Pat Schirk to Swim in 200 Back Finals on Friday Night; Penn State Swimmers at U.S. Olympic Trials - Day Five Recap
July 4, 2008
Omaha, Neb. - Pat Schirk placed fifth in the morning preliminary heats of the 200-meter backstroke on Thursday morning at U.S. Olympic Trials to advance to the semifinals and then followed that up with a sixth place finish in the semifinals on Thursday night to advance to Friday night's finals in the 200 back, his second finals event he has qualified for at this year's Trials. The 200 back finals can be seen live on NBC Friday from 8-9 p.m.
Schirk, who was seeded sixth in the 200 back, placed one spot above his seeding in the prelims, touching the wall in 1:58.66, good for fifth and just 1.61 seconds behind first place finisher Aaron Peirsol, who had the fastest time of 1:57.05. Schirk also finished just .41 of a second behind world record holder Ryan Lochte, who finished fourth.
Then, in the semifinals, Schirk finished with a time of 1:58.97, good for sixth place as he was 3.19 seconds behind Peirsol, who came in first once again. Schirk, the NCAA champion in the 200-yard backstroke and Penn State's first-ever national champion in the sport of men's swimming earlier this year, finished eighth in the 100 backstroke two nights ago after entering that event seeded 12th. The men's 200 back will be the third event of tomorrow night's evening session.
In addition to Schirk's performances on Thursday, five Penn State women swam in the 200 breaststroke. Kaitlin O'Brien finished just five spots out of a semifinal berth as she placed 21st in 2:32.04. Former Nittany Lion swimmers Corrie Clark, who still holds the Penn State school record in the 200-yard breaststroke, finished just behind O'Brien in 22nd place in 2:32.17.
Penn State's results from Thursday's action are listed below
Men's 200 Backstroke Pat Schirk (5th - 1:58.66; Semis: 6th - 1:58.97)