MINNEAPOLIS (Purdue Sports) – Purdue’s Brandon Loschiavo and Steele Johnson finished 1-2 in the consolation final of platform diving to close the NCAA Championships with honorable mention All-America accolades.
Loschiavo and Johnson accounted for 16 team points Saturday. The Boilermakers finished in 19th place with 54 points at the national championship meet. It was the program’s sixth top-20 finish in the last 10 years. Purdue’s men’s divers scored in all three events at NCAAs for the eighth time since 2006, taking home five All-America awards this year.
Loschiavo (444.65) and Johnson (417.55) were the only divers to surpass 400 points in the consolation final. They finished ninth and 10th nationally in the event overall. Loschiavo outscored the third-place finisher in the B final by 62.8 points.
Marat Amaltdinov closed out his college career Saturday with a time of 1:55.45 in the 200 breaststroke. He finished 26th among a 46-swimmer field. The championship portion of the season did not go as planned for Amaltdinov this year, but the Russian still accomplished quite a bit in his four years at Purdue. The two-time Big Ten champion in the 200 breast will graduate in May with a master’s degree. He was the Boilermakers’ first men’s swimmer to be selected as an Academic All-America honoree and was also an All-American in the 200 breast last year.
A rough fifth round in the prelim cost both Loschiavo and Johnson, the last two Big Ten champions on the tower, an opportunity to compete for the national title again this year. The fifth-round dives for both Loschiavo (37) and Johnson (34.8) produced sub 40-point scores. Johnson’s list score of 378.6 was 5.7 points shy of eighth place and the final berth in the championship final. Loschiavo finished with a prelim list score of 375.1. Loschiavo improved on his prelim score by 69.55 points in the consolation final. Johnson’s score rose by 38 points.
Loschiavo was victorious in five of his six full rounds (prelims/finals) of competition on the tower during the championship season this year, sweeping them at both the Big Ten and Zone C Championships. He’s now a three-time All-American.
Johnson has finished among the top 10 in all nine of his career events at NCAAs, claiming All-America honors every time. The five-time NCAA champion was victorious on 3-meter Friday. He has won Big Ten (2017) and NCAA titles (2015) on platform during his career, but has focused his training primarily on the springboard events since returning from a foot injury that sidelined him from competition for 12 weeks from early November through late January this season.
The Boilermakers will have to bid adieu to Amaltdinov and his senior classmates, but all three of their All-American divers – Joe Cifelli, Johnson and Loschiavo – are slated to return for the 2018-19 college season.
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