Big Fish

Oct. 28, 2004

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - With the Boilermaker Aquatic Center set to play host to the NCAA Championships, many of the sport's major programs have made it a point to compete at Purdue this season.

For the opening weekend of Purdue's fourth season at the BAC, the Boilermakers welcome the Arizona State men's and women's programs and Notre Dame's women's team for a Friday night dual. All five teams are ranked in the Oct. 22 College Swim Coaches Association poll.

The diving portion of the meet starts at 5 p.m., while swimming begins at 6 p.m.

On the women's side, Arizona State comes in ranked 21st, Notre Dame 23rd and the Boilermakers 25th. The Arizona State men are tied for 17th, while Purdue is 23rd.

The Purdue men will be looking for some measure of revenge after they were beaten by 60 points (180-120) last season at Arizona State. Steuart Martens, Giordan Pogioli and Louis Paul all won last year in Tempe, but will need more support from their teammates if they hope to pull the upset.

Pogioli is being touted as one of the top breaststroke swimmers in the nation after placing fourth at last season's national championship meet. Paul, who is a threat to score in the freestyle, backstroke and individual medley, earned honorable mention All-America honors with his 16th-place showing in the 200 IM.

Paul would later finish as the national runner-up in the 200 IM at the 2004 Conoco Phillips National Championships held last August.

The Sun Devils have one dual meet under its belt, a 152.5-141.5 loss to UNLV. Rookie Lucas Azevedo led the team with two victories, winning the 500 (4:32.06) and the 1000 freestyle (9:27.49). Also victorious in the pool were David Kolozar in 200 free (1:41.62), C.J. Nuess in the 400 individual medley (3:57.21) and Leo Martins in the 200 breaststroke (2:04.73).

Arizona State's biggest scoring threat is diver Joona Puhakka, last year's NCAA 3-meter springboard champion. Against the Runnin' Rebels, he and teammate Brant Bingham swept the first two places in both competitions. Purdue will counter with their all-star lineup of J.R. Hillis, Clay Davis, Josh Karshen and Steve LoBue.

All four divers qualified for NCAA Diving Zones, with Hillis emerging as Zone champion off the platform. Hillis was Purdue's lone diving representative at the NCAA Championships.

The Sun Devil's women's squad looks intimidating after its season-opening 214-86 romp over UNLV last Saturday. Arizona State won 11 events, with Florencia Szigeti and Caitlin Andrew winning two individual and two relay races.

This weekend marks Szigeti's second trip to Indiana, who also competed earlier this month at the World Short Course Championships held at Indianapolis' Conseco Fieldhouse. Szigeti, the reigning Pac-10 champion in the 200 free, was a finalist in 200 free and a semifinalist in the 100 free at the World Championships.

Szigeti will pose a serious challenge to Purdue's corps of freestylers, which includes Tracy Duchac, Erica Chandler, Susan Hentschel and Christine Leupold. Duchac was an NCAA qualifier last season in the 50 and 100 free, while Hentschel and Leupold posted provisional times in the 100 and 200 free. Chandler, the varsity record holder in the 200, posted provisional marks in the 200 and 500 free.

Off the diving boards, Arizona State is led by three-time All-American Trisha Tumlinson. At last year's national championship meet, Tumlinson was a first-team all-American off the platform and an honorable mention all-American on the 1-meter springboard.

Tumlinson, who easily won her competitions against UNLV with scores of 270.45 and 295.13, is supported strongly by Cassidy Farwell and Nicole Zukowski. Purdue will counter the Sun Devil trio with three-time Big Ten Champion and NCAA honorable mention all-American Carrie McCambridge and NCAA qualifier Amanda Miller.

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish are not to be overlooked, as they can easily steal points from both the Boilermakers and Sun Devils. Notre Dame opened its 2004-05 campaign earlier this month with a dominating 161-54 effort against Evansville and a first-place showing at the Dennis Stark Relays.

The Irish are led by Katie Carroll, Christel Bouvron and Natalie Burke. Carroll begins her second season trying to capitalize on her freshman year successes, when she led the team in the 100 and 500 free, 100 fly and the individual medley.

Bouvron and Burke bring years of international swimming experience to the team. This past summer, Bouvron became the first Notre Dame student in 84 to compete at the Summer Olympics, where she placed 32nd in the 200 fly. She was one of just 12 swimmers to compete in the last two Olympics, competing in Sydney, Australia, as a high school student. A junior, Bouvron holds the Singapore national record in the 400 free.

Burke, a freshman, came to Notre Dame as the reigning South African national champion in the 50- and 100-meter breaststroke. Although she missed out on competing at the Olympics, Burke did take part in the FINA World Swimming Championships, competing in both sprint breaststroke races.

Meghan Perry-Eaton is the Irish's top diver, holding school records in three competitions: 1-meter (six dives), 3-meter (six dives), 3-meter (11 Dives). Last year, Perry-Eaton was an honorable mention All-American off the 1-meter and was named Big East Diver of the Year.

The Purdue teams will stay busy through Saturday as they play host to the annual Indiana Intercollegiates meet. This year's crop of teams includes Ball State, Butler, IUPUI, Indianapolis, Valparaiso and Vincennes. The Arizona State men's team also will compete at the all-Indiana meet, while their women's team heads to Bloomington, Ind. for a dual with Indiana.




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