Oct. 31, 2013
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- The Purdue swimming and diving teams host Notre Dame Friday evening for the annual early-season rivalry co-ed duals as well as the second of three consecutive weekends featuring home meet action.
Competition at the Boilermaker Aquatic Center is set to begin at 5 p.m. Friday. The Notre Dame men were ranked 22nd in the inaugural CSCAA Top 25 poll released last week. The co-ed dual will mark the second of six home meets this season in which the Purdue men and women will compete at the same time.
The Purdue-Notre Dame duals usually make for a tightly-contested meet and may not be decided until the final couple events. Last year in South Bend, the Purdue women were four-point winners, 152-148, posting their fourth consecutive dual victory in the series. The Notre Dame men won by 12 points, 156-144, to snap the Boilers' five-year win streak in the series.
The women will utilize the standard 16-event dual meet lineup Friday. The men have agreed to three changes, contesting the 1650 freestyle instead of the 500, the 400 IM instead of the 200, and the 200 free relay instead of the 400. The Purdue women will swim the 400 IM at next Friday's November Quad and Triple Duals at the Boilermaker Aquatic Center, which will also feature men's and women's teams from Northwestern and Ohio State as well as the Iowa men.
One of the top showdowns Friday vs. the Fighting Irish should be in the men's 100 breaststroke. Purdue's Lyam Dias (55.45) and UND's Zach Stephens (55.49) are ranked 11th and 12th nationally in the event, respectively, via their times at CollegeSwimming.com. Danny Tucker's 50 free time (19.87) from the Indiana Intercollegiates is No. 1 on CollegeSwimming.com's listings this week. It's one of only three sub-20 second times in the 50 free so far.
Tucker swept the 50 and 100 freestyle sprints last year in South Bend as one of four Boilers to win multiple individual events. Carly Mercer won the 100 and 200 free along with finishing in a first-place tie with Lauren Gustafson in the 50. Allie Davis swept the 500 and 1000 distance freestyle events. But it was the two relay victories that lifted the Purdue women to victory. Rhiannon Sheets contributed to both relay wins.
Danny Conway enjoyed a strong meet for the Purdue men, winning the 400 IM and taking second in the 200 fly. Jamie Bissett (3-meter diving) was also an individual event winner at Notre Dame last season.
Tucker also swept the 50 and 100 freestyle sprints in Notre Dame's last visit to the Boilermaker Aquatic Center in November 2011. He contributed to both relay wins that night as well. Among active Boilers, Alec Back (1-meter diving), Eduard Galdeano (200 fly), Megan Gallagher (500 free), Dias (200 breast), Mercer (100 free) and Sheets (100 fly) were also individual winners.
Michelle Cabassol, Davis and Mercer are all off to fast starts for the Purdue women this season, each owning at least three individual victories through the first two meets. Freshmen Grace Hernandez and Meagan Lim have also posted an event win in each of the first two meets. Swimmers for both the Purdue men and women will begin focusing on their top events over the next few weeks leading up to the extended invitational meets on their schedules in November.