WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind., Feb. 1. THE 22nd-ranked Purdue women's swimming and diving team leads Illinois, No. 20 Minnesota and No. 15 Wisconsin in the annual Quad Meet Duals. Against the Illini, the Boilermakers lead 120-65; against Minnesota, Purdue leads 113-72 and against Wisconsin, the Boilermakers pulled ahead, 95-88.
"I am so excited and the team is too," said Purdue head women's coach Cathy Wright-Eger. "After the IU meet, we were not happy at all – it was a different team. But tonight, it was a chance for us to come out and defend our home pool and have no doubts, no fears and it's kind of like Big Tens. This gives us a chance to get used to a heat system just before Big Ten's, while being in a friendly environment. The team I saw tonight was a totally different team – and it was great."
The Boilermaker women started the meet out strong, winning the 200 medley relay with a new pool record time of 1:42.97. Team members were Lisa Dolansky, Lindsay Lange, Patricia Finnerty and Tracy Duchac.
In the 1,000 free, Kelly Mackus finished fourth in 10:14.75 and Shannon Funk finished sixth with a time of 10:26.44.
Jenni Bean was the top Boilermaker finisher in the 200 free in ninth place in 1:53.77, followed by Christine Leupold in 10th place with a time of 1:54.47.
Dolansky showed she's ready for the Big Ten Championships, as she continues to swim well, finishing first in the 100 backstroke with a time of 56.10. Brandy Keever finished in a time of 59.19 for ninth place.
Purdue's Lange also defended her turf in the 100 breaststroke with a first-place finish in 1:03.27. Ronica Rogalski and Lindsay Kirchoff followed up with fourth- and fifth-place finishes.
In the 200 butterfly, the Boilermakers finished 1-2-3 with Finnerty, Karin Stender and Autumn Sample.
Duchac sprinted to a close race in the 50 free with Wisconsin's Jenny Lyman, but was narrowly edged out for second place. She finished in 23.59. Fellow classmate Lindsey Meier finished fifth with a time of 24.28.
Bean swam another great race in the 200 individual medley, finishing closely behind Wisconsin's Bethany Pendleton, with a time of 2:04.09. Stender finished in ninth place with a time of 2:09.83.
In the final swimming event of the evening, a first-place finish in the 800 free relay for the Badgers tied them with the Old Gold and Black, as the teams and crowd awaited the women's diving scores. Purdue's 800 free relay team of Dolansky, Leupold, Bean and Kim Paradeise finished third with a time of 7:39.32.
The Boilermakers ended up relying heavily on their diving squad to give them the added push to take the lead over the Wisconsin women, heading into tomorrow's second half. Senior Kara Hajek-Gustafson finished with a season-best score of 479.65 to take first on the 3-meter board and give the Boilermakers the extra points they needed.
Molly MacFarlane finished with a score of 410.25 for sixth place, Carrie Dougherty finished with a score of 393.25 for eighth place and Heather Bachman was 11th with a total of 373.40.
The Boilermakers will return to the water tomorrow morning at 10 a.m. with the men's 3-meter and the women's 1-meter diving. Swimming events will begin at noon with Senior Day activities beginning shortly before noon.