Nov. 16, 1996
Brown Leads Swimmers Past No. 31 Penn State
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - The Purdue men's swim team won every swimming event except the 500 freestyle
en route to an 140-102 upset win over No. 31 Penn State, Saturday at McCoy
Natatorium in State College, Pa.
''This was a great win for us from a team standpoint because last year we
got blown out by Penn State in our dual, but this year we went to their pool
and dominated from the start of the meet to the final relay,'' an excited
coach Dan Ross said. ``We swam great and the divers also did well.''
Senior tri-captain Matt Brown was unstoppable as he swam and won three
grueling events (1000 free, 200 individual medley, 200 backstroke) within an
hour of each other. Brown coasted to victory in the 1000 free in a season
best time of 9:29.02, basically floating the final 100 yards because he had
to bounce back and swim two events a couple races later.
In the 200 IM, Brown was once again dominant. He touched in 1:50.92,
bettering his previous season best of 1:51.72 which was already the nation's
top mark of the 1996-97 season.The Fort Dodge, Iowa native, Brown, also
blitzed the field in the 200 back, touching in another season best time
''After the meet our guys were all telling me that Matt Brown should get
some kind of award for the performance that he had today,'' Ross said.
''Everybody on this team knew that Matt gutted it out for the team and swam
a couple tough events right together. Matt is our leader as a team captain
and he certainly showed why today.''
The Boilermakers' sprint freestylers also turned in impressive victories in
the 50, 100 and 200 freestyle. Junior Frank Smardo touched first in the
50-yard in 20.84, crushing his season best by almost a full second. In the
100 free, sophomore Kirk Larsen out-raced junior teammate Mike Ullom, who
finished 1-2 in times of 46.27 and 46.41, respectively. Junior Ross
Croasdell took first in the 200 free in 1:40.93, also a season best.
Purdue's other individual event winners were sophomores Vilmos "Willy"
Kovacs and Dan Kleber. Kovacs, still hurting from a root canal on Friday,
won the 200 breaststroke in 2:03.94 with Rensselaer native Grandon Spence
placing third in 2:08.32. The Boilermakers went 1-2 in the 200 fly as Kleber
touched first in 1:52.47, followed by freshman Gerald Koh in 1:52.66.
In addition, the Boilermakers won both relays. The 400 free relay, known as
the "Pride of Penn State," saw the Boilermaker team of Larsen, freshman
Kevin Cornehl, Smardo and Ullom touch first in a season best of 3:03.38 --
highlighted by the final two legs which averaged 25.2 -- as compared to
PSU's 3:04.28. In the 400 medley relay, senior Gene Sutherland, Kovacs,
Kleber and Larsen cruised to victory in 3:23.77.
In diving, freshman Brandon Gustafson and sophomore Dan Schunk each finished
third off the 1- and 3-meter, respectively.