MEET INFORMATION: BIG TEN TRIPLE DUALS
Purdue Men and Women at No. 24/18 Minnesota, vs. Northwestern
Friday, Jan. 26 at 5 p.m. ET (Diving) and 7 p.m. ET (Swimming)
Saturday, Jan. 27 at 1 p.m. ET
Jean K. Freeman Aquatic Center / Minneapolis, Minnesota
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Purdue swimming & diving's dual meet schedule draws to a close this weekend with a two-day, three-university meet against Minnesota and Northwestern in Minneapolis.
The annual Big Ten Triple Duals features 11 events Friday, with springboard diving beginning at 5 p.m. ET and swimming events at 7 p.m. Nine events are slated for Saturday, including platform diving, and action begins at 1 p.m. The majority of the swimming events will feature two heats. Purdue drew lanes 4 and 7 this weekend. The outside lanes are reserved for non-scoring exhibition entries.
ORDER OF EVENTS
1-Meter & 3-Meter Diving
200 Medley Relay
800 Free Relay
200 Free Relay
400 Free Relay
Olympian and four-time NCAA champion Steele Johnson is scheduled to make the trip this weekend and is likely to compete (with simplified lists) for the first time since Nov. 3. A foot injury has sidelined him since the Boilermakers' final dual meet of the fall semester. If he does return this weekend, the Big Ten Triple Duals will feature divers that combined to win three of the six NCAA titles last year. Johnson swept the men's springboard events and Northwestern's Olivia Rosendahl was victorious in the women's platform competition. Under the guidance of former Purdue coach Wenbo Chen, Minnesota's divers are always among the best in the Big Ten as well.
Johnson swept the three diving events at the 2017 Big Ten Triple Duals at the Burke Aquatic Center. He was also victorious on 3-meter and platform at the 2015 Triple Duals in Minneapolis.
AMONG THE TOP 10 NATIONALLY
Meanwhile, both the men's 200 breaststroke and women's 500 freestyle should feature swimmers whose top times this season rank among the top 10 nationally. Kaersten Meitz remains ranked among the top six nationally in the mile (15:54.41, 3rd), 1,000 (9:39.42, 5th) and 500 free (4:36.59, 6th). She remains No. 1 in the Big Ten in the 1,000 and the mile. Minnesota freshman Mackenzie Padington (3:48.54) is 10th nationally and third in the Big Ten in the 500.
Minnesota's Conner McHugh (1:54.12, 7th) vs. Marat Amaltdinov (1:54.27, 9th) should play out as a preview of the championship final of the 200 breast at next month's Big Ten Championships, at which McHugh will have home-pool advantage this year. Michigan also has two swimmers ranked among the top 10 nationally in the event.
Amaltdinov won the 200 breast at the 2015 Big Ten Triple Duals in Minneapolis and swept the breaststroke events at the Triple Duals last year.
Selected members of the men's team will compete at Minnesota's aquatic center three times in the next nine weeks. The Gophers are hosting both the men's Big Ten Championships and NCAA Championships this season. The Purdue men competed at a pair of multi-day meet in Minneapolis during the 2014-15 season, when the current seniors were freshmen, but has not visited the Upper Midwest since. "I think by the end of March, we'll be paying taxes in Minnesota we're going up there so much," head coach Dan Ross quipped this week. "But I think it's great for us to have this rehearsal [this weekend]."
The 2014-15 campaign was also the season in which Northwestern replaced Wisconsin at the Big Ten Triple Duals. The Wildcats hosted the meet a year later and are slated to do the same next season.
EAGER FOR CHAMPIONSHIP SEASON
With the dual meet season coming to a close, resting and tapering for the upcoming Big Ten Championships is nearly at hand. January can often times be the dog days of the collegiate swim-dive season. On Tuesday, juniors Cady Farlow and Joe Gardner were asked, on a scale of 1 to 10, how eager they were for their Big Ten taper programs to begin. Farlow answered "15" and Gardner said bluntly, "I can't count that high."
ACTIVE BOILERMAKERS TO WIN EVENTS AT 2017 BIG TEN TRIPLE DUALS
Steele Johnson: 1-Meter, 3-Meter and Platform Diving
Kaersten Meitz: 200, 500 and 1,000 Free
Marat Amaltdinov: 100 and 200 Breast
Joe Young: 200 Back
Alex Clarke: 200 IM
Women's 200 Free Relay Team: Danielle Auckley, Jackie Smailis, Meitz
Women's 800 Free Relay Team: Julianne Heyde, Auckley, Meitz
QUOTING THE COACHES
John Klinge: "There's three things to focus on: keeping the swimmers calm, stress free and having fun. We're supposed to be enjoying the competition and having fun. We want to go on this trip and set the stage for the [Ohio State] Winter Invitational and Big Tens. Just go, swim hard and have fun as a team."
Dan Ross: "This weekend, what's great about it -- there's two days. So a distance person doesn't have swim the 1,000, 200 and 500 on the same day. They can swim the 1,000 one day, the 800 free relay and then the 500 the next day. We get to see some more evaluation of what it's going to be like at the Big Ten Championships. We saw some from IU last week, we'll see some more this week and then we'll make that decision on who's going to the first chance [meet] or who gets the free pass to the Big Ten Championships."