March 12, 2014
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- Led by the individual invitations earned by Lyam Dias and Guillermo Blanco, six Purdue men's swimmers have learned they will have an opportunity to represent the Boilermakers at the NCAA Championships later this month at the three-day meet in Austin, Texas.
Dias (100 and 200 breaststroke) and Blanco (400 IM) both owned individual times that ranked among the top 29 or 31 nationally in their respective events.
Purdue also had qualifying times in four of the five relay events (all but the 800 freestyle relay). Austin Flager, Matt Friede, Adam Johnston and Danny Tucker will be part of the Boilers' freestyle relay events at the NCAA Championships. Blanco and Dias are also expected to race in the medley relay events.
Divers earn their NCAA berths based on their performances at the Zone Championships. Purdue is competing at the Zone C meet again, set for March 13-15 in Columbus, Ohio.
The national championship meet invitations for the women's swimmers were announced last week. Seven women's swimmers earned berths.
Dias' program-record times in the 100 (52.49, 8th) and 200 breast (1:53.06, 6th) from the Big Ten Championships both ranked among the Top 10 nationally. Blanco also established a new program record in the 400 IM (3:44.32, 16th) this season at the Classic @ SMU. While it was in that event in which he earned his individual invite, he also had qualifying times in the 200 IM (1:44.83, 34th) and 200 backstroke (1:45.22, 47th). He can choose to race in those events as well.
Purdue's top times in the 200 (1:18.15) and 400 free relays (2:53.55) ranked 20th and 21st, respectively. The Boilermakers established a new program-record time in the 400 free relay at the Big Ten Championships. Flager, Friede and Tucker are expected to be part of both freestyle relay foursomes. Johnston will swim on the 200 free team and Blanco with the 400 free group.
Purdue ranked 32nd in both the 200 (1:27.10) and 400 medley relays (3:11.59). The Boilers' medley relay teams at NCAAs would be Blanco (back), Dias (breast), Flager (fly) and Tucker (free). However, head coach Dan Ross said he was still deciding whether or not it was in the team's best interest to compete in the 200 medley relay since it is followed by the 400 IM, meaning Blanco would be racing in consecutive events. The 400 IM is one of the most physically taxing events on the schedule.
Friede and Tucker will be making their third consecutive appearances at the NCAA Championships. They helped Purdue's 200 free relay teams earn Honorable Mention All-America acclaim each of the last two years. Dias is an individual qualifier at the national championship meet for the second season in a row.
Blanco, Flager and Johnston will each be making their first appearances at the NCAA Championships. Flager qualified as a freshman. When Stephen Seliskar earned a spot at NCAAs with the medley relay teams last year, it marked the first time a Purdue freshman swimmer qualified since 2006.
The men's national championship meet is set for March 27-29 at the University of Texas' Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swim Center. Texas is hosting the men's meet for the first time since 2003.
2014 Purdue Men's Swimming NCAA Qualifiers
Event, Time (National Rank)
200 Breast, 1:53.06 (6th)
100 Breast, 52.49 (8th)
400 IM, 3:44.32 (16th)
200 IM, 1:44.89 (34th)
200 Back, 1:45.22 (47th)
200 Free Relay, 1:18.15 (20th)
400 Free Relay , 2:53.55 (21st)
200 Medley Relay, 1:27.10 (32nd)
400 Medley Relay, 3:11.59 (32nd)