PURDUESPORTSDOTCOM
Boilermakers Travel Back to Iowa City for Big Ten Championships

PURDUESPORTSDOTCOM Brial Kiel set three new Purdue freshman records at the 2011 Big Ten meet, qualifying for the A final in the 200 back.
PURDUESPORTSDOTCOM
Brial Kiel set three new Purdue freshman records at the 2011 Big Ten meet, qualifying for the A final in the 200 back.
PURDUESPORTSDOTCOM

Feb. 21, 2012


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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- Purdue men's swimming and diving begins the championship portion of its season this week, returning to Iowa's new pool for the Big Ten Conference Championships Wednesday through Saturday.

The seven-session meet begins with the 200 medley and 800 freestyle relays as well as an exhibition round of 3-meter synchronized diving Wednesday evening at 8 p.m. ET. Preliminary rounds are set for the afternoon sessions and begin at 1 p.m. ET. Big Ten champions and team points will be determined in the evening finals, which begin at 8 p.m. ET

The Big Ten Network will televise highlights of the meet Saturday, March 3 at 10 a.m. ET.

The University of Iowa is hosting the conference meet this season at the new Campus Recreation and Wellness Center. The facility opened in the summer of 2010 and also served as the host pool of the women's Big Ten Championships last week. The same site has not hosted both Big Ten meets since 1987 and 1988 when they were held in Indianapolis. Additionally, the University of Iowa will be hosting the men's Big Ten Championships for the first time since 1982.

The 17th-ranked Boilermakers got their first look at the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center in November when they traveled to Iowa City for the first time since November 2007.

Along with 2004 and 2009 when the Boilermaker Aquatic Center served as the host site, the 2002, 2003, 2005 and 2006 were recent campaigns in which the Purdue men's swimmers had the opportunity to compete in the host pool of the Big Ten Championships earlier in the same season.

The Boilermakers finished fourth at Big Tens in 2009 and 2010, matching the program's best-ever showing. Purdue settled for fifth place last season in a meet that featured six nationally-ranked teams. Michigan is the defending champion, claiming its third title in the last four years. The Wolverines have won the team title a conference-high 35 times.

For much of the school year, Purdue has trained and prepared specifically for the championship segment of the season, highlighted by the Big Tens this week and the NCAA Championships (March 22-24). The Boilermakers' top performers will look to improve their NCAA prospects this weekend and have specifically tapered their training in an effort to maximize season-best times and scores.

Performing well individually in morning preliminaries and as relay foursomes at night ultimately has the greatest impact on team success. Individuals score points by qualifying for the A and B finals in the evening sessions after posting top 16 times in the prelims.

Andrew Langenfeld, who won the 50 free in 2009, is Purdue's most recent Big Ten champion in the swimming events. David Boudia won eight Big Ten diving titles while representing the Boilers on the boards from 2009-11.

Ben Wachtel, Andrew Starr, Brian Kiel and the graduated Drew Wolfred teamed up to establish a new program record in the 800 free relay on the opening night of Big Tens last season. Kiel (100 and 200 back, 200 IM), Matt Friede (50 free) and Eduard Galdeano (200 fly) also set new Purdue freshman records.

Kiel qualified for the A final in the 200 back while Friede and Galdeano both finished as the runner up in the B finals of their events en route to setting the freshman benchmarks.

Purdue head coach Dan Ross leads the Boilers into the Big Ten Championships for the 27th time as the leader of the program. With Purdue head diving coach Adam Soldati currently in England serving as a staff assistant with USA Diving at the FINA World Cup, diving video specialist and Purdue diving alumnus Josh Karshen is mentoring the Boilers' men's and women's divers this month.

As of the Jan. 25 CSCAA Top 25 coaches poll, five Big Ten Teams -- No. 4 Michigan, No. 9 Ohio State, No. 11 Indiana, No. 16 Minnesota and No. 17 Purdue -- were nationally ranked.

The Boilermakers competed against each of the other nine Big Ten schools that sponsor men's swimming and diving at some point earlier this season. Purdue went head-to-head against Indiana, Michigan State and Northwestern in standard dual meets. The Boilermakers competed in triple duals against Iowa and Ohio State (Nov. 18 in Iowa City) and Minnesota and Wisconsin (Jan. 27-28 in the Twin Cities). Penn State was also in attendance at the Ohio State Invitational in December and selected members of Michigan's team were in Dallas for the Classic @ SMU (Jan. 13-14). Illinois and Nebraska do not sponsor men's swimming and diving.