ANN ARBOR, Mich. -Parkersburg swimmer Tim Phillips has accomplished many great feats in his athletic career.
But he may well have topped any of his previous performances here Friday night at the Big Ten Swimming Championships.
Competing for Ohio State University in the 100 butterfly, Phillips not only won the event in 45.62 seconds but also in doing so, he broke the previous pool record held by Michael Phelps, who is recognized as the greatest male swimmer in the history of the world. Phillips actually swam a faster time -45.57 seconds -in qualifying for the finals. And to make his phenomenal accomplishment even more impressive, he did so while fighting an injury.
Two weeks ago, Phillips tore a pectoral muscle. Doctors told him it would take 4 to 6 weeks to heal, but there was no way the senior was going to miss his final Big Ten meet. So even though he wasn't 100 percent, he made the trip with his OSU teammates.
As a result of his time, Phillips qualified for the NCAA championships at the University of Texas on March 27-29, when he should be fully recovered from his injury.
The former Parkersburg YMCA Sharks and Parkersburg High School standout also served as the anchor for OSU's 200 freestyle relay team, which tied Penn State for first place, also qualifying for the NCAA meet in the process.
On the first night of the meet, he also performed the butterfly leg for OSU's 200 medley relay team. His time of 20.13 seconds was the fastest of the meet.
Phillips, who has one semester remaining to complete his studies at Ohio State, has more on his plate than the NCAA Championships.
Once they conclude, he will head to Charlotte, N.C., where he will train with Ryan Lochte and other U.S. Olympic swimmers as they begin preparing for the 2016 Olympics.
Phillips participated in the U.S. Olympic Trials prior to the 2012 Games, but was unable to make the team.
This time around, he's more experienced in every aspect of the sport. Plus, anyone who beats one of Michael Phelps' records certainly has the ability to qualify to represent the USA on the world's biggest sports stage.