WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - After bringing home a silver medal while representing the USA at the World University Games, Purdue’s Kaersten Meitz has been officially added to USA Swimming’s National Team.
As she settles in for her senior year at Purdue, Meitz has become the latest women’s swimmer to enjoy a decorated career under the guidance of 10th-year head coach John Klinge. Entering this summer, she was already a two-time honorable mention All-American as a three-time individual qualifier for the NCAA Championships. She holds program records in the 500 and 1,000 freestyle as well as the 400 medley relay (all short course yardage).
This summer, Meitz shined on the national stage and was an international finalist at the World University Games. She became Purdue’s first female swimmer to compete for the USA at a Summer Universiade. A fourth-place finish in the 400-meter freestyle at the Phillips 66 National Championships in June earned her a spot on USA Swimming’s roster for the World University Games and in turn led to a berth on the National Team. She also took sixth in the 800 at Nationals.
“Kaersten’s impact on our program goes beyond her individual success,” Klinge said. “She is an extraordinary teammate whose work ethic and attitude helps everyone around her be better.”
By helping the USA’s 4x200 free relay team earn the top seed in the event final, Meitz earned herself a silver medal in Taipei. The Americans went with a fresh quartet for the relay final, but all eight swimmers that participated in the event were awarded a medal after the USA took second in a tight 1-2 finish with Russia.
Diver Emily Meaney, the Purdue men’s basketball team and Meitz all won silver medals at the World University Games this year, becoming the first Boilermakers to medal at a Summer Universiade since 2009.
For guiding Meitz’s development from a two-time Wisconsin high school state champion in the 500-yard free to a medalist at the World University Games, Klinge has earned a place among the USA Swimming National Team Coaches for the 2017-18 school year. Meitz continued to train under Klinge while competing for the Boilermaker Aquatics club during the summer months.
Meitz was a finalist is both of her individual events in Taipei, placing fifth in the 400-meter free and eighth in the 800 free. She established Purdue long-course records in the 200, 400 and 800 free this summer, all during her breakout performance at Nationals in Indianapolis.
In a span of eighth months, Meitz represented Purdue at three prestigious meets at the IU Natatorium on the campus of IUPUI. At the NCAA Championships in March, she was an honorable mention All-American in the 500-yard free for the second year in a row. At the USA College Challenge in November, she eclipsed the Purdue record in the 1,000-yard free, which had stood since 2010, while representing the Big Ten team in its two-day dual vs. the USA Swimming National Team.
In the summer of 2016, Meitz posted a top-30 finish while winning her heat of the 400-meter free at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials. She also medaled in the 500-yard free with a third-place finish at the 2017 Big Ten Championships, breaking her own program-record time in the process.
Meitz also ranks second in Purdue history in the 200-yard and 1650 freestyle. If she can eclipse one of those benchmarks as a senior, she’d join Emily Fogle, the 2016 Purdue Female Athlete of the Year, as the only Boilermakers to currently hold program records in three SCY individual events.
As Purdue’s record holder in both breaststroke events and the 200 individual medley, Fogle headlines an exclusive group of Purdue swimmers to be four-year NCAA Championships qualifiers. Meitz is in position to become the fifth Boilermaker to join the group.
After the record-breaking summer she enjoyed, her senior-year prospects at Purdue sure look good.
MEITZ’S IMPROVEMENTS SINCE BECOMING A BOILERMAKER
* - Purdue Record Time
|Freestyle Event||Top Time - High School||Top Time - Purdue|