Jan. 18, 2008
Baltimore, Md. - Loyola freshman Phil Scholz has been named to the 2008 U.S. Paralympic Elite Team. He is one of only seven male athletes included on the team and the only swimmer in the S11 category - the most advanced category for paralympic athletes.
"We are very excited for Philip to be named to the Elite Team," says Loyola Head Coach Brian Loeffler. "This is the first milestone towards our goal to compete for the U.S. at the Summer Paralympics."
Scholz, will compete in the Paralympic Trials in April, holds 11 American records and one Pan-American record. This past weekend, he improved on his own records in the 100 and 200 freestyle events in Loyola's competition at Rider.
Scholz is also currently ranked 5th in the world in the S11 category for the 400 freestyle. He is ranked 7th in the world in the 100 butterfly. Both world rankings came at the U.S. Paralympic Open Swimming Championships in College Park, Md. this past December.
The 2008 Elite Team includes a number of world record holders, as well as local product Jessica Long, who has competed in Loyola's Mangione Aquatic Center.
"Philip is in some very good company on this team," adds Coach Loeffler. "Several of the other team members are World Record holders. It is great to see him be recognized nationally by the USOC."
The U.S. Olympic Committee's Paralympic Division was formed in 2001 to increase support for Paralympic sport in the USA. The USOC Paralympic Division coordinates the preparation and selection of athletes to U.S. Paralympic Teams, both summer and winter, in conjunction with pertinent National Governing Bodies.
The Paralympic Trials scheduled for April will be the final determination for spots on the Paralympic Team that will compete in China this summer.