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Saturday, March 2
The Indiana Daily Student


No. 7 Hoosiers to play host to Purdue

The IU men’s swimming and diving team’s record is better than .500 for the first time this season. After defeating Louisville last week, the Hoosiers (5-4) welcome in-state rival Purdue in their final dual meet of the season Saturday.

Three of the team’s four losses have been to top-five teams. IU hasn’t lost since Oct. 25 when it dropped a dual meet to Michigan and Texas.

The Hoosiers have continued to climb the CSCAA rankings and are No. 7 as they prepare to take on the No. 23 Boilermakers.

“They don’t have a whole lot of weaknesses, so it’s going to be a great meet,” IU Coach Ray Looze said. “I predict it’ll come down to the last relay.”

The long-time rivals have competed in 34 dual meets since the 1975-76 season. IU holds a 28-6 all-time record.

Last year, the Hoosiers posted a 179.5-118.5 victory in West Lafayette, their third straight win in the series.

Looze said despite their dominant performance in years past, it’s always a tough fight.
“They always show up for this meet,” he said. “I expect them to come out kind of like Mike Tyson in the first round of a boxing match, ready to try to light us up in that 200 medley relay.”

This weekend’s meet will feature three USA Swimming National Team members, two of them competing for IU. Senior Cody Miller is the three-time reigning Big Ten Champion in the 100-yard and 200-yard breaststroke. Junior Steve Schmuhl holds the school record in the 200-yard and 400-yard individual medley.

Looze said their strengths will be tested this week because Purdue is strong in many of the same events as the Hoosiers.

“The toughest events for us will probably be the sprint freestyles, so the 50, 100, 200,” junior Joe Powell said. “They have one of the best freestylers in the country, so it’ll be critical for us to do well in those events to do well this weekend.”

Senior Eric Ress, better known for his success in the backstroke events, now has the top times this season for IU in the 500-yard and 1,000-yard freestyle.

Ress said the team is focused on being better prepared this year than it has been in the past.

“A lot of times throughout the season we seem to underestimate them going into the last meet and the week before we look at their results and they always seem to be a lot better than we had anticipated,” he said. “This week we’re trying to get the guys ready for that.”

There will be a total of 16 events, including the 1-meter and 3-meter diving competitions. This is the Hoosiers’ last home meet of the season and marks the end of the dual meet season.

With the Big Ten Championships next, this is the last opportunity for the men’s team to see where they stand.

“This is our last rehearsal for the men for Big Ten, so we want to really be sharp with every bit of fundamentals,” Looze said. “We’re just looking to get to compete because you always find out something about yourself, about your team and protecting your home turf. We’re excited about all those things Saturday against the Boilers.”

Follow reporter Grace Palmieri on Twitter @grace_palmieri

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