Danny Tucker Shines, Leads Boilermakers To Comfortable Home-Opener Win

Combined Team Scores – Through Event 24
1. Purdue University 1454
2. University of Evansville 574
3. University of Indianapolis 558
4. DePauw University 461.5
5. Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology 216
6. Valparaiso University Swimming 183
7. Wabash College 139 8. Butler University 134.5

Women – Team Rankings – Through Event 24
1. Purdue University 715.5
2. University of Evansville 359
3. University of Indianapolis 239.5
4. DePauw University 185.5
5. Butler University 134.5
6. Valparaiso University Swimming 90
7. Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology 83

Men – Team Rankings – Through Event 24
1. Purdue University 738.5
2. University of Indianapolis 318.5
3. DePauw University 276
4. University of Evansville 215
5. Wabash College 139
6. Rose-Hulman Institute of Techn 133
7. Valparaiso University Swimming 93

 

The invitation began with the 200 medley relay, and the Boilermaker women made a statement immediately by capturing the race title in a winning time of 1:44.83. Anji Li (26.72), Francesca Marr (29.12), Alex Todd (24.87), and Rhiannon Sheets (24.12) combined to win for the Boilermakers while the University of Evansville (1:49.26) and DePauw University followed for 2nd and 3rd.

In the men’s race, Purdue’s ‘B’ relay touched in first at 1:32.15, though they would ultimately exhibition the race in the final scoring of the meet. The foursome of Alex Toetz (23.40), Matt Quinlan (26.58), Filip Bujoczek (21.77), and Jan Petric (20.40) posted the fastest time in the race, though the University of Indianapolis (1:32.74) officially took the event with Depauw (1:36.38) and Purdue’s ‘B’ squad (1:36.46) following after.

The women’s 200 free saw Purdue sophomore Allie Davis taking the event in a winning time of 1:50.42. She was about two-and-a-half seconds ahead of her teammate and second place finisher Lizzy Lyon (1:53.12) while another Boilermaker Francesca Marr (1:53.59) took third. On the men’s side, Purdue junior Luke Trimmer (1:42.16) took the event while Depauw junior Casey Hooker (1:42.50) and Purdue sophomore Manuel Gutierrez (1:42.70) rounded out the top three.

In the 50 freestyle, a very tight finish led to a tie in the women’s race between University of Indianapolis’ Julia Madeira and Purdue’s Gracie Hernandez at 23.90, while Evansville freshman Danielle Freeman followed close behind at 24.00 for third. In the men’s race, Purdue senior Danny Tucker exploded to a sensational 19.87 winning time while his teammates Adam Johnston and Austin Flager finished 2nd and third in times of 20.96 and 20.98 respectively. This swim now marks the fastest time in the country so far, as Tucker’s 19.87 just clipped Auburn’s Marcelo Chierighini‘s 19.93 that had been the nation-leading time since two weeks ago. Tucker was the US Open Champion last summer in the 100 meter freestyle (49.11) and he was also 6th in the 50 freestyle (22.39) in what was indisputably a breakout meet for the Naperville, Illinois product. He hasn’t missed a beat since his summer success, and this early-season speed for Tucker will surely give him plenty of confidence in the upcoming months in what may be a phenomenal senior year for him.

The Boilermakers had another 1-2-3 finish in the 200 yard individual medley, where senior Carly Mercer won her first individual event in a time of 2:03.50. Nica Karlina Petric (2:06.91) and Meagan Lim (2:07.95) rounded out the top 3, while Lyon actually also captured the fourth spot at 2:11.05. Joshua Brooks was triumphant for the Boilermakers on the men’s side with a 1:54.00 effort while his teammate Alex Toetz finished second in 1:54.45. Bruno Barbosa of the University of Indianapolis was third in 1:55.72.

The ladies from Purdue stayed hot with another strong team showing in the 100 butterfly, where the team took 6 of the top 8 spots. Lim was victorious in a time of 55.36 while Stephanie Schloblohm (57.32) and Trish Regan (57.54) took 2nd and 3rd. The Boilermaker men had a 1-2-3 finish thanks to sophomore Guillermo Blanco‘s 49.64 winning effort as well as Stephen Seliskar‘s 50.34 and Bujoczek’s 50.54 swims. Seliskar is the elder brother of Andrew Seliskar, who is a standout age group swimmer for the Nation’s Capital Aquatics Club.

