April 3, 2006
Tennessee freshman Barry Murphy won the 50-meter freestyle and set the Irish national record in the event at the U.S. Spring National Championships Monday in Federal Way, Wash.
He is the first Vol to win a U.S. National title since former-Vol great Michael Gilliam won the national championship in the 100 back four years ago. Murphy also qualified for the European Championships at the end of July and the right to represent Ireland.
"I was really happy to do so well considering I was tired and a little down from the NCAA championships," Murphy said. "I knew I just needed to scrap up and be ready to perform.
Murphy won the 50 free in 22.90, the only competitor at the U.S. National Championship to break 23 seconds. His time broke the previous Irish record of 23.36.
"Barry really was one of the surprises of the meet with his time in the 50 free," head coach John Trembley said.
Murphy also finished fourth in the 100-meter free in 50.93, only two-hundredths of a second off the Irish record of 50.91.
"I talked to the Irish director of swimming and he is pumped for the European Championships not only because I broke the record but also because I am the U.S. national champion heading into the event," Murphy added.
He wasn't the only UT swimmer competing for the Volunteer Nation. Junior Brad Boswell won the C-final in the 100 backstroke in 58.99.
"Boswell and Murphy flew the Tennessee colors high at the U.S. Spring National
Championships," Trembley added. "It was great to get a Vol back on the
platform since Michael Gilliam as well as seeing Murphy qualify for Ireland.