Peirsol, Walker set world records at Pan Pacific Swimming Championships
VICTORIA, British Columbia -- Two former University of Texas swimmers each had a hand in breaking world records Saturday evening at the 2006 Pan Pacific Swimming Championships at the Saanich Commonwealth Place Pool.
Aaron Peirsol, a gold medalist at the 2004 Summer Olympic Games in Athens, Greece, rewrote his world record in the 200-meter backstroke, winning the event in 1:54.44. Peirsol topped his world-record time of 1:54.66 set at the 2005 FINA World Championships in Montreal, Quebec. Peirsol easily topped second-place finisher Michael Phelps, who trailed Peirsol by nearly two-and-one-half seconds.
Neil Walker, a former three-time NCAA champion at Texas, teamed with Phelps, Cullen Jones and Jason Lezak to claim a new world record for the United States in the 4x100-meter freestyle relay. Walker swam the second leg behind Phelps in 47.89 for the third-fastest split in the event, as Team USA clocked 3:12.46 to smash the previous world-record time of 3:13.17 set by South Africa at the 2004 Summer Olympic Games. The time breaks the meet-record mark of 3:15.11 also set by the United States at the 1995 Pan Pacific Swimming Championships.
The new world records set Saturday amazingly mark the third and fourth world marks set this month by former Longhorn swimmers, who each competed at Texas under current head coach Eddie Reese. Brendan Hansen set new world records in the 100- and 200-meter breaststroke events at the 2006 ConocoPhillips USA Swimming National Championships in Irvine, Calif.