Dec. 7, 2007
College Park, Md. - Loyola freshman Phil Scholz opened competition at the 2007 U.S. Paralympics Open Swimming Championships at College Park with an impressive victory and new American record in the 800-meter freestyle event. Scholz, who competes as a blind swimmer in the S11 category, broke the old record by an amazing two minutes.
Scholz' time of 10:39.85 in the 800 Free broke the old record set in 1999. He followed his 800-meter performance with a solid time in the 100 Fly, bettering his personal best by three seconds. His prelim time ranks him seventh in the world in the category. In Thursday night's finale, Scholz finished second to the world's sixth-ranked swimmer from China.
On Friday, Scholz won the 50 Fly with a time of 32.27, setting an American record in the process.
He finished second in the 50 Free, 27-hundreths of a second behind Kiiichi Kimura of Japan. Scholz time in the 50 Free ranks him 16th in the world. He wrapped up Saturday with third-place showing in the 400 Free behind two of the world's fastest swimmers in the event.
The U.S. Paralympics Open Swimming Championships run today through Saturday at the Eppley Recreation Center in College Park, Md. Approximately 260 physically disabled athletes from 16 countries will compete at the event, including all members of the U.S. Paralympics Swimming Elite and National Teams.
Scholz's classification of S11 means that he is completely blind. He will compete in seven events overall at this weekend's championships.