2021 Purdue Invite: Purdue’s Divers, Nikola Acin Push Team to First Place

2021 Purdue Invite

  • November 18-20, 2021 
  • Morgan J. Burke Aquatic Center, Lafayette, Indiana
  • Short Course Yards 
  • Results 

The first night of the Purdue Invite saw a lot of action from the reigning ACC Champion Louisville men. On the women’s side, Louisville set themselves up for a tight battle with the quickly rising Northwestern Wildcats. 

Women’s 200 Free Relay 

  1. Louisville – 1:29.31 
  2. Northwestern – 1:29.33
  3. Florida International – 1:30.28 

Louisville and Northwestern battled it out from the start of the race, with Northwestern’s Maddie Smith outsplitting Louisville’s Gabi Albiero on the lead-off leg 22.26 to 22.47. Louisville got a boost from Arina Openysheva’s  21.97 split on the second leg, but Northwestern’s Jasmine Nocentini fired back with a 21.90. In the end, Louisville ended up on top by a margin of .02 thanks to Tristen Ulett’s 22.06 split on the final leg. 

FIU had a solid performance of 1:30.28 to finish third, which included a 22.15 split from Elinah Phillip on the second leg. 

Men’s 200 Free Relay 

  1. Purdue – 1:17.12
  2. Louisville – 1:17.94
  3. Northwestern – 1:18.66

Purdue put together a powerful quartet of Brady Samuels, Ryan Hrosik, Idris Muhammad, and Nikola Acin to take the win in an NCAA B-cut of 1:17.12, which included a 18.66 split from Acin on the anchor. Louisville saw a solid back-half from Colton Paulson (19.27) and Evgenii Somov (19.26) to charge back into second place. 

Women’s 500 Free 

  1. Lola Mull (Northwestern) – 4:43.89
  2. Liberty Howell (Missouri State) – 4:48.47
  3. Liber Williams (Louisville) – 4:48.57

Northwestern’s Lola Mull easily took the win by almost 5 seconds with an NCAA B-cut of 4:43.89. The battle for second and third was much closer, as Missouri State’s Liberty Howell and Louisville’s Liber Williams battled it out, with Howell closing in a 27.97 to edge Williams by .1. 

Men’s 500 Freestyle 

  1. Connor LaMastra (Northwestern) – 4:18.38 
  2. Gustavo Saldo (Louisville) – 4:19.30 
  3. Pawel Krawczyk (Missouri State) – 4:21.99 

The top 5 finishers all got under the NCAA B cut of 4:23.34, with Northwestern’s Connor LaMastara taking the win. LaMastara, a former Ivy League Champion with Dartmouth, swam a time of 4:18.38 to lead the pack, closing over a half second faster than any other swimmer over the final 50 yards (25.51). 

Saldo, a freshman at Louisville, dropped over 6 seconds off of his prelims time to sneak in for second place, taking out the race in an aggressive 22.96.

Women’s 200 IM 

  1. Abby Hay (Louisville) – 1:57.00 
  2. Tara Vovk (Northwestern) – 1:57.76 
  3. Tristen Ulett (Louisville) – 1:58.02 

Similar to the men’s 500, the women’s 200 IM had a total of 7 women dip under the NCAA B-cut 

In the race. Louisville went 1-3 here, with Abby Hay picking up the victory in a time of 1:57.00 and Tristen Ulett finishing third in a time of 1:58.02. The pair had the fastest backstroke splits in the field with their times of 25.34 and 25.53, respectively. 

Northwestern’s Tara Vovk touched second in a time of 1:57.76, closing with the fastest 50 freestyle split in the field (27.64).

Men’s 200 IM 

  1. Daniel Sos (Louisville) – 1:44.28 
  2. Nick Sherman (Purdue) – 1:44.40 
  3. Evgenii Somov (Louisville) – 1:45.33 

Louisville repeated their 1-3 finish from the women’s event here, with Daniel Sos touching first overall in a time of 1:44.28, cutting 3 seconds off of his time from prelims. Evgenii Somov also cut 3 seconds between prelims and finals to finish on the podium in a time of 1:45.33, with the fastest 50 breaststroke and freestyle splits in the field. 

