WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - With the Big Ten Championships now less than a month away, the Purdue swimming and diving teams travel to the Twin Cities this weekend for the two-day, seven-team Big Ten Quad, a competition that annually serves as a preview of the conference meet.
Action begins at 7 p.m. Friday and 1 p.m. Saturday (times ET) at the University Aquatic Center on the East Bank Campus of the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.
The meet is scheduled to feature both teams from Minnesota, Purdue and Wisconsin as well as the Illinois women. The Minnesota women (No. 15), Minnesota men (No. 16), Purdue men (No. 17) and Wisconsin women (No. 19) are all nationally ranked in the latest CSCAA Top 25 poll released this week.
The site of the Big Ten Quad rotates on a three-year basis between Madison, Minneapolis and West Lafayette. After the Boilermakers hosted the two-day meet last year, the event is expected to be held in Madison next season.
The team scoring will be conducted in one-on-one dual meet fashion versus the other schools in attendance. Each team will be limited to four individual scoring entries and two relays in the swimming events. The 1,000 free will is capped at three competitors from each school.
The majority of the non-freshmen members of the Purdue men's travel squad competed at Minnesota's University Aquatic Center a year ago for the 2011 Big Ten Championships. The Purdue women will be making their first appearance in Minneapolis since the 2009 Big Ten Quad.
Both Purdue teams feature a Minnesota native that will return home to compete in front of friends and family this weekend. Sophomore Brian Kiel hails from Rochester, Minn., a community located about an hour southeast of the Twin Cities. Sophomore Samantha Feulner calls suburban Bloomington, Minn., home. This will be Feulner's first opportunity to compete as a Boilermaker in her home state.
With seven teams on deck and the meet spread over two days this weekend, the Big Ten Quad plays out in an abbreviated fashion of the Big Ten Championships. While most swimming events will feature more than one heat, the Big Ten Quad does not feature preliminaries and finals like a fall invitational or spring championship competition.
The Purdue men's head-to-head victory against Minnesota, their first since 1988, highlighted the 2011 Big Ten Quad at the Boilermaker Aquatic Center. The Purdue women also won a closely-contested dual against Wisconsin by two points. Both Purdue teams finished the weekend with a pair of dual wins.
Kiel enjoyed a strong showing as a freshman at the Big Ten Quad a year ago. He swept the backstroke events and swam on the victorious 800 freestyle relay team. Andrew Starr and Ben Wachtel also contributed to that relay win to cap the opening-night action. Albert Miller was an individual winner as well with a victory in the 100 breaststroke. And Chuck Destro contributed in numerous ways with second-place finishes in the 50 free and 100 back while also swimming on three of Purdue's top four relays.
An individual victory by Lauren Roth in the 200 freestyle highlighted the Big Ten Quad a year ago among the Boilers that remain active members of the Purdue women's program.
Roth (14) and Kiel (11) continue to lead the Purdue teams in individual victories this season.
The Boilermakers will be idle from competition next weekend as they continue to gear up for the Big Ten Championships. Selected members of the men's and women's teams will travel to Columbus for the Ohio State Winter Invite, a two-day invitational set for Feb. 11-12. The University of Iowa hosts both Big Ten Championships meets this season. The women's meet is set for Feb. 15-18 and the men's Feb. 22-25.
Order of Events
Friday Swimming at 7 p.m. ET 200 Medley Relay 1000 Free 200 Free 100 Back 100 Breast 200 Fly 50 Free 200 Individual Medley 800 Free Relay 1-Meter & 3-Meter Diving
Saturday Swimming at 1 p.m. ET 200 Free Relay 400 Individual Medley 100 Free 200 Back 100 Fly 500 Free 200 Breast 400 Free Relay Platform Diving