May 1, 2012
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind.-– A record-setting 200 freestyle relay team that earned Honorable Mention All-America recognition at the NCAA Championships and five other new program benchmarks highlighted the 2011-12 season for Purdue men’s swimming and diving.
Matt Friede, Danny Tucker, Ben Wachtel and Ben Ziolkowski teamed up to post a time of 1:17.71 in a one-chance time trial opportunity at the Big Ten Championships, eclipsing the school record and earning a berth in the NCAA Championships. It was the Boilers’ first qualifying relay since 2006. At the national championship meet in suburban Seattle, the quartet placed 13th in preliminaries to advance to the consolation final and earn Honorable Mention All-America recognition.
Senior Albert Miller broke the school record in the 100 breaststroke at the Big Ten Championships, eclipsing a mark that had stood since 2006 and becoming the first Boiler to set a new individual mark since 2010.
Four new Purdue freshman records were also established at the Big Ten Championships. In the 200 and 400 IM, the record changed hands twice. Guillermo Blanco broke the 200 IM mark in the preliminaries, but Lyam Dias finished with an even faster time (1:45.79) while winning the B final that night.
Blanco was also involved in the 400 IM record exchange. He initially broke the Purdue freshman record, which dated back to 1994, at the Big Ten Quad the final weekend of January. Jan Petric's time of 3:49.87 in the prelims on day two of the Big Ten Championships made him the record holder until Blanco finished in 3:48.79 while placing fourth in the A final that night.
Petric did add his name to the record book in the 500 free (4:23.03). Blanco's 100 backstroke time (48.43) as the leadoff leg of the 400 medley relay also represented a new program freshman record.
The Purdue divers were a young group featuring four freshmen after six-time NCAA champion David Boudia opted to forego his senior season to focus on training for the Olympic Games. But all four freshmen successfully scored team points for the Boilers at the Big Ten meet, with Alec Back and Jamie Bissett scoring from all three boards. They both won Big Ten Diver of the Week honors in 2011-12 as well.
Sean Mokhtari, meanwhile, narrowly missed out on punching his ticket to the NCAA Championships. At the Zone C Diving Championships in March, he finished less than one point shy from earning a berth in the national championship meet, scoring 760.25 points in the platform competition. All four divers represented the Boilers at Zones.
Jan. 21 in a dual meet against Indiana in Bloomington, Purdue competed in the Big Ten Network’s first-ever live telecast of a swimming and diving meet. Brendan Joyce won the 100 fly from lane eight, Blanco touched first in the 200 backstroke and 200 IM, and Miller (100) and Dias (200) teamed up to give the Boilers a sweep of the breaststroke events. Purdue had the top four finishers in the 50 free – Tucker, Wachtel, Friede and Ziolkowski – and finished one-two in the 400 free relay.
Dias won the 200 breaststroke at the four-team Ohio State Invitational in December, posting a meet-record time (1:57.63) in the process. He recorded seven individual victories in 2011-12 to tie for second on the team with Bissett and Tucker. Brian Kiel led Purdue with 11 individual victories.
The final weekend of March the Boilermaker Aquatic Center served as the host of a USA Swimming Grand Prix Long Course meet, which featured over 300 swimmers. The three-day competition was a U.S. Olympic Trials qualifier that hosted swimmers from all over the country as well as some international entries.
Boudia remained a constant around the Boilermaker Aquatic Center, practicing under the guidance of head diving coach Adam Soldati with the rest of the Purdue divers. Boudia won the individual and synchronized 10-meter platform titles at the USA Diving Winter National in December, increasing his career total of national championships to 16. He represented Team USA at the FINA World Cup in February and medaled five times in the FINA Diving World Series in the spring.
HONORABLE MENTION ALL-AMERICAN HONORS
200 Free Relay Team – Friede, Tucker, Wachtel & Ziolkowski
BIG TEN HONORS
Tyler Gertz – Sportsmanship Award
Most Valuable -- Danny Tucker
Most Improved -- Jacob McGough
R.O. Pappenguth Award (Sportsmanship) -- Tyler Gertz
Red Mackey Nominee (Excellence by a Senior) -- Albert Miller
Captains for 2012-13 – Chuck Destro, Alec LaMothe & Ben Ziolkowski
NEW PROGRAM RECORDS
Albert Miller – 100 Breaststroke (53.34)
200 Free Relay Team – Ziolkowski, Friede, Wachtel, Tucker (1:17.71)
DISTINGUISHED BIG TEN SCHOLAR (3.7+ GPA)
Alec LaMothe (4.0)
ACADEMIC ALL-BIG TEN
G. Daniel Michael
SCORED TEAM POINTS AT BIG TEN CHAMPIONSHIPS
Danny Tucker, 19.66 -- Finished 3rd in A Final, 16 Team Points
Matt Friede, 19.80 (prelim time) -- Finished 7th in A Final, 12 Team Points
Ben Ziolkowski, 19.96 (prelim time) -- Finished 8th in B Final, 1 Team Point
Matt Friede, 43.47 (prelim time) -- Finished 8th in A Final, 11 Team Points
Danny Tucker, 43.44 -- Won B Final, 9 Team Points
Brian Kiel, 48.34 (prelim time) -- Finished 6th in B Final, 3 Team Points
Brian Kiel, 1:43.63 (prelim time) -- Finished 6th in A Final, 13 Team Points
Guillermo Blanco, 1:44.16 -- Finished 2nd in B Final, 7 Team Points
Tyler Gertz, 1:45.42 -- Finished 6th in B Final, 3 Team Points
Albert Miller, 53.34 -- Finished 8th in A Final, 11 Team Points
Lyam Dias, 1:57.63 -- Finished 6th in A Final, 13 Team Points
Eduard Galdeano, 1:46.79 -- Finished 3rd in B Final, 6 Team Points
Guillermo Blanco, 1:46.15 -- Finished 6th in A Final, 13 Team Points
Lyam Dias, 1:45.79 -- Won B Final, 9 Team Points
Guillermo Blanco, 3:48.79 -- Finished 4th in A Final, 15 Team Points
Jan Petric, 3:49.87 -- Finished 7th in A Final, 12 Team Points
Jamie Bissett, 346.30 -- Won Consolation Final, 9 Team Points
Alec Back, 315.40 -- Finished 3rd in Consolation Final, 6 Team Points
Alec Back, 333.40 -- Finished 4th in Consolation Final, 5 Team Points
Jamie Bissett, 332.90 -- Finished 5th in Consolation Final, 4 Team Points
Jamie Bissett, 379.80 -- Finished Fifth in Championship Final, 14 Team Points
Sean Mokhtari, 328.75 -- Finished Fourth in Consolation Final, 5 Team Points
Alec Back, 322.35 (prelim score) - Finished Seventh in Consolation Final, 2 Team Points
Nate Cox, 310.80 (prelim score) -- Finished Sixth in Consolation Final, 3 Team Points
200 Free Relay
Ziolkowski, Friede, Wachtel & Tucker, 1:18.10 -- Finished 4th, 30 Team Points
400 Free Relay
Friede, Wachtel, Michael & Tucker, 2:56.03 -- Finished 6th, 26 Team Points
800 Free Relay
Wachtel, Kiel, Blanco & Friede, 6:29.44 -- Finished 10th, 14 Team Points
200 Medley Relay
Destro, Miller, Michael & Tucker, 1:27.56 -- Finished 9th, 18 Team Points
400 Medley Relay
Blanco, Miller, Joyce & Friede, 3:13.07 -- Finished 6th, 26 Team Points