Aug. 25, 2006
Auburn, Ala. -
Auburn fans will have the opportunity to watch Margaret Hoelzer's silver medal and senior Hayley Peirsol's silver and bronze medal swims at last week's Pan Pacific Championships on Saturday at 1 p.m. CT and Sunday at 11 a.m. CT on NBC.
In a very fast 200m back final, Hoezler (Huntsville, Ala.) and Reiko Nakamura of Japan, would battle for the gold. Nakamura came out on top with a meet record time of 2:08.86. Hoelzer followed in second, just half a second out of the top spot, with a time of 2:09.42. It marked Hoelzer's second Pan Pacific Championship medal, as she was the gold medal winner in the event at 2002 championships in Japan.
Peirsol (Newport Beach, Calif.) narrowly trailed gold medal winner Kate Ziegler throughout most of the 1500m free race, but made a late surge at the 1100m mark. Closing the gap to .11 seconds, Peirsol was able to pull even with Zielger after the next 100 meters. In the final 300 meters Ziegler would regain the lead and never lost it. Peirsol ended up 2.35 out of the top spot, but her time of 15:57.36 was a lifetime best and a new Auburn record in the 1500m free.
After taking the silver in the 1500m free on opening night of the championships, Peirsol concluded the meet with another medal - bronze - in the 800m free. As was the case in the 1500m, this event was won by Kate Ziegler (8:24.56). Zielger led throughout the entire race and Peirsol looked on pace to take silver, but Japan's Ai Shibata made a late surge in the final 50 meters to take second. Peirsol finished with a time of 8:27.57, just over a second slower than her personal best (8:26.45) that she set at U.S. Nationals.
Over the four days of competition the United States total medal haul was 43 - 24 gold, 16 silver and three bronze (before the open water events this past Monday). Complete results from the Pan Pacific Championships can be found on Omega Timing