WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The winter sports calendar officially begins this weekend as the Purdue swimming and diving teams open their new seasons with a pair of home meets at the Boilermaker Aquatic Center, an open to the public intrasquad Friday and the four-university Indiana Intercollegiates Saturday.
The Black and Gold intraquad is set to get underway at 4 p.m. Friday and feature both programs splitting into two teams for the standard 13-event dual meet scoring format.
Saturday's Indiana Intercollegiates begins at noon. Men's and women's teams from the University of Indianapolis, IUPUI and Valparaiso are also scheduled to compete.
The schedules of both Purdue teams are frontloaded with home meets. Excluding the intrasquad, the men have four home meets in the first four weeks of the year, but only one for the remainder of their season. The women compete next week at Miami (Ohio) in their only meet on the road until Nov. 18 at Iowa.
In seasons past, both coaching staffs have utilized the Indiana Intercollegiates as an opportunity to allow their swimmers to compete in a diverse collection of events besides just their specialties. Even with the variety among Purdue's entrants in certain heats, the men and women managed to win all 10 swimming events at the 2010 Intercollegiates.
Joyce, Wachtel and fellow senior Albert Miller have been selected as captains for the men's team this season. They were among Purdue's top performers in the freestyle (Wachtel), breaststroke (Miller) and butterfly (Joyce) events last year.
The women's team graduated a large group of experienced seniors, but has welcomed back five swimmers that have qualified for the NCAA Championships as Boilers. Emily Fogle, Lauren Gustafson, Caitlin Hamilton, Nichols and Roth enter the season as the program's most accomplished performers. Hamilton begins her junior year as the program record holder in the three distance freestyle events (500, 1,000 and mile).
Individually, new men's freshman records were established by Eduard Galdeano (200 fly), Friede (50 and 100 free) and Kiel (100 and 200 back, 200 IM) a season ago. For the women, Fogle did likewise in the 100 and 200 breast, setting a new overall school record in the 200 breast in the process. They all made their collegiate debuts at the Indiana Intercollegiates a year ago. Tucker and Drew also managed to win events in their inaugural college meets last season.
Both programs have another large group of newcomers that will get their first taste of collegiate competition this weekend.
The divers also have numerous new faces in the mix this season. Gone are five 2011 NCAA qualifiers, two women and three men, that completed their college careers last spring. Junior Jimmy Page and sophomore Maddie Miskulin, both of whom redshirted their first years at Purdue, are now the longest-tenured members of the active rosters. Casey Matthews, a two-time NCAA qualifier, is one of three divers on the women's team that will not be competing for the Boilers this season while exercising an Olympic redshirt waiver. Freshmen Michelle Cabassol and Mary Beth Dunnichay will do likewise.
The University of Indianapolis and IUPUI will also be opening their new seasons this weekend. IUPUI is now under the guidance of new head coach Matt Bos. Valparaiso began its new campaign Oct. 2 at a five-university dual meet scoring invitational in Fishers, Ind. Both Valpo teams are scheduled to compete Friday afternoon at Notre Dame's Dennis Stark Relays before traveling to West Lafayette.
Order of Events
Friday Intrasquad 400 Medley Relay 1000 Free 200 Free 50 Free 200 IM 200 Fly 100 Free 200 Back 500 Free 200 Breast 400 Free Relay
1-Meter Diving 3-Meter Diving
Saturday Indiana Intercollegiates 200 Medley Relay 200 Free 50 Free 200 IM 100 Fly 100 Free 100 Back 500 Free 100 Breast 200 Free Relay