Feb. 1, 2002
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The Purdue men's and women's swimming and diving teams host the annual Big Ten Quad Meet with Illinois, Minnesota and Wisconsin coming to the Boilermaker Aquatic Center on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 1 and 2. Friday night's meet will start at 6 p.m. and Saturday will begin at 10 a.m. with diving events and noon for swimming events. For the first time since the opening of the Boilermaker Aquatic Center, the divers will also perform on the 10-meter platform on Saturday.
On the women's side, the Boilermakers enter this weekend's contest ranked 22nd, while the Badgers sit at No. 15 and Minnesota is ranked 20th. The Fighting Illini women are receiving votes and sit in 29th place.
For the men, Purdue ranks 24th, while both Wisconsin and Minnesota are Top 15 teams. The Badgers are 15th, while the defending Big Ten champion Golden Gophers are No. 6.
With a two-day meet, the schedule of events is slightly different than a standard dual or invitational meet. Each day's schedule is as follows:
200 Medley Relay
200 Individual Medley
800 Freestyle Relay
Men's 1-meter and women's 3-meter diving will run concurrently with the swimming events.
200 Freestyle Relay
400 Individual Medley
400 Freestyle Relay
Women's 1-meter and men's 3-meter diving will begin at 10 a.m. and then a platform diving exhibition will begin at approximately 1 p.m. and run concurrently with the swimming events.
"This women's team is really excited for this meet," said Purdue women's head coach Cathy Wright-Eger. "We've been looking forward to being able to host this meet in our own facility for a long time and now that we have it here, I think that it'll be really advantageous to us for our times and performances. Both Wisconsin and Minnesota come in ranked with us in the Top 15 and Illinois is definitely a Top 40 team, at least, so we know that this weekend will present us with a great challenge - both for the coaching staff and the swimmers and divers."
The women of the Old Gold and Black will rely heavily, not only on fast times from everyone in the pool, but also from the divers on both the 1- and 3-meter boards. Leading the way for the diving squad is senior Kara Hajek-Gustafson who has been an outstanding source of leadership and points for the Boilermakers. Most recently, Hajek-Gustafson defeated the Indiana diving squad both in their home pool and at the BAC on both the 1- and 3-meter boards. In the dual meet against the Hoosiers, it marked the first time a Purdue diver has ever beat an Indiana diver on both boards, head-to-head. Since Christmas break, she has tallied seven first-place finishes and one second-place finish.
In the water, junior Lisa Dolansky will again lead the Boilermakers against strong competition in both the 100 and 200 backstroke and in all the relay events. Also a returning leader, junior Lindsay Lange should produce some good results in the 100 and 200 breaststroke and on the medley relays. Finally, Wright-Eger will look for big things out of her freshman class, including Tracy Duchac in the sprint events and relays and Christine Leupold in the distance events.
"It's really nice, for the first time, to have this Quad Meet here," said Purdue head men's coach Dan Ross. "We're really considering this as our first major meet with national-level competition here at the new facility. It should be a really fast meet, a really exciting meet and pretty much every pool record that currently stands will probably be broken. Tim (Kelly), Wenbo (Chen) and I are all looking forward to this, as a staff, and I know the men are also excited to get back in the pool after having last weekend off."
On the men's side, Ross continues to like what he's seen out of mid-semester freshman addition Louis Paul, who hails from Australia. Paul had come to West Lafayette and made an immediate impact on Ross' relay, backstroke and individual medley lineups. Also adding their traditional leadership are seniors Jon Duncan in the sprint free and relay events and Javier Diaz in the middle distance free, individual medley and relay events. Both continue to work towards their goals of a Big Ten championship with a freestyle relay team.
Another obvious leader for Purdue continues to be reigning Big Ten champion and sophomore Tamas Bessenyei. Bessenyei is still dominating the Big Ten in the breaststroke and medley relay events, while adding some butterfly and individual medley to his repertoire.
On the men's side of the diving squad, the Boilermakers will look for some points out of sophomore transfer Erik Warrick and freshman Clay Davis on both boards. So far this season, Warrick has shown that he can come into the Big Ten Conference and produce, especially on the 3-meter board.
This weekend's meet marks the final weekend that 12 Boilermaker seniors will take to either the diving board or the starting block in the Boilermaker Aquatic Center. Senior Day activities will be held on Saturday morning, prior to the start of the swimming events at noon and both the seniors and their parents will be honored. The following is a list of the seniors who will be recognized on Saturday:
Donovan Crowley Kara Hajek-Gustafson
Javier Diaz Molly MacFarlane
Tom Drejer Kelly Mackus
Jon Duncan Katie Mullarkey
Ryan Sprengel Ronica Rogalski
Kevin Young Karin Stender