Oct. 29, 2003
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OXFORD, Ohio - Purdue's women's and swimming and diving team opened its 2003-04 dual season with a convincing 188-112 victory over Miami of Ohio Wednesday night at the Nixon Aquatic Center. Four Boilermaker swimmers: Brandy Keever, Christine Leupold, Tracy Duchac and Erica Chandler, each won three events, while diver Carrie McCambridge swept her competition off the 1- and 3-meter springboards for a second consecutive week.
Against the Redhawks, McCambridge posted a score of 193.65 off the 3-meter and diving zone qualifying mark of 285.08 in 1-meter competition. The native of Lewis Center, Ohio has already qualified for central diving zones in both dives just two weeks into the season.
Coincidentally, both of McCambridge's wins came against Miami's Christin Eberst, who last season edged out McCambridge for one of the final spots at the NCAA Championships. Eberst struggled a bit against Purdue, finishing a distant second to McCambridge in the 1-meter and fifth off the 3-meter.
McCambridge received tremendous support from her teammates, freshmen Amanda Miller and Lauren Whitmore, who were able to score points in both diving events. Miller placed second off the 3-meter, registering a score of 167.00 and took fourth off the 1-meter, scoring a 248.75. Whitmore earned the bronze medal in both dives, scoring a 165.70 off the 3-meter and a 250.05 off the 1-meter.
Purdue opened the meet with a two-team sweep of the 200-yard medley relay, and never looked back. The winning team of Keever, Lindsay Kirchoff, Leupold and Duchac led the way, touching the wall in 1:48.00. Placing two seconds behind them, were teammates Katharine Telfer, Rory Belk, Jennifer Merte and Katie Seleskie, who came in at 1:49.99.
The 200 medley relay was just the beginning of a great night for upperclassmen, Keever, Leupold and Duchac, who would go on to win two more individual titles against Miami.
Keever, tabbed as the team's top returning backstroker in the preseason, proved that she was with a pair of convincing triumphs in the 100 and 200 back. The junior easily disposed of the 100 back field, winning the race by well over two seconds at 58.78. Her runner-up in the 100 back was freshman colleague, Susan Hentschel, who came across the finish line in 1:01.27.
In the 200 back, Keever again was no match for her competition, touching by more than a second ahead of everyone else. Keever's winning time was clocked at 2:07.48.
The versatile Leupold earned her victories in the 100 freestyle and the 100 butterfly, just beating out teammate and senior captain, Jenni Bean, in both races by a few ticks. Leupold and Bean finished one-two in both events, which helped stick the Redhawks with a massive point deficit in the early goings.
Leupold clocked a time of 52.32 in the 100 free, and later posted a 58.18 in the 100 fly. Second-place Bean recorded times of 53.14 (100 free) and 59.36 (100 fly).
Bean's first silver medal of the meet was earned in the 50 free, where she placed behind Duchac (23.93) with a mark of 24.50. Finishing behind Bean in the 50 free standings was Seleskie, who scored a time of 24.60.
Purdue's three-way sweep of the 50 free kicked off the Boilermaker's second half comeback. Going into the 50 free, Purdue led by one point, after suffering consecutive losses in the 100 breast and 200 fly.
"I thought we raced really well, despite mixing up our lineup and having some of our athletes primarily compete in off-events," said head coach Cathy Wright-Eger. "Following the 50 free, we did a much better job of racing and really got into our zone."
Duchac, who had already won one relay, would win a second with her 400 free relay squad of freshmen, Kimbre Vogel, Merte and Hentschel. The 2003 NCAA qualifier led her underclassmen team to a first-place time of 3:31. 05. Placing second at 3:35.97 was the unit of Telfer, Seleskie, Rachel Sitarz and Yvonne Laaper.
Chandler, a sophomore, continued her hot streak into week two of the regular season with victories in the 200 free, 200 breaststroke and the 200 individual medley.
After Purdue had lost the 1,000 free, Chandler quickly put the Boilermakers back on a winning track by decimating the Miami competition in the 200 free. Chandler's time of 1:51.37 was over three seconds faster than second-place Merte (1:54.62), and just under four seconds faster than anyone on the Redhawk roster. Eight events later, Chandler scored her second win of the day, with a close victory over Miami's Sarah Baumert in the 200 Breast, touching the wall in 2:24.03 to Baumert's 2:24.35.
Chandler closed out her big day with a winning time of 2:07.37 in the 200 IM. Miami's Laura Armbruster took second-place with a mark of 2:08.13.
The Boilermaker men's and women's swimming and diving teams open up the Big Ten portion of their schedules next Friday, Nov. 7, with a trip to Iowa City to battle the Hawkeyes. The meet is slated to begin at 5 p.m. (EST).
"My team needed this meet," said Wright-Eger. "I think this competition served as a good stepping stone for the start of the Big Ten season. We will continue to train hard through the end of the week and begin to focus on Iowa. I've noticed each week we keep getting better and better as a team."