April 22, 2014
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- All-America honors for divers Michelle Cabassol and MacKenzie Tweardy, Casey Matthews' Big Ten championship in 1-meter diving and five new program records highlighted the 2013-14 season for Purdue women's swimming and diving.
Cabassol and Tweardy accounted for 33 team points to help the Boilermakers finish 25th of the 53 scoring teams at the national championship meet. Cabassol was an All-American in 3-meter diving for the second year in a row and also garnered Honorable Mention All-America acclaim in 1-meter diving. Tweardy earned her first career All-America award in platform diving.
Purdue finished among the Top 25 at the NCAA Championships for the fifth time in the last six year and for the eighth time since 2005. The Boilermakers were represented by 10 student-athletes - seven swimmers and three divers - at the national championship meet this year. Francesca Marr, Carly Mercer and Rhiannon Sheets earned berths in individual swimming events. Allie Davis, Grace Hernandez, Nika Karlina Petric and Kylie Vogel teamed with Mercer and Sheets in the relay events.
Matthews claimed Purdue's first Big Ten title since 2009 by winning the 1-meter diving competition with a program-record score. She was named the co-Diver of the Championships after also finishing as the runner-up in the championship final of 3-meter diving en route to being the Boilers' top individual scorer (37 points). She joined Carrie McCambridge (2004 and 2006) Ashley Karnes (2009) as Purdue women to take home Diver of the Championships honors.
New program records were also established by Alex Todd (100 butterfly) and Mercer (100 freestyle). New freshman marks were posted by Meagan Lim (100 butterfly) and Hannah Manger (100 backstroke). Mercer was a three-time Big Ten Swimmer of the Week honoree, the first Purdue woman to win the award three times in one season.
Adam Soldati was named the Big Ten Women's Diving Coach of the Year by the league coaches and later the national Diving Coach of the Year by CaptainU.com. The Boilermakers had three women's divers qualify for NCAAs for the first time since 2009. Mary Beth Dunnichay also enjoyed her best season after finishing third in the championship final of both springboard events at Big Tens.
Purdue finished seventh at the Big Ten Championships after 13 student-athletes scored team points in individual events. Tweardy (33 points), Petric (23) and Mercer (16) each scored in three different individual events.
Highlighted by victories against Notre Dame, Ohio State and Michigan, the Boilermakers were 7-3 in dual meets.
Mercer set the new 100 freestyle record on the final day of the Ohio State Invitational in November. Lim's new 100 butterfly freshman benchmark was established at the Boiler-Make-It Last Chance Meet. Todd and Vogel both eclipsed the overall 100 fly record at the Big Ten Championships, but it was Todd with the best time in the event at the end of the night.
Matthews won a pair of silvers at the USA Diving Winter Nationals in December, teaming up with Cabassol to take second in synchronized 3-meter. Matthews also won the 1-meter competition among a field of 45 divers at the Zone C Championships to punch her ticket to NCAAs. Tweardy was victorious in the platform competition at the same event.
Sheets qualified for the NCAA Championships for the third year in a row. Matthews made her fourth career appearance at the national championship meet, where she won the 3-meter title in 2013. Davis, Mercer and Petric were also NCAAs qualifiers a year ago. Hernandez made it as a freshman.
Purdue had the opportunity to travel to Honolulu for the annual winter training program this season. The Boilermakers spent two weeks, between Christmas and the start of the spring semester, training in Waikiki at the Iolani School's Dillingham Pool and also won an outdoor dual meet at the University of Hawaii.
Purdue will have to bid adieu to a number of talented and accomplished seniors, including Matthews and Mercer, but is scheduled to return many experienced swimmers and divers for the 2014-15 season. Seven of the 10 team members that competed at NCAAs will be back, including Marr, Sheets and Tweardy.
