Hayley Peirsol Captures Gold, Eric Shanteau Silver at the U.S. National Swimming Championships
AUBURNTIGERSDOTCOM Hayley Peirsol
AUBURNTIGERSDOTCOM
Hayley Peirsol
AUBURNTIGERSDOTCOM

Aug. 5, 2006

Irvine, Calif. - On the final day at the 2006 ConocoPhillips National Championships, Auburn rising-senior Hayley Peirsol captured the gold medal in the 800m freestyle and Eric Shanteau took the silver in the 200m breaststroke. After this five-day meet in Irvine, Calif., fourTigers were named to the U.S. Pan Pacific Championship team.

The 800m free turned into the Peirsol (Newport Beach, Calif.) and Kate Ziegler show as the duo battled it out. Ziegler got out to an early lead and held the narrow margin through the mid-way point, before Peirsol took over at the 450m mark. Peirsol never lost the lead again and finished just over a second ahead to seal the victory. Her time of 8:26.45 shattered her previous Auburn record by more than four seconds.

"Going into that race, I was just anxious to get over with it, and when I finished, it was definitely more of a relief than anything else," Peirsol said. "That's what I live for - racing, more than anything. It hurts, but it doesn't kill you, so it makes you better."

The men's 200m IM did not disappoint swim fans as Brendan Hansen broke his own world record with a time of 2:08.74 (previous record was 2:09.04 which stood since 2004). Auburn's Shanteau turned in a spectacular final 50m to steal the silver away from Scott Usher, who was ahead of Shanteau the first 150m. Shanteau's time of 2:11.38 in the evenings final destroyed his career best time of 2:17.96.

Peirsol, Mark Gangloff, Margaret Hoelzer and Shanteau all were selected to represent the United States at the Pan Pacific Championships to be held on Aug. 16-20 in Victoria, British Columbia. Gangloff was fourth in the 100m breast and Hoelzer won gold in the 200m back and bronze in the 100m back. Shanteau claimed silver in the 200m breast and bronze in the 200m IM.

Classmate Adrienne Binder (Santa Barbara, Calif.) got off to a strong start in the 800m free and it looked to be a showdown between Binder, Peirsol and Ziegler. In the qualifying round Binder swam an 8:35.50 and was the No. 2 seed. She was unable to match that time in this evening's final and ended up sixth.

At the U.S. Diving Championships, incoming freshman Dan Mazzaferro earned bronze on platform with a score of 426.60. One-meter national champion Ashley Rubenstein ended up sixth on 3-meter with a score of 272.65. She ended up tied for third in points (40 pts.) earned at the championships; Mazzaferro finished ninth (30 pts.).

Four more Tiger competed in 200m breast finals. Mark Gangloff ended up eighth in the championship final with a time of 2:17.77. Rising-junior Andrew Callahan was fifth in the B final, 2:18.35. Rising-senior Sean Osborne won the C final, 2:19.03, and rising-sophomore Jon Roberts was right behind him in second, 2:19.12.

Senior Doug Van Wie ended up eighth in the championship final of the 200m back with a time of 2:01.76. In the morning swim, Van Wie had a better time of 2:00.98, and was seeded in the sixth position. Rising-senior James Wike competed in the C final and took second (2:03.45).

In the women's 100m free, rising-junior Kara Denby swam a 56.04 in the prelim to qualify for the B final. She was unable to match or better her time from the prelim, swimming a 56.20, and finishing fourth. In the C final, incoming freshman Ava Ohlgren touched the wall in 57.15 for eighth.

Senior Lauren Duerk placed seventh in the B final of the 200m breast (2:34.75). In the prelim, Duerk swam a career best 2:33.71, which was the third fastest time in Auburn history. Rising-sophomore Alicia Jensen came in sixth in the C final, 2:35.66.

Competing in the morning prelims were Will Dove (1500m free), Jeremy Gregory (1500m free), Chelsea Haser (800m free), Emily Kukors (100m free), Sarah Losinger (200m breast), Abby MacGregor (200m breast), David Maras (200m breast), Margo McCawley (100m free) and Julie Stupp (200m breast).

For more information on the ConocoPhillips USA Swimming National Championships visit www.usaswimming.org. Omega timing will provide live results via www.omegatiming.com.