Dec. 2, 1997

International-Style Meet Will Give Valuable Experience To Swimmers

Vilmos Kovacs
Vilmos Kovacs.

A group of five swimmers will represent the Boilermakers at the U.S. Open held at the I.U.P.U.I natatorium in Indianapolis this week. Junior All-American Vilmos Kovacs and senior All-American honorable mention Marisa Watts lead the group which also includes sophomores Gerald Koh and Nikki Lively and freshman Jen Alden.

Marisa Watts
Marisa Watts.

The international-style meet is a long course (50 meters) competition. This is different than what the Boilermakers are accustomed to seeing. All of their meets this year and almost all in the last few years have been in short course competition (25 meters).

Kovacs is the defending Big Ten champion in the 100 and 200 breaststroke and has received two All-American selections in each of those events his first two years. "This meet is a good opportunity for Willie (Kovacs) to get some experience in international-style competition," head men's coach Dan Ross said. "This will help him in the long-term as he approaches the 2000 Olympics." Kovacs is hoping to represent Hungary in the summer games in Sydney, Australia.

Koh who represented Singapore at the 1996 Atlanta games will swim for Purdue in the 200 and 400 individual medley.

Watts finished fifth last year in both the 500 and 1650 freestyle at the Big Ten's. She will swim the 400 and 800 freestyle along with the 400 individual medley this week. "Marisa will be facing big-time competition, so it is a great test for her," head women's coach Cathy Wright-Eger said.

Lively and Alden are young and should benefit from the experience. Lively will swim the 50 freestyle, she owns Purdue's fastest in that event this season (24.34). "We want them to experience big meet competition," Wright-Eger added. " Alden will swim the 100 backstroke.