CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP MEET INFORMATION
Purdue Men at the Big Ten Championships
Wednesday to Saturday, Feb. 21 to 24
Noon ET Prelims, 7:30 p.m. Finals / BTN Plus on BTN2Go
Jean K. Freeman Aquatic Center / Minneapolis, Minnesota
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Purdue men's swimming & diving returns to the Twin Cities as week two of the sport's championship season shines the spotlight on the Big Ten Championships at Minnesota's Freeman Aquatic Center.
The seven-session meet begins Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. ET with the 200 medley and 800 freestyle relays. Preliminaries are set for the afternoon sessions and begin at noon. Relays are contested, Big Ten champions determined and team points earned in the evening finals, which begin nightly at 7:30 p.m. Diving prelims begin daily at 2 p.m. as the afternoon bridge between the sessions.
Minnesota is hosting the Big Ten Men's Championships for the first time since 2011. The 2013 and 2014 Big Ten Women's Championships were held in the Twin Cities in the years since. The student-athletes competing this week strive to return to Minneapolis in a month's time for the NCAA Championships. In 2011, Minnesota's aquatic center also hosted both championship meets. David Boudia won five of the six diving titles (3 Big Ten, 2 NCAA) that year. He remains the last diver to sweep the three diving events at Big Tens.
Purdue established eight program records -- one individual, one relay and six freshman -- when the Big Ten Championships were last held in Minnesota. Boudia's platform record, which is also a conference benchmark, and two freshman standards still stand.
The Big Ten Network will televise the Saturday finals session Sunday from 10 to 11:30 a.m. ET. BTN Plus on BTN2Go will also be offering live pay-per-view webcast coverage of all seven sessions.
Fourteen of the 20 Boilermakers to score in individual event at Big Tens a year ago are competing again this season. Steele Johnson (1-meter), Kiki Komlenic (100 back), Jake Thomas (200 back) as well as the 400 medley and 800 freestyle relay teams established program records at the 2017 Big Ten Championships in Columbus.
PURDUE'S MOST RECENT BIG TEN CHAMPIONS
Diving: Steele Johnson -- Platform, 2017
Swimming: Marat Amaltdinov -- 200 Breast, 2017
The Boilermakers won Big Ten titles in both swimming and diving events in the same year for the only the second time last season. Andrew Langenfeld (50 free) and David Boudia (diving sweep) also accomplished the feat in 2009.
Purdue has had at least two different Big Ten champions in consecutive years three times before -- 2009 and 2010, 2003 and 2004, 1996 and 1997.
JOHNSON RETURNS FROM INJURY
Steele Johnson finished third on 1-meter with a simplified list at the Big Ten Triple Duals on Jan. 26 in Minneapolis. It was his first competition since Nov. 3. The Olympic medalist and four-time NCAA champion took the extended break to allow a stress fracture in his foot to heal. He says he has trained and competed through the ailment since February 2015, his freshman season at Purdue.
Johnson had the nation's best scores in the springboard events when the injury sidelined him in November. While he's still likely to be a championship finalist this week at Big Tens, he admitted that the real goal was to be a performing at a true championship caliber form again in time for NCAAs a month from now.
Johnson was victorious on platform with the second-best score (547.80) in conference history at Big Tens a year ago. He has finished among the top four in all six of his career competitions at Big Tens.
JOHNSON INTERVIEW ON PURDUE PODCAST (BEGINS AT 21-MINUTE MARK)
AMALTDINOV AIMS TO JOIN ELITE COMPANY
Repeating as a Big Ten champion in an event is a unique accomplishment. Only seven Boilermakers have done it: Keith Carter (200 breast, 1948-49), Dan Milne (50 free, 1967-69), Matt Brown (400 IM, 1996-97), Vilmos Kovacs (200 breast, 1996-98), Louis Paul (200 IM, 2003-05), David Boudia (3-meter and platform, 2009-11) and Marat Amaltdinov (200 breast, 2016-17). Amaltdinov can join an even more exclusive group of four Boilermakers by completing the three-peat Saturday in the 200 breaststroke. Since Kovacs' three-peat in the event in the late-90s, only Olympic medalist Cody Miller (Indiana) has accomplished the feat. Miller was a four-time conference champ in the event from 2011 to 2014.
Amaltdinov's season-best time of 1:54.27 is fourth in the Big Ten this season behind Michigan's Jacob Montague and Tommy Cope and Minnesota's Conner MuHugh. Amaltdinov raced against McHugh in Minneapolis three weeks ago and won the head-to-head preview in the 200 breast. Chris Bals out touched both All-Americans in the 100 breast.
Amaltidinov's wining time in 2016 (1:52.67), which remains the pool record at the Burke Aquatic Center, ranks third in Big Ten history.
LOSCHIAVO, CIFELLI ALSO AMONG THE BEST DIVERS IN THE BIG TEN
Brandon Loschiavo and Steele Johnson are among the most versatile divers in the conference. Johnson has already won NCAA titles in all three diving events during his career. Loschiavo also shined at Big Tens as a freshman, finishing among the top nine in all three events. He won bronze on platform in 2017 and had the nation's best score on the tower (482.25) during the regular season this year. Loschiavo accounted for 71 points in his debut at Big Tens, second to only Johnson (85) last season.
Joe Cifelli was a championship finalist in both springboard events at Big Tens last season. The All-American won silver on 1-meter at the conference championship meet as a freshman and ranks among the top four in program history in both springboard events.
GOMEZ-TREIG, LAWRENCE EARN FINAL BERTHS ON BIG TENS ROSTER
Freshmen Gabi Gomez-Treig and Ryan Lawrence earned the final two spots on Purdue's travel roster for Big Tens based in part by their performances at last weekend's First Chance meet. They accounted for the top two times on the team this season in both the 50 and 100 free. Lawrence was tops in the 50 (20.21) and fast in the 100 (44.50) as well. Gomez-Treig was the best in the 100 (44.46) to go along with a time of 20.39 in the 50.
BIG TEN'S RANKED TEAMS IN CSCAA TOP 25
No. 3 Indiana, No. 7 Michigan, No. 16 Ohio State, No. 21 Minnesota
BOILERMAKERS AMONG BIG TEN TOP 25
Via season-best times/scores compiled by CollegeSwimming.com
Brandon Loschiavo: 1st on Platform, 8th on 1-Meter, 14th on 3-Meter
Steele Johnson: 1st on 3-Meter, 2nd on 1-Meter
Marat Amaltdinov: 4th in 200 Breast, 11th in 100 Breast
Joe Cifelli: 6th on 1-Meter, 15th on 3-Meter
Adam Noens: 10th in 400 IM, 21st in 200 Back, 23rd in 200 IM
Nick McDowell: 10th in 1,650 Free, 18th in 500 Free
Batuhan Hakan: 11th in 500 Free
Trent Pellini: 14th in 100 Breast, 17th in 200 IM
Chris Bals: 17th in 200 Breast, 19th in 100 Breast
Grant Lewis: 18th in 200 Fly
Erik Juliusson: 21st in 200 IM
Tim Barth: 24th in the 200 Back
Joe Young: 25th in the 200 Back
YEAR THREE OF THE NEW SCORING BREAKDOWN
A Final: 32-28-27-26-25-24-23-22
B Final: 20-17-16-15-14-13-12-11
C Final: 9-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 (And 17th through 24th in Diving Prelims)