Gilhool breaks Liberty 100 backstroke record
Two weeks ago, Liberty junior Patrick Gilhool was feeling somewhat frustrated that he and the Hurricanes were hitting their best times at this point last year, while it’s been more difficult to accomplish those best times at this point this year because of lengthy COVID-19 and weather-related winter sports suspensions.
But it didn’t take long for Gilhool to break Liberty’s school record in the 100 backstroke just two weeks later when he swam a 53.19 during the Hurricanes’ meet against Easton last Thursday at Liberty.
“I was happy. I was extremely tired. My body was full of lactic acid, but I was excited so it kinda carried me through the pain,” Gilhool said. “Keep getting it down- that’s the plan, and hopefully swim a really fast 100 backstroke at districts.”
The previous record was held by Jake Evert who broke it in 2019 with a time of 53.61.
“I know all these records and it’s always a goal to break them. The 100 back and the 100 fly, I’ve wanted to break since I was a freshman,” Gilhool said.
Gilhool’s most recent time in the backstroke prior to last Thursday was 54.06.
“My goal was to get sub-54, and I had a good meet lineup, so I thought I could do it because I had a good amount of rest between each event, and it worked out well. Today I had no events before my 100 backstroke, so I had a good, clean swim,” he said.
Liberty coach Reik Foust already knows Gilhool can break his own record.
“He’s gonna get even faster because once you do that, you kind of turn a corner there. You kind of see you’re capable. You can do it,” Coach Foust said. “When you’re always chasing it, it always feels like you’re never going to get it. Once you get it, you realize, you know what? I can do this. I can go faster. So yeah, 53.1’s really nice; I think he’s gonna be faster.”