lane pool at Perkins Natatorium matches up perfectly with the six-team format, allowing each race to feature a full field of swimmers.
The Boilermakers competed in a six-lane pool last weekend at Michigan State's McCaffree Pool. Kiel (200 back), Tucker (100 free) and Purdue's 400 free relay team of Benjamin Ziolkowski, Destro, Tucker and Friede each posted new pool records in the dual meet win at MSU. Tucker eclipsed a record that had stood since the mid-1990s.
But while the number of lanes may be the same this weekend in Dallas, LaMothe said the atmosphere would be completely different. The senior captain said that the Classic @ SMU was one of the meets he looked forward to most because it presented an opportunity to suit up and race against some of the top competition in the country. Earning a spot on the travel party for the Classic @ SMU is an honor for the Boilers selected to compete in Dallas.
Kiel was the runner-up in the A final of the 200 back last season. Friede won the B final of the 50 free as a freshman in 2011.
Each of the last two seasons, the Classic @ SMU has overlapped with another weekend competition for the rest of the Purdue roster. Assistant coach J. Agnew led the Boilers in dual meet action against Michigan State while head coach Dan Ross was with the travel party in Dallas. This season Agnew will have the opportunity to join the group at Perkins Natatorium.