WEST LAFAYETTE, Indiana- PURDUE'S 14th-ranked men's swimming and diving team survived the first of the season, beating Notre Dame 219-81 and Texas A&M 181.5 -116.5. However, the women's program did not fare as well, dropping a 168.5 – 131.5 to the Fighting Irish.
"We thought Notre Dame would be a little tougher, but I know they did some different training in practice this week so that might have affected them," said men's head coach Dan Ross. "I give a lot of credit to Texas A&M. They had a long trip to come out here but they have a lot of talent."
"We came out on the short end of the stick tonight, but I was excited right away with our effort," said women's head coach Cathy Wright-Eger. "We came in at the first intermission and we had scored where we wanted to, but then we fell off."
Allie Smith dominated the backstroke events with wins in the 100 and 200, posting times of 56.56 and 2:01.42. Also winning were Nicole Weatherman in the 1000 free with a personal best of 9:58.91, and Christine Inman, who recorded a 57.05 in the 100 fly.
"Nicole's been working hard in practice and tonight it really paid off," said Wright-Eger. "It was great to see her post a personal best in the 1,000 free as she starts her senior season."
In the diving well, Kyle Mitrone, David Colturi, and Ashley Karnes all qualified for the NCAA Zone meet with their first-place scores. Mitrone won off the 3-meter springboard with a score of 333.50 points and Colturi won the 1-meter springboard competition with a 329.90 points.
Karnes was first on the 1-meter with a 271.95 points, followed by Emily Wetzel in second with a score of 256.70 points. Kara Cook finished second off the 3-meter with a score of 267.35 points.
Purdue's men's team received tremendous individual efforts from its freestyle swimmers. Junior John Schmitt was first in the 100 and 200 free and second in the 50 free, while freshman Matt Stewart collected a pair of victories in the 500 and mile.
Ilia Ayzenshtok, Aaron Koger, Andrew Langenfield, and Eddie Kenney began the meet with a win in the 200 medley relay, completing the course in 1:31.40.
Ayzenshtok went on to win the 200 yard back in 1:49.95, while Langenfield took first in the in the 100 butterfly at 48.59.
Purdue won the first four events, and nine individual events overall, giving them a comfortable lead through most of the night.
"We got a great team effort tonight," said Ross. "Everyone from our distance guys to our divers contributed. This season we've added some guys and they helped tonight. Plus, the returners stepped up. It was just really well-balanced team effort."
Seniors Jin-Soo Kim and Romain Maire topped the competition in the 200 individual medley with Kim winning by .08 seconds, 1:52.56 to 1:52.68.
Purdue continues its weekend home series Saturday at 1 p.m., playing host to Northwestern and the Aggies again for a second day.
Ross wants to make sure Friday's fast start continues into tomorrow and deep into the season.
"None of what we accomplished tonight will matter if we have poor races straight out of the gate tomorrow," said Ross. "We need to keep this going and make sure we finish fast at the end of the season."
Special thanks to Purdue for contributing this report.