WEST LAFAYETTE, Indiana, November 14. THE Boilermaker men's and women's swimming and diving teams are off to a roaring start at the Purdue Challenge, with both teams leading Eastern Michigan after day one. Coach John Klinge's women's squad leads 129-35, and the men hold a 125.5-41.5 advantage.
Ashley Beal had a huge night on the 3-meter board for the Boilermakers, recording a 349.80. The mark is good for fourth all-time in program history. Ashley Karnes picked up second place with a score of 325.43.
Allie Smith and Kristen Gilson posted a 1-2 finish in the 200 IM. Smith clocked in 2:07.12, while Gilson tallied a 2:09.56.
Lauren Roth came on strong in the next event, however, taking the 500 free by more than seven seconds. Her time of 4:57.39 was good for the win, while Amy Gutwein finished third at 5:06.18.
"Amy had a lifetime best time in the 500 free. She's had a really hard training week, so to come out and get a lifetime best time is really impressive," Klinge said.
Jessica Davis and Christina Jacobs were strong in the 100 breast, finishing first and third, respectively. Davis won in 1:05.91, while Jacobs was right behind her at 1:06.63.
The 200 back might have been the event of the night, however. Purdue finished 1-2-3, with Smith (2:02.39), Gilson (2:03.71) and Katie Beck (2:06.82) sweeping the top spots.
"I thought we had a pretty solid night tonight, but we need to be a little more detail oriented across the board," Klinge said.
Meanwhile, the No. 16 Purdue men's swimming and diving team continued their roll Friday night, taking eight of nine events from the Eagles.
Sam Wilcher and Luke Zehrung were solid in the 200 IM, finishing 1-2. Wilcher checked in at 1:54.75 and Zehrung was right behind at 1:55.63.
Purdue went 1-2-3 in the 500 free, with Matt Stewart taking first at 4:35.36. Drew Wolfred was second at 4:36.60, while A.J. Boeh was finished in 4:41.96 for third place.
The Boilermakers pulled the trifecta again in the 200 back. Chris Pfaff clocked in first at 1:54.77, while Tyler Gertz was second at 1:54.94 and Ben Wachtel was third at 1:57.63.
John Schmitt gave the performance of the evening, however, tearing through the water in the 100 free. His time of 44.51 was almost two seconds better than runner-up Andrew Langefeld, who came in at 46.20.
"John going 44 in the 100 free is huge. That's a big, big, big swim," head coach Dan Ross said. "I thought the divers did a really nice job tonight, as well."
They certainly did. David Boudia broke his own record in the 1-meter event, notching a 402.45. David Colturi came in second at 306.08.
"We've said that we want to get better every week. Last week, we were significantly better than the last couple of meets. I would like to see us do that in a situation where we're not necessarily getting pushed really hard," Ross said.
The Purdue Challenge wraps up tomorrow at noon when swimmers and divers hit the water at the Boilermaker Aquatic Center. Check purduesports.com for more updates.
Special thanks to Purdue for contributing this report.