Peirsols primed for successful finish

SWIMMING: Aaron, sister Hayley are expected to compete for national titles tonight in Irvine.

August 05, 2006|By Dominic Perrone

Tonight, for the first time in the five-day U.S. Swimming National Championships, both Hayley and Aaron Peirsol are likely to compete in finals at Irvine High, beginning at 5:30.

Hayley Peirsol, a former standout at Newport Harbor High, will compete in the 800-meter freestyle final after qualifying third with a time of 8 minutes, 35.64 seconds on Friday.

Kate Ziegler had the top qualifying time (8:25.31), followed by Adrienn Binder (8:35.50).

The top eight in the preliminaries of each event move on to the championship final.

Hayley Peirsol was third in the 400 free on Tuesday.

Aaron Peirsol, also a former standout for the Sailors, is not assured of competing in the 200 backstroke final because he has to qualify in the preliminaries at 9:21 a.m.


But the reigning world and Olympic champion in both the 100 and 200 back won the 100 back with relative ease on Tuesday and he is coming off two days rest.

The 200 back is his strongest event.

Aaron Peirsol won both the 100 and 200 back events at the Athens Olympics, where he added a third gold medal in the 400 medley relay.

He earned a silver medal in the 200 back in the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia.

He owns the world record for the 200 back (1:55.15).

Aaron Peirsol led Newport Harbor to a CIF Southern Section Division I championship his senior year in 2002.

In his career at Newport Harbor, Aaron Peirsol won seven individual section titles in the 100-yard back and 200-yard free. He won the section title in the backstroke all four years.

Hayley Peirsol did her share of damage in high school, capturing section titles in the 200- and 500-yard free while leading the Sailors to a second-place team finish at the Southern Section Division I meet her senior year in 2003.

She helped Auburn University claim the NCAA Division I championship in March.

In her junior season at Auburn, Hayley Peirsol won the NCAA title in the 1,650-meter freestyle, setting a school record in the process (15:49.48).

A six-time All-American, she won a gold medal in the 1,500-meter freestyle at the World University Games with a record time of 16:08.06.

While in high school, she won her first international medal, a bronze at the Pan-Pacific championships in the 800-meter freestyle.

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