WEST LAFAYETTE, Indiana, October 14. PURDUE's men's and women's swimming and diving teams destroyed the competition at the Indiana Intercollegiates Saturday afternoon at the Boilermaker Aquatic Center. The Boilermaker women scored 836.5 points and the men tallied 940 points as the Old Gold and Black combined to win 23 of 24 events.
Placing behind the Purdue men were Indianapolis (256), Ball State (239), IUPUI (212), Vincennes (120), Wabash (112) and Butler (83). Ball State finished second on the women's side with 482 points and were followed by Indianapolis (269), IUPUI (128), Butler (86) and Vincennes (45.5).
"I was pleasantly surprised at how well we swam considering this is the earliest we've held a meet in quite sometime," said men's head coach Dan Ross. "What I got from this meet is that our freshmen, Sam Wilcher, Andre Koop and Aaron Koger, came in as good as advertised and will be major players for us this season."
Wilcher won the 100 fly in 50.46 and was second to teammate Tim Watts in the 200 free at 1:44.48. Watts led his team with the most individual victories, winning the 200 free in 1:43.41 and the 100 back in 52.10.
As for Koger, he won the 100 breast in 57.26 and was part of the first-place 200 medley relay along with Joe Colley, Jon Ranochak and Eddie Kenney. Koop took first in the 200 IM at 1:56.73 and placed third in the 500 free (4:45.00) behind Boilermakers Romain Maire (4:41.48) and Craig Thompson (4:41.54).
Also winning for the men was John Schmitt, who took first-place honors in the 100 free at 46.41.
"I though everything was pretty good," said women's coach Cathy Wright-Eger. "I knew we were solid in the breaststroke and diving and they more than proved themselves today. My only concern at first was how we would handle the distance free, but Stacie (Lesneski) and Nicole (Weatherman) put together some good times."
Weatherman won the 500 in 5:01.68 and was followed by Lesneski in 5:04.10 and Lauren Hyman in 5:07.40. Of the eight individual swimming events, Purdue women locked up the top two spots in the 50, 100 free and 100 back; the top three positions in the 500 free and 100 fly; and the top four places in the 200 free, 200 IM and 100 breast.
The biggest surprise about the 100 breast was that it was not won by any of the team's three Big Ten Finalists from a year ago. Instead it was freshman Leah Pierce who paced the field with her winning mark of 1:05.07.
Susan Hentschel led the club with three wins, taking first in the 100 and (51.06) 200 free (1:50.92) and with the 200 medley relay (1:45.80) of Kimbre Vogel, Carlene Takaki and Pierce. Takaki posted the best overall time of the afternoon with an NCAA provisional cut of 55.07 in winning the 100 fly.
Also scoring wins for the Purdue women were Vogel in the 50 free (24.01), Katharine Telfer in the 100 back (59.04) and Jennifer Merte in the 200 IM (2:07.17). The Boilermaker women won the 200 free relay in 1:37.64, led by Merte, Shannon Grace, Rachel Sitarz and Erin Gettings.
"I was very pleased with the work of our sprint freestylers; we have to be four strong in this group and I'm starting to see the potential," added Wright-Eger.
Purdue diving's only competition was themselves. On the women's side, the Boilermakers swept the top five spots off both the 1-meter and 3-meter springboards, with Amanda Miller winning the 1-meter with a zone qualifying score of 289.90 points and freshman Chelsea Johnson winning the 3-meter with 274.10 points.
The men, led by Steve LoBue's zone qualifying score of 320.10 points, swept the top five spots off the 1-meter. Off the 3-meter, Zach Schultz qualified for zones with his first-place scored of 344.65, as the Boilermakers claimed the top three places. Newcomer J.P. Perez and LoBue placed second and third behind Schultz with Zone scores of 333.95 and 331.35.