April 5, 2008
Minneapolis, Minn. - Freshman Phil Scholz wrapped up the 2008 U.S. Paralympic Trials with two more gold medals on Saturday evening in Minneapolis, Minn. Scholz, who swam four events over the three-day trials, captured gold in all four events, setting new personal best times in three of those races.
Scholz won his third gold medal of the trials in a timed final on Saturday afternoon. The Loyola freshman won the 1,500-meter freestyle in 21:07, making a perfect 4-for-4 weekend possible.
He then entered the 100-meter freestyle finals with the top seed after setting a personal best time of 1:09.33 in the morning preliminary. Scholz had to wait for the last heat of the weekend, and he went out with a bang, shaving over two more seconds off his personal best in another gold-winning performance.
"Philip's 100 Free was a special event for me," said Loyola Head Coach Brian Loeffler. "His previous best time prior to coming to Loyola was a 1:15.00. To see him improve this by 8 seconds really shows how far he has come in one year. I am excited to see him continue to improve over the next few years."
In all, Scholz posted personal best times en route to gold medals in the 100 Free, 100 Fly and 400 Free events. His world rankings at the S11 category currently stand at No. 5 in the 400 Free, No. 7 in the 100 Fly and No. 14 in the 100 Free.
Scholz, however, will have to wait for the U.S. Paralympic Committee's announcement for the official team that will compete in this summer's Games in Beijing, China.The 2008 U.S. Paralympic Team will be announced at the trials in Minneapolis on Sunday.
"Philip did all he could to earn a spot on the team," said Coach Loeffler. "He put all his efforts into his races and showed he was ready to compete at a high level."
"Normally I would say it would be tough to sleep tonight with the potential of good news tomorrow," said Scholz when asked about anticipation of tomorrow's announcement. Sholz added,"but that mile really took a lot of my energy."