Jan. 29, 2014
Order of Events
200 Medley Relay
800 Free Relay
200 Free Relay
400 Free Relay
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- The men and women of Purdue swimming and diving will honor their seniors this weekend and compete together for the final time this season as they host the two-day Big Ten Triple Duals featuring Minnesota and Wisconsin.
Action at the Boilermaker Aquatic Center begins Friday at 5:30 p.m. with springboard diving events. Swimming events start at 6 p.m. Friday. Olympic gold medalist and Purdue alumnus David Boudia will be signing autographs on the second level of the Boilermaker Aquatic Center Saturday from 11-11:45 a.m. The annual senior salute ceremony is set for 11:45 a.m. Saturday and the final day of action gets underway at noon.
The Boilermakers will recognize 13 seniors at Saturday's senior salute. Each team features six senior student-athletes: Sebastien Aube, Matt Friede, Eduard Galdeano, Jacob McGough, Luke Trimmer and Danny Tucker for the men, Julia Comodeca, Samantha Feulner, Brittany Fozkos, Tracy Glaser, Casey Matthews and Carly Mercer for the women. Women's team manager Stefanie Tassaro, a four-year member of the program, will also be recognized Saturday.
Five of the six teams competing this weekend are nationally ranked in the latest CSCAA Top 25 polls. The Minnesota women are ranked No. 13, the Minnesota men No. 14, the Purdue men No. 17, the Purdue women No. 18 and the Wisconsin women No. 25 also receiving votes. The Purdue women are 7-1 in dual meet action while the Purdue men have compiled a 6-2 mark.
The Illinois women have competed in the annual meet the last few years as well, but opted not to participate this year.
The Big Ten Triple Duals meet has a site location rotation that includes Madison, Minneapolis and West Lafayette. The Boilermakers last hosted the meet in 2011. Purdue men's coach Dan Ross has said the Big Ten Triple Duals not only serves as an abbreviated version of the Big Ten Championships, featuring some quality competition over two days of events, but also fits the teams' schedules and budgets well. The Boilermakers have the opportunity to host the meet every third year, and when they do travel for the meet, it's a flight (Minneapolis) one year and a bus trip (Madison) the next.
With the exception of the relays and the 1000 freestyle, every swimming event will feature two heats per gender this weekend. Each team can enter four scoring swimmers per event -- two for each heat. A drawing was conducted Tuesday for lane assignments and Purdue got lanes four and six. Minnesota swimmers will be in lanes three and seven and Wisconsin swimmers will race in lanes two and five. The outer lanes will be open to non-scoring swimmers from any of the teams.
The 1000 freestyle on Friday will feature one co-ed heat in between the women's heat and the men's heat.
Selected divers will compete from the platform towers on Saturday, but point totals will not count toward the team scoring.
Purdue's senior class features NCAA and USA Swimming national champions, Honorable Mention All-Americans and program-record holders. Matthews won the Purdue women's first NCAA title last spring when she was victorious from the 3-meter springboard at the national championship meet in Indianapolis. She is also a five-time All-American and the owner of the top 3-meter score in program history.
Tucker won a USA Swimming national title in the 100 freestyle this past summer, becoming the first Purdue swimmer to accomplish such a feat. He's also the program record holder in the event. Friede and Tucker have helped Purdue's 200 free relay team earn Honorable Mention All-America acclaim at the NCAA Championships the last two years after breaking the team record in the event at the 2012 Big Ten Championships.
Mercer broke the Purdue women's 100 free record at the Ohio State Invitational earlier this season. She also broke the University of Arkansas' 100 free record as a freshman in 2011 before transferring back to her home state. This season, she became the Boilers' first three-time Big Ten Swimmer of the Week honoree.
Fozkos (100 back), Friede (50, 100 & 200 free), Galdeano (100 & 200 fly), McGough (400 IM) and Trimmer (500 & 1650 free) also rank among the Purdue all-time Top 10 in at least one individual event.
Diver Jamie Bissett has excelled at the Big Ten Triple Duals during his career, winning three of the four springboard events over the last two years. Tucker won the 100 free in Madison last year and also contributed to Purdue victories in both freestyle relays.
Guillermo Blanco broke the Purdue men's freshman record while winning the 400 IM at the 2012 Big Ten Triple Duals in Minneapolis, eclipsing a mark that had stood since 1994. Two years later, Blanco now owns the overall mark in the same event, setting the new record two weeks ago at the Classic @ SMU.
The Purdue men's head-to-head victory against Minnesota, their first since 1988, highlighted the 2011 Big Ten Triple Duals at the Boilermaker Aquatic Center. The Purdue women also won a closely-contested dual against Wisconsin by two points that year.
The Minnesota women are the reigning Big Ten champions and are set to host the Big Ten Championships and NCAA Championships later this year.
Purdue men's swimmers competed against the Gophers' best at the USA Swimming-sponsored Minnesota Grand Prix in November of this season.
After this weekend, the final home swim meet of the school year will be the Purdue women's annual Boiler-Make-It Last Chance meet on the first Saturday of March.