Jan. 21, 2012, will be a day that will live forever in Indiana swimming and diving history.
Under the lights, in the first live swimming and diving broadcast ever on the Big Ten Network, the IU men’s and women’s teams were pitted against rival Purdue.
It was a battle for bragging rights and Crimson and Gold Cup points. It was also senior day.
The Hoosiers did not disappoint. Led by a slew of top finishes, the No. 10 IU men defeated the No. 20 Boilermakers 166-134. The No. 8 IU women did the same, winning 169-130 against the No. 18 Boilers.
“I thought we did a fantastic job today of getting off to a fast start,” IU Coach Ray Looze said.
“This team does its best when the spotlight is on them, and today was a great example of that. We are tired as a team, but they competed real hard today.”
The Hoosier men fought off a resilient Purdue team en route to victory and saw record results in the process.
With three 1-2-3 finishes and nine wins during the 16 events of the day, the Hoosiers relied on early swimming results to take the lead.
IU’s 400 yard medley relay team of junior Jim Barbiere, sophomores James Wells and Cody Miller and freshman Steve Schmuhl led the Hoosiers to its first win of the day.
Then, in the next event, sophomore Patrick Scally won his first career race, taking the 1,000 yard freestyle in a time of 9:20.39 against IU’s Ryan Hinshaw.
The Hoosiers then followed with two more straight wins and built a strong enough lead to withstand a Purdue run.
“It was pivotal for our men to get off to a fast start,” Looze said. “We knew that Purdue would make a run toward the middle of the meet, so I’m glad that we were able to get enough points early on when we needed them.”
The diving portion of the meet, in which IU went 1-2-3 in both the platform and the 1-meter dive, sealed IU’s victory against Purdue on Saturday.
While sophomore Conor Murphy won his first career event in the platform dive, the real headlines surrounded junior Zac Nees’ six-dive performance in the 1-meter competition.
On six dives, Nees compiled a score of 420.90, the highest collegiate score ever recorded at the Counsilman-Billingsley Aquatic Center, and the second-highest score in Indiana diving history.
After winning only one event in his prior two seasons, Saturday’s win was his fifth this season.
“I am extremely proud of what Zac has done this season,” Looze said.
“Jeff (Huber, the IU diving coach) has told me that he is one of the most talented divers he has ever coached.
“It was only a matter of time he would have a performance like this, and hopefully, he can stay consistent.”
On the women’s side, IU dominated the meet with five 1-2-3 finishes, having won 201-99 before exhibitioning results to trim the score to a more respectable 166-134.
In her first meet of the season, junior Amy Cozad won the women’s platform dive with a score of 354.53, beating teammate and U.S. Synchronized Diving partner sophomore Laura Ryan in the process.
In the swimming portion of the competition, seniors Margaux Farrell and Allysa Vavra dominated, posting strong senior day results in front of their families.
Farrell was a winner in the 200-yard freestyle, 100-yard freestyle and 400-yard freestyle relay.
She finished 0.38 seconds away from a four-event sweep, earning second place in the 50-yard freestyle.
For Vavra, she was also a uthree-event winner on a day where the national spotlight was on the Hoosiers.
She breezed to a 1,000-yard freestyle victory by a four-second margin. She then followed it up with wins in the 200-yard breaststroke and the 200-yard individual medley, which was later exhibitioned.
“I would obviously say that it was a great feeling to win in front of our family and friends, especially since it was our senior meet and the first ever live broadcast of a dual,” Farrell said.
“But the real thing that made us happy about the win was that we had no rest coming in after a really intense workout on Friday.”
Saturday’s women’s win against Purdue was the Hoosiers’ way of avenging this past year’s 161-139 dual meet loss to the Boilermakers. It also gave IU the 4.0 to 3.5 lead in the Crimson and Gold Cup.
Most notably, a national audience saw the Hoosiers take the sweep against their in-state rival.
“I’ve got to say, it was an amazing feeling to beat our rival school on live TV,” Nees said. “It was a great team effort, and I think everyone was pleased with the
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