Women’s 50 Free 

  1. Anna Miller (Missouri) – 22.13 
  2. Gabi Albiero (Louisville) – 22.25 
  3. Maddie Smith (Northwestern) – 22.36

Missouri got their first victory of the meet via Anna Miller, who touched a tenth ahead of the field in a time of 22.13. In a tight finish, Louisville’s Gabi Albiero got her hand to the wall ahead of Northwestern’s Maddie Smith. All of the top 6 swimmers were under the NCAA B-cut of 22.76.

Men’s 50 Free 

  1. Nikola Acin (Purdue) – 19.31 
  2. Brady Samuels (Purdue) – 19.58
  3. Ryan Hrosik (Purdue) – 19.69

Following a strong performance in the 200 freestyle relay, the Purdue men swept the podium here, taking the top 4 spots overall. Nikola Acin led the field with a time of 19.31, while freshman Brady Samuels threw down a time of 19.58 to claim second overall, matching his time from prelims. All three of the top finishers were under the NCAA B-cut of 19.96. 

Women’s 3 Meter Diving 

  1. Emily Pfeiffer (Purdue) – 362.75 
  2. Mandy Song (FIU) – 352.85 
  3. Maha Gouda (FIU) – 338.85 

Purdue and FIU swept the podium here, giving both teams a boost in the overall standings. Purdue’s Pfeiffer put up the top score with her effort of 362.75, increasing her prelims performance by 30 points. 

Men’s 1 Meter Diving 

  1. Jordan Rzepka (Purdue) – 398.40 
  2. Gregory Duncan (Purdue) – 385.05 
  3. Evan Labuda (Northwestern) – 328.95 

Purdue’s historically strong diving program emerged victorious once again,sweeping the top two spots here, with Jordan Rzeka putting up 398.40 points for the victory. 

Women’s 400 Medley Relay 

  1. Louisville – 3:32.64
  2. Northwestern – 3:34.77 
  3. Northwestern – 3:35.06

Louisville won this event by over 2 seconds, pulling away from Northwestern’s A-relay via a blazing 48.17 anchor leg from Arina Openysheva. Gabi Albiero also boosted Louisville with a 51.33 split on the butterfly leg. 

On Northwestern’s B-relay, Hannah Brunzell threw down the fastest breaststroke leg in the entire field, splitting 58.65 to boost the relay to a third place overall finish. 

Men’s 400 Medley Relay 

  1. Louisville – 3:07.80 
  2. Northwestern – 3:07.86
  3. Purdue – 3:09.50 

In another close finish, Louisville’s men pulled away from Northwestern to win the race by .08. Both teams saw extremely similar splits, with the difference-maker coming via Mitchell Whyte’s 46.11 backstroke leg. 

The aforementioned Acin anchored Purdue’s relay in a 42.18, the fastest split in the field by a wide margin. Acin has been having a strong meet already and is one to watch throughout the remainder of the weekend. 


Team Scores 


1.) Northwestern 262

2.) Louisville 230

3.) Florida International 180

4.) Purdue 147

5.) Missouri State 119

6.) McKendree  56

7.) Illinois State 29

8.) Indiana State 1



1.) Purdue 266

2.) Louisville 249

3.) Northwestern 183

4.) Missouri State 121

5.) Navy 97

6.) McKendree 84

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1 year ago

Anyone know why Nick Albiero isn’t swimming? I thought he was staying on for a year 5.

Reply to  Oldmanswimmer
1 year ago

Many of the Louisville swimmers are out of this meet

About Nicole Miller

Nicole Miller

Nicole has been with SwimSwam since April 2020, as both a reporter and social media contributor. Prior to joining the SwimSwam platform, Nicole also managed a successful Instagram platform, amassing over 20,000 followers. Currently, Nicole is pursuing her B.S. in Biomedical Engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. After competing for the swim …

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