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Aaron Peirsol, the former Newport Harbor High School swim...

July 10, 2004

Aaron Peirsol, the former Newport Harbor High School swim star,

punched his ticket to Athens by winning the 100-meter backstroke

Friday afternoon at the U.S. Olympic Trials in Long Beach. Peirsol

finished with a time of 53.64 seconds, the fastest time in the world

this year. "It's a great night," he said. "I'm so stoked I'll be

traveling this summer to Greece."

THRILL OF VICTORY: Above, Peirsol is all smiles as he walks around

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the pool after receiving his medal for his victory.

IN COMMAND: Left, the returning Olympian takes a breath of air

while competing in the men's 100-meter backstroke during the trials.

For more on Aaron Peirsol, see Sports, B1.

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