Second, third for Phillips at U.S. nationals

IRVINE, Calif. -Parkersburg High School graduate Tim Phillips couldn’t have come much closer to being a national champion than he did on Thursday night.

Competing in the U.S. National Swimming Championships, Phillips went into the finals of the 50 butterfly as the top seed.

The Ohio State University standout lived up to expectations, swimming his personal best time of 23.58 seconds only to find out he had been nipped at the finish line by Matt Grevers of Lake Forest. Ill., by .08 of a second.

“Tim got out-touched,” said his father, Tom Phillips, who was in attendance.

That wasn’t Phillips only final. On Friday night, he returned to the nation’s biggest swimming stage for the 100 butterfly finals. Among his opponents were the best-known American swimmers of the modern era -Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte.

But none of that trio won as Tom Shields pulled a stunning upset by beating Phelps by the slimmest margin of .01 per second. Shields was timed in 51.29 to 51.30 for Phelps.

Phillips placed third in 51.54 while Lochte was fifth in 52.21.