March 21, 2013
INDIANAPOLIS -- Casey Matthews won the consolation final of the 1-meter diving competition to earn her fourth career All-America honor, highlighting the opening day of the NCAA Championships for Purdue women's swimming and diving.
Matthews was one of six Boilers to compete Thursday afternoon during the first session of the three-day national championship meet. After placing tied for 11th among a field of 40 divers in the preliminaries, Matthews scored 331.75 in the finals to win the consolation final that featured eight qualifiers. It was her highest 1-meter score as a Boiler and good for third best in program history.
Purdue's 200 freestyle relay of Carly Mercer, Lauren Gustafson, Lauren Nichols and Rhiannon Sheets placed 18th in the first event of the day, narrowly missing out on a spot in the consolation final Thursday night. The top 16 advanced to the finals. The Boilermakers' time of 1:30.40 was highlighted by Nichols' team-best split of 22.31 on the third leg of the race.
Individually, Michelle Cabassol was 22nd in 1-meter diving with a score of 273.15. Gustafson placed 47th in the 50 free with a time of 22.90.
Matthews earned nine team points for Purdue as well as her fourth All-America honor. The consolation final qualifiers at the NCAA Championships are recognized as Honorable Mention All-America. Competing in her third career national championship meet, but first since 2010 due to injury, Matthews was Honorable Mention All-America in the 1-meter springboard competition in 2009 and 2010. She also won the consolation final at the 2010 NCAAs at the Boilermaker Aquatic Center. That same season she was a full-fledged All-American on the 3-meter springboard after taking fifth in the championship final.
Cabassol (3-meter diving), Matthews (3-meter diving) and Sheets (200 free) are scheduled to compete individually on day two of the NCAA Championships Friday. Purdue will also be entered in the 800 free relay.
Purdue Entries & Schedule at NCAA Championships
Lauren Gustafson - 50 & 100 Free, Relays
Rhiannon Sheets - 200 Free & 200 Fly, Relays
Michelle Cabassol - 1-Meter, 3-Meter & Platform Diving
Casey Matthews - 1-Meter & 3-Meter Diving
Allie Davis - Relays
Carly Mercer - Relays
Lauren Nichols - Relays
Nika Carlina Petric - Relays
Thursday, March 21 - 11 a.m. Prelims, 7 p.m. Finals
200 Free Relay
50 Free - Lauren Gustafson
1-Meter Diving - Michelle Cabassol & Casey Matthews
Friday, March 22 - 11 a.m. Prelims, 7 p.m. Finals
200 Free - Rhiannon Sheets
800 Free Relay
3-Meter Diving - Michelle Cabassol & Casey Matthews
Saturday, March 23 - 11 a.m. Prelims, 7 p.m. Finals
100 Free - Lauren Gustafson
200 Fly - Rhiannon Sheets
400 Free Relay
Platform Diving - Michelle Cabassol