HONORABLE MENTION ALL-AMERICA
Michelle Cabassol -- 1-Meter Diving
BIG TEN CHAMPION
Casey Matthews -- 1-Meter Diving
NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS QUALIFIERS
Michelle Cabassol -- 1- & 3-Meter Diving
Francesca Marr -- 100 & 200 Breaststroke
Casey Matthews -- 1- & 3-Meter Diving
Carly Mercer -- 50 & 100 Freestyle; Relays
Rhiannon Sheets -- 200 Butterfly & 200 Freestyle; Relays
MacKenzie Tweardy -- 1-Meter & Platform Diving
Allie Davis -- Relays
Grace Hernandez -- Relays
Nika Karlina Petric -- Relays
Kylie Vogel -- Relays
CAPTAINU.COM NATIONAL DIVING COACH OF THE YEAR
BIG TEN CO-DIVER OF THE CHAMPIONSHIPS
BIG TEN DIVING COACH OF THE YEAR
FIRST TEAM ALL-BIG TEN
BIG TEN MEDAL OF HONOR (Female Honoree for All of Purdue Athletics)
BIG TEN WEEKLY HONORS
Carly Mercer - Three-Time Swimmer of the Week (Nov. 12, Nov. 26 & Jan. 14)
Casey Matthews - Three-Time Diver of the Week (Nov. 26, Dec. 24 & Jan. 7)
Michelle Cabassol - Two-Time Diver of the Week (Oct. 29 & Jan. 14)
Meagan Lim - Two-Time Freshman of the Week (Jan. 7 & Jan. 14)
Most Valuable - Michelle Cabassol & Carly Mercer
Most Improved - Mary Beth Dunnichay & Madison Monteiro
P2S - Carly Marshall
Whatever It Takes - Francesca Marr, MacKenzie Tweardy & Kylie Vogel
Bob Holloway Most Inspirational Senior Performance - Tracy Glaser, Casey Matthews & Carly Mercer
Star Recruiter - Alex Todd
Tom Reiter Commitment to Excellence - Emily Fogle & Rhiannon Sheets
Cathy Wright-Eger Continuing Women of Educational Excellence - Alex Todd
Captain Awards (2013-14 Season) - Julia Comodeca, Carly Mercer, Rhiannon Sheets & MacKenzie Tweardy
CSCAA HONORABLE MENTION SCHOLAR ALL-AMERICAN (3.5+ GPA)
ACADEMIC ALL-BIG TEN (3.0+ GPA)
Mary Beth Dunnichay
Nika Karlina Petric
Purdue's Individual Scoring Recap at Big Ten Championships
Team Points Earned by Championship (A) & Consolation (B) Finals Qualifiers
1.) Casey Matthews - 37 Points
1-Meter Diving - Won Championship Final/Big Ten Champion (20 Points)
3-Meter Diving - 2nd in Championship Final (17 Points)
2.) MacKenzie Tweardy - 33 Points
Platform Diving - 3rd in Championship Final (16 Points)
1-Meter Diving - 4th in Championship Final (15 Points)
3-meter Diving - 7th in Consolation Final (2 Points)
3.) Mary Beth Dunnichay - 32 Points
1-Meter Diving - 3rd in Championship Final (16 Points)
3-Meter Diving - 3rd in Championship Final (16 Points)
4.) Michelle Cabassol - 27 Points
1-Meter Diving - 5th in Championship Final (14 Points)
3-Meter Diving - 6th in Championship Final (13 Points)
T-5.) Rhiannon Sheets - 23 Points
200 Fly - 7th in A Final (12 Points)
200 Free - 8th in A Final (11 Points)
T-5.) Nika Karlina Petric - 23 Points
400 IM - 8th in A Final (11 Points)
500 Free - 3rd in B Final (6 Points)
1650 Free - 11th Overall (6 Points)
7.) Francesca Marr - 17 Points
200 Breast - 6th in A Final (13 Points)
100 Breast - 5th in B Final (4 Points)
8.) Carly Mercer - 16 Points
100 Free - Won B Final (9 Points)
50 Free - 5th in B Final (4 Points)
200 Free - 6th in B Final (3 Points)
9.) Kylie Vogel - 12 Points
50 Free - Won B Final (9 Points)
100 Fly - 6th in B Final (3 Points)
10.) Alex Todd - 6 Points
100 Fly - 4th in B Final (5 Points)
200 Fly - 8th in B Final (1 Point)
11.) Allie Davis - 4 Points
200 Free - 5th in B Final (4 Points)
T-12.) Hannah Manger - 3 Points
100 Back - 6th in B Final (3 Points)
T-12.) Lizzy Lyon - 3 Points
500 Free - 7th in B Final (2 Points)
200 Free - 8th in B Final (1 Point)