WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Marat Amaltdinov has earned the right to represent Purdue men’s swimming & diving at the NCAA Championships for the fourth year in a row.
Amaltdinov has held the program record in the 200 breaststroke since winning the Big Ten title in the event in 2016. It was the 200 breast that again earned him an invitation to the national championship meet. His season-best time of 1:54.27 from the Purdue Invitational in November ranked 23rd nationally. He’ll also have the option to compete in the 100 breast. He posted his season best (54.05) in the 100 at the Purdue Invite as well.
To qualify for an individual event at NCAAs, a men’s swimmer’s time had to rank among the top 28 to 29 nationally, depending on the event. Once a swimmer qualifies as an individual in any one event, he is also permitted to compete in any other event in which he has an NCAA provisional-qualifying time (B cut).
Divers earn their NCAA berths based on their performances at the Zone Championships. Purdue annually competes at the Zone C meet, which opens Thursday (March 8) in Columbus, Ohio. Last week, seven of Purdue’s women’s swimmers learned they had earned the right to represent the Boilermakers at the national championship meet (March 14-17).
Amaltdinov is the fifth member of the program to qualify for the NCAA Championships four times, joining Romain Maire (2005-08), Giordan Pogioli (2003-06), Tamas Bessenyei (2001-04) and Vilmos Kovacs (1996-99). Pogioli, Bessenyei and Kovacs were also Big Ten champions in a breaststroke event. Six other Boilermakers qualified for the NCAA Championships three years in a row from 1946 to 1969 during an era in which freshmen were not eligible.
Amaltdinov would have been seeded third in the 200 breast at the 2016 NCAA Championships, but he declined a bid in order to train for the Russian Olympic Trials. Last season, he repeated as the Big Ten champion in the event and finished seventh at NCAAs. He became Purdue’s first men’s swimmer to earn full-fledged All-America honors via at top-eight finish at NCAAs since Pogioli in 2006.
While he did qualify for the A final of the 200 breaststroke at Big Tens for the fourth year in a row, Amaltdinov’s eighth-place finish this season marked the first time he did not medal in the event. However, at the Purdue Invitational in November, he won the 200 breast among a fast field that included 2018 Big Ten champ Ian Finnerty of Indiana. Amaltdinov also won races this season that featured Minnesota’s Conner McHugh (third) and South Carolina’s Nils Wich-Glassen (16th), both of whom will be seeded ahead of him. Finnerty is slated to be the top seed in the 200 breast at NCAAs.
Minnesota is hosting both the men’s editions of the Big Ten and NCAA Championships this season. Amaltdinov returns to the Twin Cities for the national championship meet from March 22 to 24. The 200 breast is contested on the final day (Saturday) of the meet.