March 18, 2003
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Purdue seniors Lisa Dolansky, Patricia Finnerty, Lindsay Lange and Kim Paradeise have all experienced some degree of success at the NCAA Championships, but their personal expectations could not be any higher as they make a final trip to their version of the Big Dance.
Joining the senior quartet will be sophomore Tracy Duchac, who will be making her postseason debut competing in the 200 freestyle relay, 50 free and 400 free relay.
The 2003 NCAA Division I Swimming & Diving Championships will be held at Auburn's James E. Martin Aquatics Center, March 20-22. Currently rated the third fastest pool in the country by Sports Illustrated, the natatorium has hosted several prestigious events, including the 1998 Men's Division I Swimming and Diving National Championships, the U.S. Open, as well as the Southeastern Conference Championships.
"Our goal this weekend is to finish among the top-25," said Purdue head coach Cathy Wright-Eger, who leads the Boilermakers back to the NCAA's for the 15th time in 17 years. "I know we have some incredibly competitive relay teams, and if all of them can score, we should finish near the top of the team standings."
Wright-Eger has good reason to believe all four of her relay squads will be successful. Purdue's 200 medley relay team of Dolanksy, Lange, Finnerty and Paradeise recently posted the nation's seventh fastest time of the season (1:40.37) at the Big Ten Championships, and the 15th best mark in the 400 medley (3:41.73). The 200 medley time was also a varsity record.
The Boilermakers also posted their fastest freestyle relay times at the conference championships. The 200 free relay team of Dolansky, Lange, Duchac and Paradesise clocked the nation's 11th fastest time (1:31.60), while the 400 free squad recorded the country's 18th best (3:22.12).
The 200 free and medley relays could easily contend for their respective national titles; however, both 400 relay teams will have to shave over seven seconds off their season bests in order to get past defending national champion Auburn.
Lisa Dolansky - Senior - Rahway, N.J.
Dolansky is a three-time NCAA qualifier, who has earned two All-America honorable mention citations (400 medley relay, 200 medley relay) in her previous appearances at the National Championships. The senior will compete in seven events this weekend including all four relay races, the 100 and 200 backstroke and the 50 free, giving her ample opportunity to provide the Purdue scoring effort with some serious points.
Dolansky was nearly unstoppable in the 100 back this season, at one point winning six consecutive races, and was just as effective in the 200 back and sprint freestyles competitions. Both her 100 and 200 back times are among the 50 best in the nation. Swimming from the leadoff position, Dolansky has enabled three Boilermaker relay teams to rewrite the school's record book, by recording new varsity records in the 200 and 400 free and the 200 medley.
Tracy Duchac - Sophomore - Wisconsin Rapids, Wis.
Duchac qualified for her first NCAA Championship after breaking Erika Whyte's school record in the 50 free at the Big Ten Championships with a mark of 23.05. This fourth-place time also proved to be the nation's 33rd fastest time of the season. In addition to competing in the 50 free, Duchac will also take part in the 200 and 400 freestyle relay races, swimming as the third leg. The sophomore has collected a handful of victories this season, including the 50 ?free title versus Northwestern and Pittsburgh and the 200 medley relay crown against Georgia Tech and Cincinnati.
Patricia Finnerty - Senior - New Fairfield, Conn.
Finnerty makes her third trip to the NCAA Championships in as many years. The Purdue senior will be competing in the 200 and 400 medley relays and the 100 and 200 butterfly races. Finnerty, along with Dolansky, Lange and Paradeise, recorded a new varsity record of 1:40.37 in the 200 medley relay at the Big Ten Championships. She also swam the third leg of the 400 medley relay, which posted a NCAA 'B' time of 3:41.73.
Finnerty also excelled in both fly races at the conference meet. In the 100 fly, she recorded a season and personal best of 55.24 and in the 200 fly scored a NCAA 'B' mark of 2:02.34. Finnerty's best regular season outing came ?during the team's winter trip to Hawaii, where she picked up wins in the 50 fly and 200 and 400 medley relays.
Lindsay Lange - Senior - Oak Harbor, Ohio
Lange gives Purdue its best chance to win the team's first ever NCAA individual title. At the Big Ten Championships, the senior scored a time of 1:00.42 in the 100 breast, which was not only a personal and varsity record, but was also the fourth fastest mark in the nation. Lange will face some tough competition in the 100 breast, primarily from Stanford's Tara Kirk, who set a NCAA and national record with a time of 58.41.
Lange, who was also a key member of the three relay squads that set new varsity records at the conference meet, will be competing this weekend in seven races including the 100 and 200 breast, the 50 free as well as four relays (200 and 400 free, 200 and 400 medley). During the regular season, Lange posted a six meet winning streak in the 100 breast race; her first loss came at the season ending Minnesota Quadrangular, which also featured Illinois and Wisconsin.
This will be Lange's fourth appearance at the NCAA Championships. Last season, Lange swam on all four NCAA relays and earned two-event NCAA honorable mention All-America honors (200 medley relay, 100 breast).
Kim Paradeise - Senior - Apple Valley, Minn.
Paradeise, a three-time NCAA qualifier, will be a vital asset to the Purdue postseason roster, anchoring all four relay teams (200 and 400 free, 200 and 400 medley). The senior will also be taking to the pool for the 50 and 100 free events. At last season's championship meet, Paradeise was the Boilermakers' top-finisher in both sprint freestyle races.
Paradeise qualified for the NCAA Championships after helping the 200 medley relay team post a new varsity record of 1:40.37 at the Big Ten Championships, where she also reached NCAA 'B' marks in the 50 (24.43) and 100 free (50.62). Her time in the 100 free was a personal best and was the second fastest time recorded in Purdue history (Gyongyver Lakos, 50.15).
The two-time NCAA honorable mention All-American enjoyed one of her best meets of the season against rival Notre Dame. Against the Irish, Paradeise swam anchor on two winning relays and placed first in the 100 free.
Thursday, March 20, 2003
200 free relay: Lisa Dolansky, Lindsay Lange,
Tracy Duchac and Kim Paradeise
50 free: Tracy Duchac, Lindsay Lange,
Kim Paradeise and Lisa Dolanksy
400 medley relay: Lisa Dolansky, Lindsay Lange
Patricia Finnerty and Kim Paradeise
Friday, March 21, 2003
200 medley relay: Lisa Dolansky, Lindsay Lange,
Patricia Finnerty and Kim Paradeise
100 fly: Patricia Finnerty
100 breast: Lindsay Lange
100 back: Lisa Dolansky
Saturday, March 22, 2003
200 back: Lisa Dolansky
100 free: Kim Paradeise
200 breast: Lindsay Lange
200 fly: Patricia Finnerty
400 free relay: Lisa Dolansky, Lindsay Lange,
Tracy Duchac and Kim Paradeise
Swimming preliminaries begin each day at 11:00 a.m., and are followed by the diving preliminaries at 1:00 p.m. Finals for both swimming and diving begin every night at 7:00 p.m.
Results from the NCAA Championships will be posted shortly after the end of each event on the Auburn University web site, www.auburntigers.com. Purdue sports information will post a results release at the end of each day of competition.