PURDUESPORTSDOTCOM

Jan. 5, 1998

Purdue December Athletes of the Month

Female Athlete is Marisa Watts; Male honors go to Vilmos Kovacs

Watts Named December Female Athlete-of-the-month
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Purdue Female Athlete of the Month for December, Marisa Watts.

Marisa Watts (San Jose, Calif., Presentation H.S.), a senior on the Purdue women's swimming team, was named Purdue's Female Athlete-of-the-Month for her outstanding performances throughout December. The award is sponsored by WLFI-TV and Twin City Dodge-Chrysler-Plymouth.

Watts had an excellent performance at the U.S. Open Swimming Championships and continues to be one of the best distance swimmers in the United States. At the U.S. Open, she finished 24th in the 800-meter freestyle with a time of 9:01.05 against the best swimmers in the nation. She also finished 35th overall in the 400 individual medley with a time of 5:07.22.

Throughout the season, Watts has been an anchor for Purdue, finishing first on several occasions in the 500, 1000 and 1650 freestyle. She also has posted the third-best time in the Big Ten this season in both the 1000 and 1650 freestyle.

Watts' consistency has helped Purdue achieve an 8-1 record in invitationals this year. The Boilermakers next appear at home against Michigan State on Jan. 17.

Kovacs Named December Male Athlete-of-the-Month

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Purdue Male Athlete of the Month for December, Vilmos Kovacs

Vilmos Kovacs (Tatabanya, Hungary), a junior on the Purdue men's swimming team, has been named Purdue's Male Athlete-of-the-Month for his outstanding performances throughout December. The award is sponsored by WLFI-TV and Twin City Dodge-Chrysler-Plymouth.

Kovacs excelled at the U.S. Open Swimming Championships, competing against the best swimmers in the United States. He advanced to the finals in both the 100 and 200 breaststroke. His time of 2:17.99 in the finals of the 200-meter breaststroke was good enough to finish third overall. In the 100 breaststroke, Kovacs entered the finals seeded first after posting a time of 1:03.73, and finished fourth overall in that event.

The Boilermakers, ranked 21st by the College Swim Coaches Association of America, are in the midst of an undefeated season. Kovacs has played a major role in their success, finishing first eight times. He owns the 10th-best time in the NCAA in the 100 breaststroke (56.28) and ranks in the top 25 in the 200 individual medley. He also ranks among the leaders in the Big Ten in both breaststroke events.

Purdue, 4-0 in dual meets and 3-0 in invitationals, will be in action Jan. 10 against 16th-ranked Nebraska in Boca Raton, Fla.