Caroline Bridges provided Depauw’s sole individual victory from the competition with her 52.94 effort in the 100 freestyle. She was followed by Butler’s Claire Butkus who turned in a 53.77 while Purdue junior Anji Li finished third in 54.00. Danny Tucker returned from his outstanding 50 freestyle to claim the 100 free as well in a top time of 45.09. He had a comfortable lead throughout, and finished about one-and-a-half seconds ahead of second place finisher Ashton Butcher (46.69) while Depauw sophomore Blake Lehmann finished third in 47.28.

Ellie Hong of the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology claimed her team’s only individual event victory with a winning time of 58.61 in the 100 backstroke. She just outtouched Michaela Kent (58.74) from Evansville and also edged Kylie Vogel (58.87) of Purdue) who followed close behind her. The men’s race saw the Boilermaker claim yet another 1-2-3 finish with Toetz (51.46), Evan Barta (52.14), and Bujoczek (53.17) taking the top three spots.

Rhiannon Sheets came back from her medley relay win to comfortably win the 500 freestyle in a winning time of 4:56.39. She was about 7.5 seconds ahead of second-place finisher Angela Newlon (5:04.04) from Depauw, while Purdue sophomore Madison Monteiro took third in 5:08.71. The men’s race saw a similarly comfortable win, with freshman Daniel Conway winning in a quick time of 4:35.49. Finishing second was fellow freshman teammate Jes Stephens (4:45.65) and Depauw’s Casey Hooker was third in 4:47.93.

Carly Mercer won her second individual event with a win in the 100 breast, as she finished first in 1:06.49. Evansville’s Mackenzie Powell interrupted the Purdue stranglehold on the event with her second-placed time of 1:07.87 while Megan Gallagher (1:08.07) took third overall. Purdue sophomore Lyam Dias posted a very quick early-season time in the men’s race with his 55.45 effort that outpaced University of Indianapolis’ Musaffer Demirtas (56.45) and Purdue’s James Nguyen (57.88) who placed 2nd and 3rd respectively.

The final swimming relay of the competition saw Purdue’s ‘A’ team of  Gracie Hernandez (24.08), Carly Marshall (24.32), Rhiannon Sheets (24.48), and Lew Yong Gerbrandt (23.82) combined to go a 1:36.70 while the University of Indianapolis (1:38.55) and the University of Evansville (1:41.16) rounded out the top 3. The men’s side featured a VERY fast split from Danny Tucker, who anchored the Purdue ‘A’ relay in a blazing fast 19.09 split. Unfortunately, Tucker jumped the exchange by two one-hundredths of a second, and this mishap cost the Boilermakers some relay points. However, another foursome from Purdue picked up the slack and won the relay all the same with a winning time of 1:25.18. This was divided between Bo Ilgenfritz (22.49), Matt Friede (20.21), Daniel Conway (21.59), and Guillermo Blanco (20.89). Depauw finished second in 1:25.56 while the University of Indianapolis took third in 1:25.73.

In diving action, the Purdue men and women swept the diving events with Michelle Cabassol and Layne Rogers winning both 1 and 3 meter for the Boilermakers.  On 1 meter, Purdue’s MacKenzie Tweardy took 2nd while her teammate Mary-Beth Dunnichay took third. On 3 meter, Evansville’s Alex Hart took second while the University of Indianapolis’ Natelie Todd took third. In the men’s 1 meter, Purdue’s Alec Black and Jamie Bissett took 2nd and 3rd while the 3 meter event saw Back and fellow Boilermaker Sean Mokhtari round out the top 3 behind Rogers.

Complete results can be found here.

 

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iLikePsych

It’s worth mentioning that Tucker’s 19.87 is the fastest time in the nation currently.

ACHILLES

This could be a big season for Tucker. Obviously Auburn’s Cherighini is the favorite for the 50 and 100, but don’t count out guys like Tucker, Cal’s Messerschmidt & Stubblefield, USC, Michigan’s Ortiz, Utah’s Sodel, Tennessee’s Percy, and Louisville’s DeLucca (in 100, not the 50), and several others to be right in the mix.

Dark horse

Derek Toomey. He took 3rd last year at NCAA’s in the 50.

About Varun Shivakumar

Varun Shivakumar hails from Hoffman Estates, IL and swam competitively for 16 years. He swam both backstroke events at Northwestern University, and ranks fifth in the school’s All-time performances list in the 200 yard backstroke. Representing NASA Wildcat Aquatics, he also competed in the 2012 Olympic Trials in Omaha, NE …

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