Purdue Tops Illinois after COVID-19 Causes Michigan State to Cancel Trip

Photo Courtesy: Purdue Athletics

Led by a trio of double event winners, Purdue women’s swimming & diving won 12 of the 16 events to top Illinois 173-122 on Saturday at Morgan J. Burke Aquatic Center in the opener of the Big Ten dual meet season for both teams.

The Purdue men also competed but did so as a non-scored intrasquad after Michigan State had to cancel its trip to West Lafayette on Friday due to COVID-19 positive tests and contact tracing. The meet was originally slated to be a triple dual on the women’s side and a head-to-head dual between the Purdue and MSU men.

Emily Bretscher (springboard diving), Sylvia Kobylak (100 fly, 200 breast) and Natalie Myers (200 back, 200 IM) were the two-time winners for the women to account for six of the team’s 10 individual event victories. Claire Abbasse (50 free), Riley Kishman (100 breast), Tessa Wrightson (100 back) and Kobylak all won an individual event and contributed to a relay winner. Kendra Bowen and Wrightson contributed to both victorious quartets as the Boilermakers swept the 200 medley and 400 free relays.

Greg Duncan (springboard diving), Michael Juengel (100 & 200 back), Brett Riley (200 IM, 1,000 free) and Skyler Younkin (100 & 200 fly) were all two-time winners in the men’s events. Purdue kept its same meet lineup in place – events, entries and lane assignments – that was planned for the dual with MSU.

Trent Pellini won the 100 breaststroke with an NCAA provisional qualifying time (B Cut) of 52.57. He was one of five Boilermakers on the men’s side to register a team season-best time in an individual event.

The Purdue women posted 1-2-3 finishes in the 50 freestyle, 100 breaststroke and 200 backstroke. Myers and Erin Verbrugge finished 1-2 in both the 200 backstroke and 200 individual medley. Kobylak was also the runner-up to Kishman in the 100 breast to go along with her unique sweep of the 100 fly and 200 breast.

Aaron Frollo (500 free), Coleman Modglin (200 breast), Hayley Pike (1,000 free) and Jude Wenker (200 free) were Purdue’s freshman event winners. Frollo, Modglin and Pike have all accounted for team season-best times in those events this season.

From Illinois:

Junior Abigail Cabush and freshman Cara Bognar both had a pair of first place finishes.

“The team was excited for the opportunity to compete today,” said head coach Sue Novitsky. “Right from the first event, the team had terrific energy and showed they were willing to step up and accept the challenge. In the pool and on the boards, we had a strong meet and competed hard to the end. Our freshmen showed they are racers, going out after their events. Abby Cabush led the way getting the first win for the team in the meet. We are looking forward to getting back to work and fine-tuning things each week.”

Cabush grabbed her two first place finishes in the 100 and 200 freestyles by times of 51.77 and 1:51.34, respectively. Bognar claimed first in the 200 butterfly with a time of 2:02.56 and in the 500 freestyle with a time of 4:59.59. The Greenville, South Carolina, native also touched the wall second in the 1000 freestyle (10:16.89).

Sophomore Kaleigh Haworth came out with a first place finish in the 200 individual medley (2:09.33) along with a third place finish in the 200 breaststroke (2:25.53).

Taking second place in their individual events, sophomore Athena Salafatinos recorded a time of 3:38.04 in the 100 backstroke and sophomore Isabelle Guerra in the 100 butterfly finished with a time of 57.23. Freshman Lily Olson clocked a time of 2:06.58 in the 200 butterfly to place third.

The Illini grabbed second place in the 200 medley relay (1:45.81) to open the day courtesy of Salafatinos, junior Emily Bolger, Cabush and freshman Laurel Bludgen. The 400 freestyle relay team membered by Cabush, Olson, Bludgen and Guerra also took second place with a total time of 3:31.05.

Sophomore Erin Young returned to the diving lineup with a second place mark in the one-meter and third place in the three-meter dive totaling 243.68 and 232.80, respectively.

Four freshmen made their debuts for the one-meter and three-meter events. Taylor Michael led the newcomers with a second place finish in the three-meter (249.98) and third place in the one-meter (242.63). Allison Landis, Brooke Michael and Cacia Kaupp rounded out the diving lineup for the Fighting Illini on the events.

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