Phillips takes silver at states

Elk Lake senior Adam Phillips poses with his pair of PIAA Class AA swimming medals. He placed second in the 100 breaststroke and fifth in the 200 IM in Lewisburg last weekend. PHOTO COURTESY OF KRIS MORAHAN

BY JOBY FAWCETT

Times-Shamrock Writer

Adam Phillips found the best way to keep his mind off swimming was to watch March Madness on television.

Even after he swam the fastest time of his career in winning a silver medal in the 100-yard breaststroke at the PIAA Class AA Swimming and Diving Championships on Saturday, he quickly checked his phone for scores.

“I haveKentuckywinning it all,” Phillips declared. “I’m still alive.”

He was just as relaxed in the pool.

“It felt like a great swim,” said Phillips, who touched in 58.04 seconds, finishing second toQuakerValley’s Bobby Francis, who posted a 57.33. “I swam in the morning and really messed up my turns, so I knew if I worked harder on them, I would swim a faster time.”

In the morning, Phillips, who earned a medal Friday in the 200 individual medley, qualified with a time of 58.72 in the breaststroke.

It was the second-fastest time behind Bellefonte’s Adam Rosenberger, who posted a 58.71.

That gave Phillips confidence, but increased his anxiety. So, he stayed in his hotel room all afternoon, resting, napping and watching the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. It served as a nice distraction.

Elk Lake’s Adam Phillips swims in the 100 breaststroke at Bucknell University during the PIAA Class AA championships.

When he arrived back at the pool, Phillips had only the race on his mind.

In the first 50 yards, he came in at 27.74, but chasing the leaders.

He increased his pace, finishing with the fastest split and achieving his goal.

“This hasn’t sunk in yet,” said Phillips, who planned on hitting Kentucky Fried Chicken and Taco Bell on the way back to the hotel after dieting since January. “My goal all year was to finish in the top 3, and I got second. It’s really all that I could ask for.

“I’m going to celebrate.”

On Friday, Phillips collected his first medal of the weekend in the 200 individual medley. Last year’s Times-Tribune Male Swimmer of the Year placed fifth, holding his place from the morning preliminaries.

He got out strong with a 25.41 in the fly and touched in 55.59 after the backstroke. He powered through his specialty in the breaststroke, picking up ground on the leaders, and finished in 1:57.75.

“I felt really good,” Phillips said. “It has been my goal to finish in the top five all year. I was tired, but I knew that I had to do this.

I had to keep pushing through it. I didn’t want to lose that place.”