WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- For its annual senior salute meet and final home dual of the season, Purdue men's swimming and diving hosts rival Indiana Saturday afternoon at the Boilermaker Aquatic Center.
The Boilermakers' seven seniors will be honored at 11:45 a.m. and the 16-event dual will begin at noon. As the women did two weeks ago, the divers will compete from the 1-meter springboard and platforms.
Before the meet Purdue athletics will take a moment to recognize seven seniors for their contributions to the Boilermakers' swimming and diving program. Corey Bandura, Chuck Destro, Dan Farrell, Alec LaMothe, Noah Pashley, Raymond Mahon and Benjamin Ziolkowski represent the current senior class. Six of the seven seniors are Indiana natives -- all but Destro, who is from Pittsburgh -- and will compete for the final time at the Boilermaker Aquatic Center in the annual rivalry dual.
Destro, LaMothe and Ziolkowski have served as Purdue's captains this season.
Destro has accounted for the team's top time in the 100 butterfly and been part of top relay foursomes in four of the five events. Destro and Ziolkowski were among the Purdue swimmers that competed at the 2012 Olympic Team Trials in Omaha. Destro won his heat of the 50 free and placed among the Top 50 (of 167) overall.
LaMothe was a Distinguished Big Ten Scholar a year ago for a perfect 4.0 GPA. He is responsible for the team's top times in the 1000 and 1650 freestyle this season.
Ziolkowski was part of the Boilers' record-setting 200 freestyle relay team at the 2012 Big Ten Championships that earned a spot in the NCAA national championship meet. That quartet, which also featured current juniors Matt Friede and Danny Tucker, went on to garner Honorable Mention All-America honors. Ziolkowski has been part of the team's top 200 and 400 free relay teams again this year.
Noah Pashley contributed to the Boilers' top time this season in the 200 free relay and was honored as the Big Ten Swimmer of the Week in 2011.
Purdue will be in search of its first victory against Indiana since 2010 and first over IU in West Lafayette since 2007. The Hoosiers have a strong team once again and are ranked seventh in this week's CSCAA Top 25 poll. The Boilermakers slid out of the national rankings this week after dropping their duals against Minnesota and Wisconsin last weekend in Madison.
Last season in Bloomington, the Indiana-Purdue dual was contested in mid-January instead of its customary spot on the calendar in early February. The meet was moved up to coincide with the women's dual to be part of the live-television opportunity from the Big Ten Network, marking the first time in more than two decades the four programs competed at the same pool on the same day for head-to-head competitions. Had it been another co-ed dual on Jan. 26 of this season at the Boilermaker Aquatic Center, the Purdue men would have had four consecutive weekends of competition after the beginning of the spring semester schedule. The coaches mutually decided to have the men's dual once again serve as both teams' dual meet final tune up before the Big Ten Championships, which the IU men are hosting this season at the Counsilman-Billinsgley Aquatics Center.
Purdue dominated the freestyle sprints and 400 free relay at the dual in Bloomington a year ago. Tucker won the 50 free in an event in which the Boilers had the top four finishers. Led by Friede, Purdue swimmers finished 2-3-4-5 in the 100 free. The Boilermakers A and B relay teams also finished 1-2 in the 400 free relay to close out the meet. Destro, Friede, LaMothe, Pashley, Tucker and Ziolkowski were all part of that event.
Individually, Lyam Dias also posted an individual victory by touching first in the 200 breaststroke.
Two years ago at the last Indiana-Purdue dual in West Lafayette, the Boilers swept the relays events but Indiana won the meet on the strength of having the top two finishers in six individual events.
Selected Purdue swimmers will travel to Ann Arbor next weekend for a two-day meet hosted by the University of Michigan. The rest of the team will continue training for the Big Ten Championships.