Caeleb Dressel, Khader Baqlah and Jan Switkowski were three of 13 Olympians who competed on the first day of the Purdue Invitational in West Lafayette, Indiana. And with their performances over the course of Thursday, they made sure to remind everyone of that fact.
The UF men’s swimming team was victorious in one relay event and two individual events at the Morgan J. Burke Aquatic Center, with the Olympians serving as major contributors. Dressel and Switkowski were both part of the winning 200 free relay team, while all three swimmers were on the second-place 400 medley relay team. Dressel also emerged victorious in the 200 individual medley, and Baqlah placed first in the 500 free for the third Gator victory of the day.
“We had a good day. Pleased to see how well everyone responded this early in the season,” swimming coach Gregg Troy said in a release. “Still lots of room for improvement but good racing by the group.”
Meanwhile, UF’s women’s team failed to win a single event. It did reach the podium twice with a second-place finish in the 400 medley relay and a third-place finish in the 200 free relay, but didn’t place in the top three at any individual events.
Sophomore Sherridon Dressel and freshman Taylor Ault came the closest with fourth-place finishes in the 50 free and 500 free, respectively.
No. 9 Indiana dominated the women’s field, winning both team events and two individual events.
The UF diving squad suffered a huge blow on the men’s side, failing to qualify for the 1-meter finals with redshirt senior Dalton Goss and sophomore Alex Farrow placing 15th and 16th in the preliminaries, respectively.
“Alex and Dalton are usually stronger on 3-meter and platform,” diving coach Bryan Gillooly said in a release. “So with some confidence we can get in a couple finals."
The women’s side was far more successful, with sophomore Brooke Madden placing second in the 3-meter finals. Freshman Emma Whitner, who notched her first collegiate victory earlier in the month against Florida Gulf Coast, placed right behind her at third.
The invitational continues today at 10 a.m.
You can follow River Wells on Twitter @riverhwells, and contact him at [email protected].