Feb. 20, 2014
MINNEAPOLIS -- Casey Matthews won Purdue women's swimming and diving's first Big Ten title since 2009, leading the way as the Boilers had four of the top five finishers in the championship final of 1-meter diving Thursday evening at the Big Ten Championships.
Matthews added a Big Ten title to the 3-meter diving NCAA title she won last season. She broke the Purdue record from the 1-meter springboard Thursday with a score of 351.25. Michelle Cabassol, MacKenzie Tweardy and Michelle Cabassol were all close behind while finishing 3-4-5.
Led by the 65 points scored by the divers in their lone event of the night, the Boilers rose from 10th to sixth in the team scoring. Purdue will enter Friday's action with 138 points, six behind fifth-place Wisconsin and seven ahead of seventh-place Michigan. Additionally, the Boilers are now only 19 points behind third-place Penn State.
Matthews finished second to Minnesota's Maggie Keefer, the defending 1- and 3-meter Big Ten champion, in the prelims Thursday with a score of 316.25. All of the divers improved on their scores in the championship final, but it was Matthews' total that took a 35-point jump, allowing her to win the event by 12.2 points over Keefer.
Kylie Vogel, Nika Karlina Petric, Carly Mercer and Lizzy Lyon also scored for Purdue Thursday night. Vogel won the B final of the 50 freestyle with a Purdue season-best time of 22.67, moving into fourth place in program history.
In the B final of the 500 free, Petric took third and Lyon seventh. Petric's time of 4:45.05 in the prelims was a Purdue season best and good for third in program history. Allie Davis won the C final of the 500 free after improving on her morning prelim time by more than four seconds.
Carly Mercer placed fifth in the B final of the 50 free to also contribute points to the team total. Mercer and Vogel also swam on Purdue's 200 free relay team that finished seventh, teaming up with Anji Li and Carly Marshall. The quartet posted the fourth-fastest time in program history.
The last Big Ten champions for Purdue women's swimming and diving were divers Ashley Karnes (1-meter) and Emily Wetzel (platform) in 2009. Current divers Dunnichay, Tweardy and Cabassol now rank 4-5-6 in program history on the all-time Top 10 list from the 1-meter springboard.
Meagan Lim (200 IM), Lyon and Marshall also moved up the Purdue all-time Top 10 lists Thursday.
The Big Ten Championships continue Friday with preliminaries at noon ET and finals at 7:30 p.m. ET.
Team Scores Through Thursday
1. #12 Minnesota, 258
2. #13 Indiana, 211
3. #23 Penn State, 157
4. #15 Ohio State, 151
5. #19 Wisconsin, 144
6. #21 Purdue, 138
7. #17 Michigan, 131
8. Iowa, 81
8. Nebraska, 81
10. Michigan State, 47
11. Northwestern, 45
12. Illinois, 36
Purdue's Top Finishers & Notables
* -- New Purdue Season-Best Time/Score
^ -- New Personal Season-Best Time/Score
(B) -- NCAA B Cut Provisional Qualifying Time
(Z) -- NCAA Zone Qualifying Score
Casey Matthews, 351.25* (Z) - BIG TEN CHAMPION (20 Points); NEW PROGRAM RECORD
Mary Beth Dunnichay, 333.10^ (Z) - Finished 3rd in Championship Final (16 Points); 4th Best in Program History
MacKenzie Tweardy, 329.90^ (Z) - Finished 4th in Championship Final (15 Points); 5th Best in Program History
Michelle Cabassol, 324.65^ (Z) - Finished in Championship Final (14 Points); 6th in Program History
Kylie Vogel, 22.67* (B) - Won B Final (9 Points); 4th Fastest in Program History
Carly Mercer, 22.86 (B, Prelim Time) - Finished 5th in B Final (4 Points)
Carly Marshall, 23.05^ (Prelim Time) - Finished 7th in C Final; 9th Fastest in Program History
Nika Karlina Petric, 4:45.05* (B, Prelim Time) - Finished 3rd in B Final (6 Points); 3rd Fastest in Program History
Lizzy Lyon, 4:47.14^ (B) - Finished 7th in B Final (2 Points); 7th Fastest in Program History
Allie Davis, 4:45.53^ (B) - Won C Final; 4th Fastest in Program History
Meagan Lim, 2:03.15^ (Prelim Time) - Finished 33rd in Prelims; 10th Fastest in Program History
200 Free Relay
Mercer, Vogel, Li & Marshall, 1:31.00* - Finished 7th (24 Points); 4th Fastest in Program History