WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- The Purdue swimming and diving teams head out this weekend for perhaps their most taxing road trips of the season, competing twice in less than 24 hours in two different pools while taking on Notre Dame and Northwestern in dual meet action.
Friday's co-ed dual at Notre Dame is set for 5 p.m. at the Rolfs Aquatic Center in South Bend, Ind. The Boilermakers will travel to the Chicagoland area Friday night and compete Saturday afternoon at Northwestern. The matinee co-ed dual meet is slated for 2 p.m. ET at the Norris Aquatics Center in Evanston, Ill.
The Purdue women debuted at No. 24 in the first CSCAA Top 25 coaches poll of the season this week. The men were ranked 18th last week. An updated Top 25 will be released biweekly this season, with the genders alternating weeks. The Notre Dame women are ranked 18th and the Northwestern men are among teams receiving votes.
Northwestern is the first of six Big Ten Conference opponents the Boilers will take on for dual meet action this year. Both teams will also compete head-to-head against Michigan State, Indiana, Minnesota and Wisconsin before the Big Ten Championships in February. Additionally, the Purdue men square off against Michigan Jan. 12 in Ann Arbor and the women will compete against Illinois at the Big Ten Quad the first weekend of February in Madison.
While competing on back-to-back days or in multiple sessions over the course of weekend meet is nothing new to swimming and diving athletes, competing in two different pools in a 24-hour span does make for a unique weekend for the Boilers. The men have a similar challenge on the horizon when they compete at Michigan State and at Michigan the weekend of Jan. 11-12.
Following the busy travel weekend, both teams will be idle from competition next weekend as they gear up for the Purdue Invitational the weekend of Nov. 16-18 at the Boilermaker Aquatic Center. The three-day, six-session meet serves as the primary focus of the Boilers' fall training programs.
Both Purdue teams have squared off against Notre Dame and Northwestern on consecutive days each of the last six seasons dating back to the fall of 2006. The Boilermakers have swept the weekend duals each of the last three seasons, including road wins in Evanston Friday and in South Bend Saturday in November 2010. The men have swept the Notre Dame-Northwestern weekend each of the last five years.
Both Purdue teams are scheduled to compete in the 400 IM for the first time this season Friday at Notre Dame. The men's distance specialists will also test themselves with the mile swim Saturday for the first time this fall. The 400 medley relay will be the opening event for the women Friday and the men Saturday, as both teams line up for that event for the first time. Coincidentally, the men have yet to compete in the 400 free relay, but that will change Friday with the final event of the Notre Dame dual.
A number of Purdue swimmers that remain active members of their programs enjoyed successful weekends on the Northwestern-Notre Dame road trip two years ago. Caitlin Hamilton was a four-time individual winner, sweeping the 500 and 1000 free at both duals. Chuck Destro also won an event each day with a 50 free victory at Northwestern and 100 back win at Notre Dame. Other individuals winners included: Eduard Galdeano (200 fly at UND), Brian Kiel (200 back at NU) and Fogle (100 breast at NU).
Last season in the back-to-back dual meets against Notre Dame and Northwestern at the Boilermaker Aquatic Center, Lyam Dias and Kiel led the way with four individual victories apiece. Dias won the 200 breast and an IM event and Kiel swept the backstroke events for the weekend. Rhiannon Sheets (butterfly), Fogle (breaststroke) and Tucker (freestyle sprints) were all three-time individual winners over the course of the weekend.
Amy Katz (100 back), Megan Gallagher (500 and 1000 free), Jan Petric (1000 and 1650 free) and Galdeano (200 fly) also won an event against both opponents a year ago.