Thursday, June 23, 2016
Pilyugin Set To Represent St. Bonaventure Men's Swimming In Olympic Trials
ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. – When the USA Swimming Olympic Trials take place next week, one of the swimmers vying for a spot in Rio will be St. Bonaventure University product Michael Pilyugin.
Pilyugin qualified for the United States Olympic Trials in the 100-meter backstroke by swimming a time of 56.04 at the Pittsburgh Invitational in November. That earned him a spot in the trial this Monday in Omaha, Neb.
The most decorated and accomplished swimmer in the history of a Bonnies program that is rich in tradition, Pilyguin broke eight Atlantic 10 records and nine school records during his career. He also met NCAA B-cut qualifying standards in 13 events over his career. This past winter, he scored the maximum 60 points at the A-10 Championship and was runner-up for Performer of the Meet. As a sophomore, he was named Performer of the Meet at the conference championships after leading St. Bonaventure to the Atlantic 10 crown. He also helped the Bonnies to an A-10 title in 2013.
"Michael will be spending the next week at the US Swimming Olympic Trials. He will be able to feel the SBU swimming family looking over his shoulder as he represents himself and our program on the biggest stage," St. Bonaventure men's swimming head coach Sean McNamee said. "He is truly just beginning to tap the true potential that he has and could be a very formidable force to reckon with."
Pilyugin will be one of 217 swimmers attempting to qualify for the 2016 Olympics in his event, racing against competitors such as Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte. To advance to the Olympics, swimmers must qualify for the A final at trials, being one of the top eight times from semifinals to move on. Then, they must make the FINA "A" time standard and finish in the top two of the finals. Winning an event in trials is the most surefire way to qualification – the top two in each event final only go to the Games based on the number of double qualifications each athlete has. The first priority in selection is the winner in each individual race.
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