Steele Johnson and Adam Soldati were recognized with individual honors as Purdue men’s swimming and diving finished 13th to match its best showing in the modern era on the final night of the NCAA Championships on Saturday.
Johnson finished second in platform diving, earning his third All-American honor of the week and sixth career. But he came up just one place shy of becoming the first man ever to sweep the diving and the three diving in the same year at the NCAA Championships. After winning NCAA titles on 1-meter and 3-meter, he was named the NCAA Diver of the Year for the second time. Soldati was recognized as the Diving Coach of the Year for the fifth time.
Marat Amaltdinov finished seventh in the championship final of the 200 breaststroke, earning his first career All-American award and becoming the Purdue men’s first full-fledged All-American honoree in a swimming event since Giordan Pogioli (200 breast) in 2006.
Brandon Loschiavo finished fourth in platform diving to close out a successful freshman season. Max Showalter was an honorable mention All-American in platform diving for the second year in a row. Including Joe Cifelli’s sixth-place showing in 1-meter diving Thursday, all five Boilermakers that competed at NCAAs this season accounted for team points and earned All-American honors.
Led by Johnson’s 57 points, Purdue finished in 13th place in the team scoring with 106.5 points. The Boilermakers also finished 13th in 2009 and 2010, the program’s best finish of the modern era of the NCAA Championships. Purdue finished in the top 15 at NCAAs four times from 1952 to 1962, but did not reach the double-figure mark for team points during those years.
Johnson finished second on platform to David Dinsmore of the University of Miami. Dinsmore took third on 10-meter behind Purdue alumnus David Boudia and Johnson at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials, which were also held at the IU Natatorium in downtown Indianapolis. In 2011, Boudia swept the springboard events but finished second to four-time NCAA platform championship Nick McCrory, preventing Boudia from sweeping the diving events. When he won a 3-meter NCAA title Friday, Johnson joined Boudia as the only divers since platform was added to the NCAA Championships in 1990 to win all three events over the course of a collegiate career. Johnson also joined Boudia, a three-time honoree, as the only student-athletes to win the College Swimming Coaches Association of America’s Diver of the Year award multiple times since 2005.
Johnson got off to a bit of a slow start in the afternoon prelims, but posted a list score of 416.75 to finish fifth. He improved on list score by 94.25 points in the championship final. But Dinsmore was even better, winning the NCAA title with a list score of 528.2 while improving on his prelim score by 85.15 points. Dinsmore had the top score among the eight-diver field in three of the six rounds of the championship final, earning no fewer than 81 points on any of his six dives. Johnson kept pace but was not able to pull even again after a score of 77.55 in Round 3. The Boilermakers finished second among the eight Big Ten teams that scored at the NCAA Championships this year.
All five of Purdue’s NCAA Championships qualifiers are expected to return for the 2018 season.