Nov. 4, 2010
Top Times: Purdue Men | Purdue Women
Live Results at Notre Dame
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Both Purdue swimming and diving teams hit the road for the second weekend in a row, traveling in unison for their first Big Ten Conference dual meet Friday at Northwestern and also visiting Notre Dame Saturday afternoon.
The Northwestern dual is set for 6 p.m. (EDT) at the Norris Aquatics Center in Evanston, Ill. The Boilermakers then travel to South Bend for Saturday's 1 p.m. meet with Notre Dame at the Rolfs Aquatic Center.
Both Purdue teams outperformed Miami (Ohio) for victories in their first dual meets of the year. The men visited Miami last weekend while nine athletes from the women's team traveled to Dallas for the SMU Classic.
The Purdue head coaches, Dan Ross and John Klinge, each recognized that this weekend featured the most challenging dual meets of the fall portion of their schedules. But Ross and Klinge also stressed the upcoming Purdue Invitational, set for Nov. 19-21 at the Boiler Aquatic Center, is the primary focus of the fall training program.
"This weekend is a fun challenge," Klinge said. "We're going up against two teams that will provide good competition. I want to see how our team reacts under the stress of a couple quality dual meets. But this is not our focus of the fall. That will come in a couple weeks at our Invitational. That will be a real good benchmark on where we are. This weekend we want to compete and see how our swimmers react to situations. Part of college swimming is going on the road and swimming fast in whatever environment we end up in."
"There are a lot of guys that haven't even swum their best events yet," Ross said. "Like basketball with its exhibition games, the goal of the first two meets is to get the young guys some experience. We were trying to figure out what people could swim in their second and third events, as opposed to their best events. After taking mostly freshmen and sophomores to Miami of Ohio, some of our No. 1 guys haven't even swum their events yet. This will be the first chance to do that. We'll take our most experienced guys this weekend, the guys that have been training the best and give us the best chance to win both meets."
Ross said that due to illness, freshmen Danny Tucker and Phil Geerdes were unlikely to travel this weekend. Through the first two weekends of competition, Tucker and Geerdes have posted Purdue's top times in the 50 and 100 freestyle, respectively. Fellow freshmen Brian Kiel has been the team's top performer in the 100 and 200 back, and Eduard Galdeano has posted the top time in the 200 butterfly. Drew Wolfred (200 free), Andrew Starr (500 free), Albert Miller (100 breast), Ryan Dafforn (200 breast), G. Daniel Michael (100 fly), Ben Wachtel (200 IM) represent the other early team leaders.
Like Ross, Dafforn has also been impressed with the Purdue freshmen.
"We've worked really hard and made a lot of progress since we've started training," Dafforn said. "The freshmen have definitely caught on quickly. With freshmen, it's how fast can they get adapted to our practices and training. They've done a really good job of that and it's been evident by the first two meets. Their performances have been outstanding. Going into this weekend, it's a matter of taking everything we've done so far and putting in a good effort at Northwestern and Notre Dame. We definitely want to win our Big Ten opener and beat the Irish, one of our rivals."
For the women, Lauren Roth and Allie Smith have been the team's top performers over the first two weekends of competition. Roth has already posted an NCAA provisional qualifying time in the 500 free and also owns the team's top times in the 200 free, 100 fly and 200 fly. Smith posted her NCAA provisional time in the 100 back on opening night and has also been the fastest Boilermaker in the 200 back and 200 IM thus far. Freshman Emily Fogle has also posted the top times in three events (100 and 200 breast, 400 IM) early this season.
Roth said she feels the team continues to get stronger as the fall training season enters the month of November.
"We're getting more and more confident as each weekend goes by," she said. "A lot of us dropped time from Miami of Ohio to the Indiana Intercollegiates to SMU. I know we're eager to do the same thing and get that chance to swim faster. It's tiring to have back-to-back meets, but it's all part of training season right now. It may wear us down a little bit, but it will be good training for the end of the season when our times really count. If we can improve even when we're this tired, that just means we're going in the right direction."
The Purdue men have swept their Northwestern-Notre Dame weekend each of the last three seasons. Dafforn said the seniors were eager to close their careers with a 4-0 mark against the Fighting Irish.
Last season, the Purdue women won their dual meets against Northwestern and Notre Dame in the same year for the first time since 2005.
Both Northwestern teams have competed in only one meet so far this season, dropping both sides of an Oct. 22 dual at Indiana. The Notre Dame men split a three-team dual meet with Oakland (won) and Michigan (lost) Oct. 23 in their last competition. The Notre Dame women were in action last weekend, winning an Oct. 29 dual meet at Michigan State.