Penn State

Penn State’s Shane Ryan reaches 100 backstroke semifinals at Olympics

Penn State swimmer Shane Ryan advanced to the men’s 100-meter backstoke semifinals Sunday at the Olympics, but couldn’t clinch a spot in the finals.

Ryan, who is representing Ireland, recorded a time of 54.40 seconds in the semifinals, finishing last in the field of 16.

Ryan finished 14th in the preliminaries with a time of 53.85 seconds, an Irish record. Ryan’s time was good for fourth in his heat — behind China’s Xu Jiayu (53.01), Ryan Murphy of the United States (53.06) and Russia’s Evgeny Rylov (53.25) — and a spot in the semifinals.

Ryan made history for Penn State with his peformance, becoming the first men’s swimmer to advance past the preliminaries at the Olympics. He will also swim in the 50-meter freestyle and 100-meter freestyle.