WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Boilermakers past and present were finalists at prominent swimming & diving meets from China to California to Louisville the weekend of June 7 to 10.
Brandon Loschiavo advanced to the 10-meter final for USA Diving at the FINA Diving World Cup in Wuhan, China.
Competing for Boilermaker Aquatics, Purdue swimmers won four events at the 90th Ohio Valley Championships, an annual long course meet held outdoors at the Lakeside Swim Club in Louisville. Kaersten Meitz won the 400-meter freestyle with the fifth-fastest time (4:10.88) in the U.S. this year and the Boilermakers were also victorious in three relays.
Alum Wyatt Hodges (2009-12) had a strong showing at the latest edition of the TYR Pro Swim Series in Santa Clara, California. Similar to the meet in Indianapolis last month that Marat Amaldinov and Meitz excelled at, Hodges was a championship finalist in the 100-meter breaststroke among a field of the top professionals competing for USA Swimming.
LOSCHIAVO A FINALIST ON TOWER AT FINA WORLD CUP
In his first international competition in an individual, Brandon Loschiavo moved up from 17th in the preliminary to seventh in the semifinal to advance to the 10-meter final at the top international meet of the year. Loschiavo settled for 11th place at the FINA Diving World Cup. He improved his list score from 375.85 in the prelim to 429.30 in the semi to be among the 12 finalists. The rising junior got off to a slow start in the final and finished with a list score of 364.50.
Loschiavo also teamed with Steele Johnson to finish fifth in synchronized 10-meter, his first event at the weeklong FINA Diving World Cup.
TOP PERFORMERS AT THE OUTDOOR MEET IN LOUISVILLE
James Boone swam the anchor leg for both teams as the Purdue men won the 200 free and 400 medley relays at the Ohio Valley Championships. The Purdue women were victorious in the 200 medley relay while also finishing as the runner-up in the other two events.
Jackson Higgins, Nick McDowell, Taite Kitchel and Kaersten Meitz were all championship finalists in three events in Louisville. The meet was cut short on Saturday following the consolation final of the 200-meter individual medley due to thunderstorms.
Meitz added a runner-up finish in the 200-meter free to her event victory in the 400 free. Kitchel and McDowell both placed third in the championship finals of the 200 butterfly. Other third-place finishes were posted by Riley Kishman (100 breaststroke) and Joe Young (200 backstroke). They headlined a group of five Boilermakers that were individual finalists in two different events.
Purdue's victorious relay teams included...
Women's 200 Medley: Jackie Smailis, Reagan Thom, Taite Kitchel and Danielle Auckley
Men's 200 Free: Tim Barth, Jake Heidecker, Dale Williams and James Boone
Men's 400 Medley: Joe Young, Will Schrensky, Gabi Gomez-Treig and James Boone
HODGES POST CAREER-BEST TIMES
Wyatt Hodges is the final stages of completing a PhD in mechanical engineering at the University of California, Berkeley. He was hooded in a commencement ceremony last month and is finishing his dissertation. The two-time Big Ten Distinguished Scholar for the Boilermakers has also continued to swim competitively with Cal Aquatics while working on his PhD. At the age of 28, he posted career-best times in the 100- and 200-meter breaststroke at the TYR Pro Swim Series in Santa Clara. His time of 2:16 in the 200 breast was canceled out by a DQ for multiple dolphin kicks. But a time of 1:01.82 in the 100 breast was good for a spot in the championship final, racing alongside the likes of Kevin Cordes, Cody Miller and Nic Fink. Hodges finished his memorable weekend with a time of 28.84 in the 50 breast.
MEITZ SIGNS WITH A3 PERFORMANCE
With her college career now complete, 2018 Purdue graduate and USA National Team member Kaersten Meitz has signed with swimwear company A3 Performance. She plans to continue swimming competitively with her sights set on the 2020 Olympic year.
Meitz continues to train under head coach John Klinge at the Morgan J. Burke Aquatic Center. She begins a master's of business administration this fall at Purdue. Meitz's work ethic and drive to be better make her a natural fit for the A3 team.
"After I qualified for the World University Games last summer, my eyes were opened to all the potential opportunities I have in the sport," Meitz says. "I want to see how far my swimming career can take me and I want to chase the dreams I never realized were within my reach until recently. A3 Performance is a company that is constantly striving to find new ways to make swimmers better, and I want to be a part of that mission. I used A3 products for most of my high school career and it is a brand I trust and feel comfortable training and racing in."
NEXT UP THIS SUMMER
Southern California natives Erik Juliusson, Trent Pellini and Michael Smith are set to compete at the Fran Crippen Swim Meet of Champions, a long course meet in Mission Viejo, California, the weekend of June 21 to 24. That same weekend numerous Purdue swimmers will represent Boilermaker Aquatics at the VisitBloomington.com Invite held at IU's Counsilman-Billingsley Aquatics Center.
The annual Indiana Senior State long course championships will also be held in Bloomington this year. That meet is set for July 19 to 22.