Pat Schirk Wins National Championship in 200 Backstroke at NCAA Championships
March 29, 2008
Swimming World Magazine Recap and Free On Demand Video of the Finals
Federal Way, Wash. - Pat Schirk became the first individual NCAA national champion in men's or women's swimming on Saturday night as he swam to the national title in the 200 backstroke on the final night of the NCAA Men's Swimming and Diving Championships at the King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way, Wash. The junior broke his own school record that he set earlier this year with a time of 1:40.22 in the finals.
As a team, Penn State finished tied for 23rd with Hawaii with 33 points, the highest finish and the most points scored at NCAA's since 2002, when the Nittany Lions finished 15th with 54 points. Arizona won the meet with 500.5 total points.
Schirk, a two-time All-American now at this year's championships after his sixth place finish in the 100 back last night, also finished first in the morning prelims this morning in a time of 1:41.02. The Pottstown, Pa. native is now the first-ever national champion in the history of the swimming program at Penn State. The men's program is in its 41st year of existence after being reinstated in 1968. The program also was run from 1936-44 and 1947-51 before being disbanded, not to return until 1968.
Schirk was not the only Penn Stater to pick up points on Saturday, however, as the 400 freestyle relay team of Vincent Reydams, Sean Swanepoel, Sean Biedermann and Jason Goldner finished 16th in the consolation finals of that event in a time of 2:57.99. The team finished 15th in the prelims in a time of 2:56.05. The finish enabled that quartet to earn honorable mention All-American honors. For each, it was the first such honor of their careers. The honorable mention All-American status is the first for a Penn State relay team since 2002, when Penn State had three honorable mention All-American relay teams.
Also on Saturday, both Reydams and Swanepoel competed individually in the 100 free but neither made it out of prelims as both were disqualified for false starts. Both rebounded, however, to help the 400 free relay team in both the prelims and the finals.
The NCAA Men's Swimming and Diving Championships, including Schirk's finals swim in the 200 back, will be condensed into an hour-and-a-half show that can be seen on tape delay on ESPN2 next Thursday, April 3 at 2:00 p.m.
Quotes From 200 Backstroke NCAA Champion Patrick Schirk - Penn State
On winning Penn State's first ever swimming national championship
On his race strategy
On his coach's [Bill Dorenkott] reaction
On growing up a Penn State fan and the meaning of winning this title for PSU