WEST LAFAYETTE, Indiana, October 27. Purdue split a pair of meets with Arizona State at the Boilermaker Aquatic Center on Friday. The No. 23 men upset No. 18 ASU, 181-118, while the No. 25 women suffered an upset to unranked Arizona State, 160-138.
"I had us tying at 150-150 when I first scored this meet, but we won some events I didn't think we would," said a stunned men's head coach Dan Ross. "These guys have already been through so much this fall, but they want to be here and they want to win."
Ross was most surprised by the outcomes of the 200 back and 200 breast. Freshman Aaron Koger and junior Jin-Soo Kim finished first and second with times of 2:02.36 and 2:03.35, duplicating their effort in the 100 breast, where they placed 1-2 with marks of 55.81 and 57.26.
Romain Maire, who had been battling an illness this week, won the 200 back in 1:51.25, with sophomore Tim Watts placing second in 1:53.02. Watts won the 100 back in 51.47.
Freshman Sam Wilcher also continued to impress, sweeping the butterfly events with times of 49.59 and 1:51.07.
The Boilermaker relays started and finished the meet with victories in the 200 medley and 200 free. The 200 medley of Joe Colley, Koger, Jon Ranochak and Eddie Kenney finished in 1:31.67 as Colley led the team with a 50 back split of 23.62.
Kenney and Ranochak, along with John Mullen and Jon Schmitt, won the 200 free relay in 1:23.37 with Kenney posting a leadoff split of 21.11.
Steve LoBue led the Purdue divers, alternating first-place showings with ASU's Micky Benedetti. LoBue won the 3-meter with 358.43 points, beating Benedetti by three points. However, the Sun Devil beat LoBue off the 1-meter, 349.57 to 347.70. Both their scores in each competition were over the Zone qualifying standard.
Two relay disqualifications not only kept the Arizona State men from being a factor in the meet, it also hindered the Purdue women from catching the Sun Devils. In the opening 200 medley relay, the Boilermakers' `A' and `C' teams were both DQ'ed, sticking Purdue in an early 15-2 hole.
"We got caught twice by the relay touch pads in the opening race, but I thought we responded well afterwards," said women's head coach Cathy Wright-Eger. "Our divers and flyers kept us in it. We brought ASU in to challenge us and they did – but I think we can learn from this meet."
Purdue's divers, with two three-place sweeps, allowed the Boilermakers to remain close to ASU but couldn't push their team over the top. Senior Amanda Miller won off both boards with Zone qualifying scores of 297.60 (1-meter) and 309.22 (3-meter).
Freshmen Chelsea Johnson and Ashley Karnes both recorded second place Zone qualifying scores, as well. Johnson was second to Miller off the 3-meter with 281.78 points and Karnes was the runner-up off the 1-meter with 278.93 points.
Carlene Takaki recorded two NCAA provisional cuts in the butterfly events, placing first in the 200 at 2:01.47 and second to Caitlin Andrew in the 100, 54.03 to 54.90. Depth was provided by Lauren Hyman with her second-place effort in the 200 (2:04.96) and by newcomer Christine Inman, who finished third in the 100 at 57.51.
Following the relay DQs, Purdue started to push back with a second-place finish by Nicole Weatherman in the 1000 free and a win from Jennifer Lavers in the 100 breast.
Wright-Eger was extremely satisfied with the performance of Weatherman, who lost by just .02 seconds to ASU's Sarah Fischer.
"Nicole really fought for it but just came up short," said Wright-Eger. "I'm very proud of her because she refused to back down."
The 20-year head coach also was pleased with the mental toughness on display from seniors Kat Telfer and Susan Hentschel. Telfer won the 200 back in 2:05.61 and Hentschel won the 100 free in 51.02 after placing second earlier in the night to Jen Beckberger in 200 free, 1:50.03 to 1:50.96.
"Kat was just outstanding in the 200 back," said Wright-Eger. "She was injured earlier this summer, couldn't train, and I thought I might have to give her a medical redshirt. Her performance is a great indicator of how far she has come this year. As for Susan, her mental toughness is in check. We need her to be this tough every race at every meet."