The 2017 Purdue Invite kicks off Thursday and features a slew of Olympians clashing in the pool including Caeleb Dressel (Florida), Lilly King (Indiana), and Blake Pieroni (Indiana).
2017 Purdue Invitational
West Lafayette, IN
Short Course Yards (SCY)
Finals Begin 6 PM EST
Dressel vs. Pieroni — Olympians Clash
Undoubtedly the biggest duo to watch for this weekend in West Lafayette is Caeleb Dressel vs. Blake Pieroni.
Dressel has been on fire in 2017 — claiming NCAA and American records in the 100 free (40.00) and 100 fly (43.58) along with the record he already has in the 50 free (18.20). Dressel carried that momentum into the summer season when he picked up a mind-numbing seven gold medals at the FINA World Championships in Budapest, Hungary. More impressive than the gold medals is the fashion in which he won them: Dressel put up as many as three swims in a session and scared world records each time he entered the pool.
Pieroni has been arguably the best all-around 50-100-200 freestyler in the first couple of months of the NCAA season. He holds the fourth-fastest time in the 50 (19.65), third-fastest time in the 100 (43.07), and fastest time in the 200 (1:34.10). On top of that, his Hoosiers men's team is ranked No. 1 nationally in the CSCAA polls.
If you've watched Dressel swim this fall, you will notice the man is swimming tired. Like, really tired. Now, everyone in collegiate swimming is competing beaten up during the fall season, but Dressel's fatigue has been more noticeable than most. The most explosive swimmer in the world just hasn't had the same pop he usually does in competition. Pieroni on the other hand, who is also presumably training beaten up, has looked solid.
The last time these two guys went head-to-head this was the result...
So what happens when an immovable object meets an unstoppable force? Will UF coach Gregg Troy give his swimmers any rest heading into the invite? Will Indiana's Ray Looze give his swimmers any rest?
We'll leave that up to your imagination for now. Come Thursday, though, the lights are on and these guys are going to be going after one another.
You can watch them both LIVE on FloSwimming for the finals broadcast Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at 6 PM EST.