August 13, 2008
BEIJING, China — Newport Harbor High product Aaron Peirsol began his quest for a second gold medal at the Beijing Olympics Wednesday by winning his preliminary heat and qualifying second for today’s semifinals of the 200-meter backstroke. Peirsol, who defended his 100 backstroke title by breaking his own world record earlier, won the fifth preliminary heat in 1 minute, 56.35 seconds Wednesday. Peirsol, also the defending Olympic champion in the 200 backstroke, saw his qualifying time bested only by American teammate Ryan Lochte, who posted a time of 1:56.
August 11, 2008
BEIJING, China — Newport Harbor High product Aaron Peirsol collected his first gold medal at the Beijing Summer Games. The 25-year-old did it in record time Tuesday morning in China. Peirsol swam the 100-meter backstroke in 52.54 seconds, breaking his own world-record mark of 52.89 to defend his title. “It’s just as wonderful as the first time,” Peirsol told reporters about his medal afterward. U.S. teammate Matt Grevers, who earned the silver medal in 53.11, told The New York Times that Peirsol is “hands down the best backstroker ever” and that “really the race was for second.
August 9, 2008
So just when does an Olympic dream begin? For Aaron Peirsol, it began at age 7 when his family took a trip to Florida. They visited the U.S. Swimming Hall of Fame in Fort Lauderdale. While there, the young Peirsol made a promise to his mother, Wella. He told her he would break a world record and later become inducted into the Hall of Fame. Eighteen years later, he’s the world-record holder in the 100-meter backstroke (52.89 seconds) and shares the world’s top time in the 200 back (1 minute, 54.32 seconds)
July 4, 2008
OMAHA, Neb. — Aaron Peirsol exacted a bit of revenge, though he did not intend to at the U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials Friday. Peirsol, the former Newport Harbor High star, won the 200-meter backstroke, matching Ryan Lochte’s world record in 1 minute, 54.32 seconds. Lochte, who had upset Peirsol at the 2007 World Championships in Australia, finished second in 1:54.34. The two swam stroke for storke throughout the race, but Peirsol lunged to the wall to win, the Associated Press reported.
July 3, 2008
OMAHA, Neb. — Aaron Peirsol, a former Newport Harbor High standout swimmer, will be the top seed in the 200-meter backstroke final at the U.S. Olympic Trials today. Peirsol recorded the fastest time at 1 minute, 55.78 seconds in the semifinals Thursday. Peirsol’s rival, Ryan Lochte, will be the second seed, as he finished at 1:56.52. The two are considered the best in this event. Lochte holds the world record in the 200 back, 1:54.32, and Peirsol was the previous record-holder.
July 1, 2008
OMAHA, Neb. — The 100-meter backstroke still belongs to Aaron Peirsol. That could not be said with total certainty before Tuesday, but at the U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials, the former Newport Harbor High phenom, left no doubt he owns the event. Peirsol, racing in a strong field, broke his own world record in the 100 back, finishing in 52.89 seconds, lowering his record, which was 52.98. Matt Grevers finished second in 53.19. The top two make the Olympic team. Peirsol qualified for his third straight Olympic team and is out to win his second gold in the event at the Olympics.
June 30, 2008
OMAHA, Neb. — Aaron Peirsol, a Newport Harbor High product, recorded the second-fastest time in the 100-meter backstroke semifinals event at the U.S. Olympic Trials Monday. Peirsol, the world-record holder and reigning Olympic champion, finished in 53.26 seconds, giving him the second seed for today’s championship heat. Randall Bal is the top seed after recording a time of 53.09, close to Peirsol’s world-record time of 52.98. “I haven’t shaved yet,” Peirsol told Swimming World Magazine after seven swimmers broke 54 seconds in the race.
February 11, 2008
Aaron Peirsol, a Newport Harbor High product and winner of three gold medals at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece, will be one of 20 Olympians expected to compete at the Missouri Grand Prix on Feb. 15-18 in Columbia, Mo. The meet is the third of the 2007-08 Toyota Grand Prix Series. It will be the first long course event of the year for many of the country?s top swimmers, helping them prepare for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China. Other big names expected to compete are eight-time Olympic medalist Michael Phelps, four-time Olympian Dara Torres, and Ryan Lochte, Brendan Hansen and Ian Crocker.
January 1, 2008
One may have described 2007 as the Year of the Anteater. In 2008, UC Irvine will be hard-pressed to duplicate its success in athletics from last year, yet the overriding story to watch for in the upcoming year could be summed up in one word: Beijing. A couple of former Newport Harbor High stars are sure to be making headlines while they compete in the Olympics this year. Aaron Peirsol, often referred to as The Backstroke King, will be back at it in the pool, vying for gold once again.