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Swimmers Wrap Up at Olympic Trials

Swimmers Wrap Up at Olympic Trials

July 6, 2008

Six Tigers competed for a spot on the USA Swimming Olympic Trials in Omaha, NE during the past week in various events. While none of the Tigers qualified for the squad, most of the Tigers drastically improved their standing among the US’s elite swimmers. Four of the competitors will be returning to Clemson, while two others have graduated.

Below are the individual student-athlete results from Omaha:

Michelle Parkhurst – Senior – Vienna, VA 100 back: Mon. June 30: T-43rd – 1:03.41 – Lifetime Best Rising senior captain Michelle Parkhurst put in a 1:03.41, a lifetime best for the 100m back. The ACC Champ in the 100 back tied for 43rd. Parkhurst had entered ranked 49th in the nation and improved her personal best time by two-tenths of a second. She missed the semi-finals (Top 16) by 1.10 seconds. Natalie Coughlin re-set her own World Record with a 59.03 during the preliminaries to lead the group of 121 hopefuls.

200 free: Tue. July 1: 62nd – 2:02.86 Parkhurst swam in her second event in two days, finishing the 200 free in 2:02.86, just two hundreths of a second off her personal best. She entered the meet ranked 82nd in the nation, but improved by 20 spots, finishing 62nd overall.

Thomas Recko – Junior – Wakefield, MA 200 back: Thu. July 3: 48th – 2:06.40 Wakefield, MA native Thomas Recko swam the 200 back, placing 48th in the vent Recko put in a 2:06.40, almost two seconds behind his qualifying time of 2:04.50. Other notables in the field included Aaron Peirsol and World Record Holder Ryan Lochte.

Rachel Regone – Senior – Houston, TX 50 free: Sat. July 5: 56th – 26.27 Senior Captain Rachel Regone competed in the 50 free, finishing 56th in a fast field. Lara Jackson set an American Record on the evening. Regone’s 26.27 was the second-fastest time in her career. Regone returns to Clemson as a school record holder in the 50 free and 200 free relay.

Maddie Tarantolo – Freshman – Austin, TX 100 butterfly: Sun. June 29: 62nd – 1:01.48 – Lifetime Best Incoming freshman Maddie Tarantolo of Austin, TX competed in the 100 fly, finishing 62nd with a lifetime-best 1:01.48. She entered the event ranked 87th in the nation. Tarantolo shaved nearly half a second off of her previous best.

Matt Balderston – Clemson ’08 – Chesapeake, VA 50 free: Fri. July 4: 47th – 23.10 – Lifetime Best May graduate and 2007-08 captain Matt Balderston competed in the 50 free on Friday, swimming a lifetime best 23.10. Balderston came in to the event ranked 112th in the nation, but shaved 0.38 second off of his time to place 47th in a race in which Cullen Jones set the new American record at 21.59. The former walk-on left Clemson as one of the most accomplished student-athletes in Clemson history, with numerous academic and athletic accolades.

Stephen Russell – Clemson ’08 – Spring, TX 100 fly: Fri. July 4: 47th – 54.64 – Lifetime Best Another May graduate, Stephen Russell, qualified for trials with a 54.85 in the 100 fly at the Charlotte UltraSwim. Russell was ranked 51st in the nation, but his lifetime best 54.64 was good enough to move him up four spots. World Record-Holder Ian Crocker and gold-medalist Michael Phelps led the field of 107 swimmers into semifinals.