Dana's off to Japan

A pair of personal-best times at the Phillips 66 Summer Nationals, including a second-place finish in the 200 fly finals, means that Dana Kirk won’t be coming home to Bremerton any time soon.

Instead, the recent Bremerton High graduate is going from Florida to Yokohama, Japan, as one of the top 52 swimmers in the U.S. who qualified for the Pan Pacific Championships next weekend. The Pan Pac is considered one of swimming’s top events outside of the Olympics.

Kirk, swimming for the Tacoma Swim Club, broke the 1 minute barrier for her first time in the 100 fly Monday, Aug. 12, with a fifth-place finish in 59.81 seconds.

In her strongest event, the 200 fly, the Goodwill Games silver medalist set another personal best with a 2 minute, 11.01 second time. Mary Descenza won the race in 2:09.89.

Older sister Tara has been holding her own in Fort Lauderdale, competing in the 100 and 200 breaststroke finals.

Tara Kirk finished the 100 breast Tuesday, Aug. 13, in 1:09.03, good enough for fifth place but lower than the Stanford junior would have liked.

In her strongest event, the 200 breast, Tara trimmed nearly 4 seconds off her preliminary finish of 2:32.25 to take third in 2:28.37 ahead of Puyallup’s Olympic gold medalist Megan Quann.

As of press time Thursday, it was unknown if Tara qualified for Pan Pac.

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