Nov. 30, 2010
Scores & Entries at DiveMeets.com | Meet Info & Schedule
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The Purdue divers travel to Austin this week for the Texas Swimming and Diving Hall of Fame Invitational, a meet that is expected to feature the highest level of competition of the fall season.
David Boudia, Kara Cook, Danny Cox, Erin Mertz, Maddie Miskulin, Jimmy Page, J.P. Perez will all be competing this weekend for Boilermakers, who close out their fall schedule this weekend. Both the Purdue swimmers and divers return to action in Florida after Jan. 5.
Texas, Boston University, Harvard, UCLA, Houston, California, TCU, Miami (Fla.), Wyoming and North Texas are all expected to have divers competing this weekend. The University of Texas is also set to serve as the host of the women's NCAA Championships this season (March 17-19).
"This will be our biggest meet of the fall in terms of level of competition," Purdue diving coach Adam Soldati said. "We're not training any different, but it's important for us before our break to get some high-level competition. These are some divers we'll see at the NCAAs that we don't really get to see before that. Once a year, it's good to get outside the Big Ten and see some of the top schools. Clearly, Texas has one of the nation's top diving programs. We'll be challenged this week."
The meet is set for a Thursday through Saturday schedule. The men will dive the 1-meter Thursday and 3-meter Friday, vice versa for the women. The platform competition is set for Saturday and will not feature a preliminary round. The women's platform begins at 12:30 p.m. Saturday, with the men to follow at 3:30 p.m.
Boudia, Cook, Cox and Mertz all took part in the Boilermakers' first platform competition of the season Nov. 21 on the final day of the Purdue Invitational. Boudia and Cox finished one-two in the men's six-dive competition, and Cook and Mertz did likewise in the women's five-dive routine.
"Obviously we don't compete platform at dual meets so it's good to get a few in sporadically throughout the year," Soldati said. "We have the [Purdue] Invitational, this meet and then we'll compete tower against Indiana. That's something we've orchestrated on purpose because it's a little closer to the championship season. Right now at this point of the season, we're still not totally ready to dive 10-meter because diving 10-meter is a much slower progress. So from a performance standpoint, that's not our main key right now. But we're getting up there and we're starting to get competitive ready."
A native of The Woodlands, a community north of Houston, Cook returns to her home state this weekend. Along with winning the platform at the Purdue Invitational, she also posted season-best scores in the 1- and 3-meter events. Soldati said the senior is quite familiar with the Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center.
Mertz has also competed in Austin before, placing fourth in the platform at the Big 12 Championships as a freshman at the University of Kansas.
For the Purdue men, all four divers competing this weekend each posted at least one new season-best score at the Purdue Invitational. While Boudia may have swept the three diving events, the Boilermakers did have the top four finishers in the 1-meter and four of the top five in the 3-meter. Perez and Cox finished second and third, respectively, to Boudia in the 1- and 3-meter.
"Our goal will be to continue to progress every week," Soldati said. "Coming off Thanksgiving break, this is usually a little bit of a down time. It will take us a couple days to get back up to speed. But by the time competition begins, I expect to see some good performances. Our goal is not to go there and get [personal records]. Our goals are twofold: one, for our women to see the pool and get some experience; and two, to get some competition that we don't normally see. It will be good for our women to get in that pool being that is where NCAAs are this year. Whether or not we perform at our highest isn't our focus. We want to continue to perform consistently throughout the year."