April 1, 2008
Baltimore, Md. - Loyola freshman Phil Scholz will attempt to earn a spot on the U.S. Paralympic Team with a strong showing in the pool this weekend. Scholz, an S11 Category blind swimmer, has only one hurdle left to make the team - and that is competing well at the U.S. Paralympic Trials in Minneapolis, Minn. this Thursday through Sunday.
The 2008 Paralympic Trials will be held at the University of Minnesota with preliminary events beginning at 9 a.m. each day, and finals beginning at 5 p.m. Scholz will swim in four events - the 100, 400 and 1,500-meter freestyles, as well as the 100-meter butterfly.
Scholz opens competition on Thursday in arguably his strongest event. He swims the 400 Free on Day One, an event is currently ranked fifth in the world in. On Friday, Scholz returns to the pool for the 100 Fly, where he stands as the seventh fastest S11 swimmer in the world. Saturday's trials bring two events for Scholz - the 100 Free and 1500 Free.
The Loyola freshman enters the trials with 12 American Records set this season. Those records came in the 50-, 100- and 200-yard butterfly events, the 50-, 100-, 200, 500-, 1,000-, and 1,650-yard freestyle events, the 50-meter long-course butterfly, and the 800- and 1,500-meter long-course freestyle.
In addition to his American records, Scholz posted a Pan-American record in the 50-meter long-course butterfly this winter and was named to the U.S. Paralympic Elite Team in January. This weekend's trials will be his first national competition since the U.S. Paralympic Open Swimming Championships (an International event) in College Park, Md. this past December.
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 (NGBs) and other partner organizations.
The official 2008 U.S. Paralympic Swim Team will be announced on Sunday in Minneapolis.