Coming off big wins against Notre Dame, Purdue’s aquatic teams will be getting their first taste of Big Ten competition at this weekend’s November Quad in the Boilermaker Aquatic Center.
The Boilermakers will host men’s and women’s programs from Northwestern and Ohio State, as well as the Iowa men’s team. Ohio State is currently ranked 13th and 20th, for men’s and women’s respectively. The Hawkeye men are ranked 20th.
Coming off three second-place finishes against Notre Dame last weekend, sophomore Francesca Marr said this meet will get the team ready for the rigors of Big Ten season. The NCAA Top 25 features six men’s sides and six women’s sides from the conference.
“I feel like this meet is important for us because we’re racing more than one team, so you get the bigger meet atmosphere,” Marr said. “We’re racing other Big Ten teams, so it’s important to see where they’re at compared to us.”
The meet will serve as a preview for the Big Ten Quad in January, as it gives teams a chance to size each other up. Sophomore Danny Conway highlighted some key differences between the November and Big Ten Quads.
“When we did it at Madison last year (at the Big Ten Quad), it was in the second half of our season, and we had been racing for a long time,” Conway said. “Right now we’re just kind of getting into the race mode, so it’s a little different in that aspect. But the competition’s the same, so it will be just as competitive and just as fun.”
Freshmen accounted for five top-3 individual results during last Friday’s meet. Marr said the team will need a strong performance from the newcomers in their first experience with conference competition.
“The freshmen have been doing really well in practice and in racing. They’ve exceeded all of our expectations,” Marr said. “In their racing, they’re competing against some of the best people on the other teams and winning, so it’s been great to see that.”
Women’s Head Coach John Klinge has been familiar with the level of competition within the Big Ten for years. Klinge swam for Purdue during his time here and coached at Ohio State prior to his current appointment.
“We have Ohio State and Northwestern, two very good competitors, so it should be a little bit of a preview [for the Big Ten Quad] but also really fun,” Klinge said. “It’s good to see some of the other coaches. On the other hand, we want to make sure we’re down to business and racing.“
The meet will take place at 4 p.m. Friday at the Boilermaker Aquatic Center.