Danny Berlitz meets Olympic Trials qualifying standard on Day 3 of the TYR Pro Swim Series


West Virginia’s success in San Antonio took a massive leap forward on Friday thanks to one of its most decorated seniors.

Danny Berlitz, the reigning Big 12 Champion in the men’s 400-yard individual medley, took his versatile talents to the TYR Pro Swim Series on Friday. Competing in the 400-meter IM, Berlitz was in a familiar element, and he shined.

In the preliminary round, Berlitz surpassed the Olympic Trials mark of 4:25.19 with a 4:23.11 finish, which was good enough for the seventh seed in finals. In those finals, Berlitz improved that to a 4:20.93 race, placing him fifth.

Having outdone the Olympic Trials standard, Berlitz now has the opportunity to swim in Indianapolis this June in hopes of qualifying for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.

Hitting the Olympics time standard would be no small feat, though, as Berlitz would have to lower his 400 IM time by 8.43 seconds. If Berlitz can quickly get back to his 4:17.46 personal best from last June and work from there, though, WVU could be in the running for a second Olympic swimmer, the first being fellow senior Ivan Puskovitch in the 10 kilometer event.

Puskovitch, while being a highly successful open water swimmer, made the trip this week for the final long-course meter tournament of the season. On Friday, he was slated to swim alongside Berlitz in the 400 IM but took the day off instead after competing on Wednesday and Thursday. He should return to the pool Saturday for the men’s 800-meter freestyle.

Junior Braden Osborn took a bit of an opposite approach, bowing out of his first event, the men’s 100-meter freestyle on Thursday, but competing Friday in the 100 butterfly.

The extra day of rest nearly paid off, as he finished in 54.91 seconds, .46 seconds off his personal best from 2022 and just 1.32 seconds from the Olympic Trials mark. Osborn will compete again Saturday in the men’s 50-meter freestyle.

Joining Berlitz at the Olympic Trials in June will be senior backstroker Justin Heimes. Heimes hit the qualifying mark this March in the 100-meter backstroke but did make an appearance in San Antonio Friday for the 200.

Heimes finished the preliminary round in 2:07.03, nearly three seconds off his personal best and 5.34 seconds off the Olympic Trials mark. He will compete in the 100-meter on Saturday in hopes of lowering his 55.48 personal best from March.

Rounding out the Mountaineer swimmers on Friday was senior Roanoke Shirk in the men’s 200-meter freestyle. Gunning for a 1:49.99 mark, Shirk broke his second personal best of the week, following up his 100 freestyle performance on Thursday with a 1:53.93 finish on Friday. Shirk will have one more chance to meet the standard for Indianapolis on Saturday in the men’s 50-meter freestyle.

Saturday’s events kick off at 9 a.m. in San Antonio and will feature performances from all nine Mountaineers from this week, including two swims each from Danny Berlitz and sophomore Mia Cheatwood. The events WVU is slated to participate in are as follows.

800-meter freestyle

Men’s: Ivan Puskovitch, William Mullen

100-meter backstroke

Men’s: Justin Heimes

200-meter breaststroke

Women’s: Mia Cheatwood

Men’s: Danny Berlitz

200-meter individual medley

Men’s: Danny Berlitz

50-meter freestyle

Women’s: Ada Szwabinska, Mia Cheatwood

Men’s: Roanoke Shirk, Braden Osborn, Conner McBeth

Photo from WVU Swimming & Diving



Read More:Danny Berlitz meets Olympic Trials qualifying standard on Day 3 of the TYR Pro Swim Series

2024-04-13 15:00:01

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