A berth on the U.S. Pan Pacific team is on the line at the Phillips 66 championships.
The Phillips 66 National Swimming Championships, held today through Wednesday at the University Aquatic Center in Minneapolis, is the meet the Clearwater Aquatic Team has been eyeing all summer.
Not only will swimmers compete for national titles, but the meet will provide the final selections to the 1999 U.S. Pan Pacific Championship team, which will race against Australia, Japan, China, Canada and others Aug. 22-28 in the Olympic venue in Sydney, Australia.
The CAT team has two swimmers with a chance to earn a shot.
Jessica Schrock, a junior-to-be at East Lake, and Lauren Bullock, a sophomore-to-be at Dunedin, qualified for the Phillips 66 with strong performances at the Speedo (Southeast) Junior Nationals last week in Orlando. They helped the CAT girls team to a third-place finish (183 points) and the team to a ninth-place finish overall (204).
Schrock, 16, qualified by placing third in the 800-meter freestyle (8:56.21) and meeting the required time of 8:56.29. She was eight tenths of a second from winning the event.
Schrock also placed eighth in the 200 freestyle (2:07.30), fourth in the 400 freestyle (4.22.25) and fifth in 1,500 freestyle (17:18.55).
Her performance at the Speedo Junior Nationals was good for second in the women's individual points standings (56), two shy of the leader, Sara McLarty of Daytona Beach.
Bullock, 15, qualified in the 200 freestyle with a second-place finish (2:05.74), meeting the required time of 2:05.69. She also placed fifth in the 400 freestyle (4.26.31).
Schrock and Bullock earned one more honor. They were part of an 800 freestyle relay team (Lindsay Hansen and Melissa Smith were the others) that qualified with a fifth-place finish of 8:34.19. The required time was 8:43.89.
The CAT 400 freestyle relay team (Schrock, Bullock, Ashley Messmore and Hansen) finished 11th with a time of 4:02.89.
For the St. Petersburg Aquatic Team, Robert Margalis will be its featured swimmer.
Margalis, 17, a senior-to-be at Clearwater, was seventh in the 200 IM at the Phillips 66 Spring Nationals and is a member of the National Junior Team.
The West Florida Lightning Aquatic has two former high school stars who graduated from Auburn _ Scott Tucker (Seminole) and Adam Jerger (Boca Ciega).
Tucker is a two-time national champion and a gold medalist in the 1996 Olympics. Jerger was a runner-up in the 100-yard breaststroke in the '98 NCAAs.
Another local former high school swimmer, Jerrod Kappler (Tarpon Springs), who graduates from Texas A&M next year, also will be competing.