Feb. 28, 1998
MINNEAPOLIS - For the third consecutive year, junior All-American Vilmos Kovacs captured the Big Ten title in the 200 breaststroke after finishing with a season-best time of 1:57.87, almost two seconds faster than second-place finisher. With the win, Kovacs became only the second Boilermaker in history to win four individual titles in a career, tying Dan Milne from 1967-1969.
"Willie had a great swim in the morning and then again tonight after struggling yesterday," said head coach Dan Ross.
The win represented Purdue's only individual title of the meet.
Minnesota won their second conference title in the last three years with 714 total points. Purdue finished sixth with 309.5 points. Michigan took second (641), with Penn State (419), Ohio State (407), and Indiana (332) rounding out the top five. Northwestern placed 7th (261), followed by Wisconsin (243), Iowa (179.5) and Michigan State (131).
The 400 freestyle relay team of senior Ross Croasdell, junior Kirk Larsen, sophomore Kevin Cornehl, and senior Mike Ullom placed third in a Purdue record time of 2:57.49 in the final event of the meet.
Junior Dan Kleber touched 4th in the finals of the 200 butterfly with a lifetime-best time of 1:47.98.
Freshman Matt Martin placed sixth in the finals of the 1650 freestyle with a Purdue record time of 15:21.84. The mark was 14 seconds better than the old record set by Don Fraser in 1983 and 26 seconds better than Martin's previous season-best time.
Junior Ryan Morrissey also had a personal-best in the 1650 (15:39.32) as he placed 13th overall.
In the 100 freestyle finals, Ullom finished eighth with a time of 45.08. His time of 44.38 in the prelims set a new varsity record. "Mike snapped out of his slump and performed well today," added Ross.
Croasdell continued a strong meet by placing 12th with a time of 45.15 while Larsen placed 14th with a time of 45.35. Senior Jason Ozias finished 15th in the 200 breaststroke with a time of 2:05.53.