March 26, 2005
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - The Boilermakers will send senior Louis Paul and junior Giordan Pogioli to the consolation finals of their respective events Saturday night at the NCAA Championships. Paul was 10th in the 200 backstroke with a personal record of 1:43.61, while Pogioli was ninth in the 200 breaststroke at 1:57.01.
Purdue has not had two swimmers score in more than one event at NCAA's since Matthew Martin (1,650 freestyle; 400 individual medley) and Tamas Bessenyei (100 and 200 breast) were leading the Old Gold and Black in 2001. Paul was fifth in the 200 IM Thursday and Pogioli was 10th in the 100 breaststroke last night.
Pogioli, an All-American last season in the 200-meter breast, just missed the championship finals by .17 seconds as Henrique Barbosa of Cal posted an eighth-place mark of 1:57.01. Alabama sophomore Vladislav Polyakov was the fastest swimmer of the afternoon, recording a mark of 1:55.35. Mike Alexandrov of Northwestern also swum beneath 1:56.00 threshold with his second-place time of 1:55.86.
"I was extremely disappointed in Giordan's swim this afternoon," said head coach Dan Ross. "He just wasn't aggressive enough, but at least he has another chance to swim it again tonight. And I think we still have an outside chance of finishing in the top 20, if both he and Louis can win their consolations."
Paul, an NCAA competitor in the 200 back the last three years, qualified for his first ever consolation final thanks to his varsity record swim. His previous best was a 1:43.85, which he recorded at the 2005 Big Ten Championships - also at Minnesota. Paul's 25-yard splits Saturday were clocked at 23.89, 26.07, 26.70 and 26.95.
Ross said he was happy with Paul's effort, even though he could not crack the top eight.
"He came in seeded eighth and swam a lifetime best, which is what you're supposed to do, but against this competitive field it's not always enough," said Ross.
Florida's Ryan Lochte recorded the race's fastest prelim time with a pool record of 1:40.60. Texas' Nate O'Brien was second fastest at 1:41.89 and Michigan's Chris DeJong was third at 1:41.91. Purdue freshman Romain Maire was seventh in his heat and 30th overall with a time of 1:46.58. His splits were 24.97, 26.52, 27.42, 27.67.
Boilermaker sophomore Steven LoBue placed 12th off the platform tower, becoming the first Purdue diver since John Vogel to score points at an NCAA meet.
Vogel was a three-time All-American from 1960 to 1962, and AAU national champion in 1961.
LoBue's final score of 469.25 was about eight points shy of the eighth-place total of 477.20, scored by Derek Starks of Miami. Purdue diving coach Wenbo Chen believed LoBue could have finished higher, but may have been too nervous.
"I'm happy with the way he came back on the final day," said Chen, who was making his final appearance as Purdue's diving coach this afternoon. "Next year, I know he'll have more confidence going against this type of competition."
Chen starts his new job with USA Diving in Indianapolis on April 1.
Matthew Bricker of Auburn scored the highest point total off the tower with 567.05 points and was followed by Texas A&M's David Kalec (558.25) and Tiger Steve Segerlin (556.30).