Feb. 28, 1997
Brown and Kovacs Put in First Place Performances
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Matt Brown and Vilmos Kovacs both finished first in their events in the Big Ten Swimming and Diving Championships. Other than the 800 freestyle relay team from Purdue Brown and Kovacs were the only Boilermakers in the finals. Kirk Larsen, Ross Croasdell, Kevin Cornehl and Brown teamed up for a fifth place finish in the 800 freestyle relay with a time of 6:37.21.
Brown completed his 400 individual medley race in 3:48.18 to become the Big Ten champion in the event. The performance handed Brown a season he has been working for all year.
"This year is going as I hoped," said Brown. "I'm shocked with the win, but very pleased."
Brown entered a field of swimmers that were superior in individual strokes, but the consistency that Brown has in all four strokes resulted in the victory.
"The strategy I used was to swim my own race," explained Brown. "If I tried to compete with those seven guys in each stroke, I would not have been able to win. The fact that I have four good strokes is that I don't need to rely on one stroke to win."
Kovacs added to his enjoyable college season with his championship swim in the 100 breaststroke. Even though he was swimming out of his natural event he was still able to put in a time of 54.47 to help prove to the Boilermaker swim team that things are only getting better for their program.
"I was scared a little. I'm not a natural sprinter," explained Kovacs. "The last two days have been so much fun because the team is doing so well."