Championship meets start this week
Notes: Purdue sweeps Big Ten honors for first time since 2004
Amy Hughes, NCAA.com
Eight conference championships headline this weekend’s schedule.
Defending NCAA Division II champion Drury headlines the participants at the New South Intercollegiate Swim Conference Championships. Other Division II league championship meets this week include the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (Feb. 10-12 at Mesa State) and the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference meet (Feb. 9-12 in Jenison, Mich.).
The remaining five conference championships scheduled for this weekend are all from Division III conferences.
The North Coast Athletic Conference runs Feb. 10-12 at the C.T. Branin Natatorium in Canton, Ohio. The Landmark Conference Championship is contesting its meet Feb. 11-13 at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy. In the Middle Atlantic Conference, the Swimming and Diving Championships will be held Feb. 11-13 in Wilkes-Barre, Pa.
The Old Dominion Athletic Conference Championship will run Feb. 11-13 at the Christiansburg Aquatic Center in Christiansburg, Va., and the State Universtiy of New York Athletic Conference Men’s and Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships are scheduled for Feb. 9-12 at the Burt Flickinger Center in Buffalo. Diving opened on Wednesday with swimming events kicking off on Thursday.
Two Division I conferences -- the Southeastern Conference and Big East Conference -- will contest the diving portion of their championships this weekend. Big East Diving will take place Feb. 11-13 at the Ralph R. Wright Natatorium in Lousiville, Ky., while competition for the SEC Diving titles begins Feb. 11 and runs through Feb. 13 at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center in Gainesville, Fla.
Need to Know
• California sophomore Tom Shields was named the Pac-10 Swimmer of the Month for January. In the Golden Bears’ win against then-No. 2 Arizona in Tucson, Shields won the 200 freestyle (1:37.57), 200 butterfly (1:49.57) and 100 fly (47.85). He also swam the anchor leg of the winning 400 free relay team. Against Arizona State, he won the 100 freestyle (45.33) and swam the backstroke for the victorious 400 medley relay. The dual meet victories against the Arizona schools propelled Cal to the top spot in both polls.
• Purdue swept the Big Ten weekly awards as Albert Miller and David Boudia were named the conference swimmer and diver of the week, respectively. It was the first such Purdue sweep since January of 2004. Miller swept the breaststroke events in Saturday’s dual against Indiana with a 2:01.75 in the 200 breaststroke and a 55.15 in the 100 breast. He also helped the Boilermakers’ 400 medley relay team to a season-best and NCAA-provisional qualifying time. Boudia won a pair of gold medals at the USA Diving Winter Nationals. He partnered with Nick McCrory of Duke to win the 10-meter synchronized platform and was also victorious on the platform. Individually, he had a score of 578.05 on the platform, including 10 perfect 10s from the judges in the final. Boudia has won all 22 events he has entered during the 2010-11 season.
• North Carolina’s Dan O’Connor posted four career-best times in a dual meet win against Duke and during the College Cup Invitational. He broke the Duke pool record in both the 1,000 freestyle (9:06.26) and 1,650 free (15:05.98) as well as winning the 500 free (4:23.62, NCAA “B” cut) in the dual against the Blue Devils.
• Washington and Lee junior Brian Stirling was named the Bluegrass Mountain Conference Swimmer of the Week on Feb. 9. Stirling recorded the best finish for the Generals at the Virginia Tech Invitational, taking second in the 100 butterfly (51.21) after swimming a 50.80 in the preliminaries. He also recorded a time of 21.91 in the 50 freestyle during prelims.
• William and Mary freshman Andrew Straight earned CAA Swimmer of the Week honors after posting three personal-bests in a dual against East Carolina. Straight won the 100 breaststroke (57.45), 200 breast (2:05.71) and 200 IM (1:53.66, pool record).
• Wyoming’s Mark Murdock and Brandon Fischer were named the Diver and Swimmer of the Week by the Mountain West Conference on Tuesday. Murdock swept the springboard events against Air Force with a 414.45 on 3-meter and a 375.55 on the 1-meter for first place. Fischer recorded first-place finishes in all three of his individual events against the Falcons, winning the 100 breaststroke (56.66), 200 breast (2:06.05) and the 200 IM (1:55.65).
• Clay Beckner of Grove City was a triple winner for the Wolverines in a 151-124 dual win against rival Westminster, sweeping the 100 breaststroke (59.36), 200 breast (2:14.79) while swimming a leg on the winning 200 medley relay team (1:35.84). He also finished second in both individual events (top DIII finisher) at the Pitt Quadrangular.
• Senior Patrick Duvall won three events to lead Beloit to a win in its triangular meet with Knox and Carroll. Duvall won the 100 backstroke with a season-best 56.22, the 50 free (23.37) and 500 free with a season-best 5:12.08.
• Peter O’Brien of Division III Emory posted two event wins and an NCAA “B” cut in a loss to Division I Clemson. O’Brien won the 200 breast (2:06.14, NCAA “B”) and the 100 breast (58.36).
• Jun Kim of Division II Drury won three events in a loss to Division I Missouri. Event wins came in the 200 butterfly (1:48.52), 200 IM (1:50.97) and 200 breast (2:01.61).
• Wisconsin-Milwaukee sophomore Zac Kraai was named the Horizon League Swimmer of the Week with season-best times in the 500 freestyle (4:32.46, pool record) and 1,000 free (9:30.78).