1996-97 Women's Swimming Notes
Even though the Purdue women did not have a varsity team until 1976, women's swimming in the Lafayette area began in the late 1940s. The Lafayette Swim Club was coached by Richard "Pappy" Papenguth. Four members of the team went on to international success: Jeanne Wilson-Vaughan and Carol Pence-Taylor were on the 1948 Olympic Team in London, Caralie O'Connor was on the 1952 team in Helsinki, and Betty Mullen-Brey made the 1956 team in Melbourne.
Kim Fritsch (1991-94) finished fourth in the 200 fly at the 1992 NCAA Championships, which was the best Boilermaker finish in the history of the program. The three top finishers in the race were all Olympians - Summer Sanders of Stanford (1992), Erika Hansen of Texas (1992) and Janel Jorgensen of Stanford (1988). A three-time All-American, Fritsch won two Big Ten championships in the 200 fly, in 1993 and '94.
Diver Nicole Zlotnik (1989-92) became the first and only Boilermaker diver to score at the NCAA Championships with her 10th-place finish in 1992 on the 1-meter board. Her performance helped Purdue to its best finish in history. Zlotnik also raised the school record on the 1-meter springboard to 442.20 on 10 dives.
Cathy Ackerman (1986-89) was Purdue's first female athlete to be selected as the team MVP four times. Ackerman earned honorable mention All-American honors as a part of the 1987 200 medley relay team along with Karen Schmitt, Cassie Stein and Kendra Hensler.
As a freshman in 1996, Erika Whyte took part in breaking three school records. Whyte now owns the top times in the 50 free (23.31), 100 free (50.73) and was a member of the 200 free relay team which holds the school's best time at 1:33.80.
Darlene Warta (1987-90) became Purdue's first individual All-American in 1989. Warta was a two-time Big Ten champion in the 200 fly (1988 and '90) and earned All-America status again in '90.
Head coach Cathy Wright-Eger was selected as the Big Ten Coach-of-the-Year in 1990 after leading the Boilermakers to a fifth place conference finish at the Big Ten Championships. Since 1991, Wright-Eger has produced 27 different swimmers that have earned 48 Academic All-Big Ten honors. As Purdue's head coach, she owns a .665 winning percentage in dual meets.