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Shields sensational

Swimming

Former Edison High standout breaks American record in 200-meter butterfly and 100 fly.

August 07, 2013|By Mike Sciacca
(Mike Comer/USA…)

Tom Shields went into the record books last week at the U.S. Open Swimming Championships.

On Wednesday in the Netherlands, he did it again.

The Edison High graduate (2009) set a new U.S. Open meet record with a personal-best time of 51.65 seconds to win the men's 100-meter butterfly Aug. 1 at the William Woollett Jr. Aquatic Center in Irvine.

During the first day of competition Wednesday at the FINA Swimming World Cup at Eindhover, Netherlands, Shields set a new American record in the short-course 200-meter butterfly in 1 minute 51.38 seconds. He placed third in the event won by Chad Le Clos of South Africa, who turned in a world-record time of 1:49.04.

Shields broke the previous American record of 1:51.90 set in 2011 by Davis Tarwater.

At the U.S. Open, Shields, who rallied down the stretch to win the event, turned in the year's top time for an American in the event and the fourth-best time in the world this year.

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The 22-year-old currently is in the Netherlands for the first stop on the FINA Swimming World Cup circuit. He will compete in seven countries — the Netherlands, Germany, Russia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, China and Tokyo, through mid-November.

"It felt really good to finally win an event long course," Shields said in an email statement on his record-setting performance at the U.S. Open meet. "I have been going through a tough time mentally the last couple months with the transition, not necessarily the transition to long course from short course, but the transition from college to pro.

"Winning the event at the U.S. Open was really fun, especially because my family was there cheering for me and supporting me."

The FINA World Cup at the Netherlands continues through Thursday. The next cup competition is Saturday and Sunday at Berlin.

During his career at Edison, Shields set records for the boys' swimming program in the 200-yard freestyle (1:33.83, which also set the national high school record), 50 free (20.56), 100 fly (47.55), 100 free (44.54), 500 free (4:26.52), and as part of the 200 free relay (1.26.41) and 400 free relay (3:05.27) teams.

"It is exciting to see Tom continue to swim so well upon leaving Edison," Edison swim and water polo Coach Diggy Riley said. "His contributions to our program went beyond just being a world class swimmer.

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