The Purdue men and women’s swimming and diving squads had impressive showings this weekend as they battled their first Big Ten opponents during Friday’s November Quad.
Both teams defeated Northwestern and the No. 22 Purdue men also scored a victory against No. 21 Iowa. The women were able to secure a win against No. 19 Ohio State, but the men were unable to do so against the No. 10 Buckeyes.
Purdue’s diving core had an excellent weekend as they swept the diving events during the seven-squad event. Purdue’s men won six of the 16 swimming events while the women had 10 top finishers.
Some of Purdue’s top performers during the meet swam not only as freshmen new to the program, but also as international swimmers new to short course racing.
Filip Bujoczek of Sosnowiec, Poland, winner of the 200 free and runner-up for the 500 free and 400 free relay, explained some of the changes that come with swimming in the different-sized pools used in NCAA competition.
The middle distance specialist noted that the difference between a 500-race and a 500-yard race can be almost a full minute.
“For example, when I do 200 yards versus 200 meters, the difference isn’t that bad,” Bujoczek said. “But when it comes to the 500, it’s a way different distance … I’m getting used to the turns and I’m also getting used to the counting because it’s way different. I still get confused sometimes.”
Junior Guillermo Blanco was a top performer for the men with two individual victories in the 200 fly and 200 individual medley.
A native of Spain, Blanco related to Bujoczek’s struggle. Different pool lengths can greatly affect the stroke count which backstrokers use so they know when to turn.
Now in his third year, Blanco says he has mastered adjusting his count and has met success in domestic and international competition.
“I’m more of a long course guy too, so it was the same thing for me,” said Blanco. “For meters, if you had to do one more stroke, here you’re going to have to cut that or you’re going to hit the wall. When I go back to Spain, I have to add that stroke that I cut.”
Freshman Meagan Lim, of Singapore, had a career night for the Boilermakers with wins in the 100 fly, 200 medley relay, and finished 2nd in the 200 fly behind teammate Rhiannon Sheets. Lim posted a season-best time in the 100 fly, but hopes to improve as she gets used to the new course.
“All my life I’ve been swimming long course meters, and short course is just so short,” Lim said. “I haven’t gauged well where I’m supposed to turn yet, so that’s a big place I can improve.”
The men’s team will travel to Minnesota this weekend to take part in the three-day Minnesota Grand Prix. The women’s team as well as the men’s divers will next be in competition at the Ohio State Invitational the weekend of Nov. 22 in Columbus, Ohio.