WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- The Purdue men's and women's swimming and diving teams compete together for the final time this season this weekend in Madison, visiting Wisconsin's capital city for the annual Big Ten Quad and Triple Duals meet that will feature seven teams representing four universities.
The two-day meet begins with diving action Friday at 4:30 p.m. ET. The swimming races get underway at 6 p.m. ET Friday. Saturday's schedule has diving starting at 10 a.m. ET and swimming action commencing at 11:45 a.m.
Along with Purdue, Minnesota and Wisconsin will also have men's and women's teams competing. The Illinois women complete the seven-team field. Five of the seven teams are nationally ranked in the latest CSCAA Top 25 polls. The Minnesota men lead the way at No. 15. The Minnesota women are No. 16, the Purdue men No. 18, the Wisconsin women No. 19 and the Purdue women No. 25.
The Big Ten Quad and Triple Duals meet has a site location rotation that includes Madison, Minneapolis and West Lafayette. Purdue last hosted the meet in 2011 and the Boilermaker Aquatic Center is the site of next year's meet. Purdue men's coach Dan Ross said the Big Ten Quad and Triple Duals not only serves as an abbreviated version of the Big Tens Championships, featuring some quality competition over two days of events, but also fits the teams' schedules and budgets well. The Boilermakers have the opportunity to host the meet every third year, and when they do travel for the meet, it's a flight (Minneapolis) one year and a bus trip (Madison) the next.
Meanwhile, the Purdue men's Wisconsin natives, Evan Barta (Hartland) and Matt Friede (Reedsburg), return to their home state this weekend. Both swimmers said they competed at the UW Natatorium multiple times for the high school state meet. Friede said he attended the Big Ten Quad meet as a high school senior in 2010 after he had signed his National Letter of Intent to join the Boilermakers.
The Big Ten Quad and Triple Duals meet falls somewhere between a traditional dual meet and an invitational. The team scoring is head-to-head in dual meet fashion. There will be multiple heats of most events, but not preliminaries and finals like would be the case at an invitational. However, unlike a dual meet, there are more than two teams competing and the two-day format allows for four relay events as well as both the 200- and 400-yard IM to be contested.
Each team will be limited to four individual scoring entries and two relays in the swimming events. The 1,000 free is capped at three competitors from each school.
Both Purdue teams continue to gear their training towards the Big Ten Championships, which are now only a few weeks away. The men close out their dual meet schedule next weekend with a head-to-head home meet against rival Indiana. Selected members of the women's team will travel to Columbus next weekend for the Ohio State Winter Invite. While the Big Ten Quad represents the final time men's and women's swimmers from Purdue will compete at the same meet, the divers will take to the boards and platforms together March 14-16 for the NCAA Zone C Championships, hosted by the Boilermaker Aquatic Center this season.