YPSILANTI,Mich. May 28. 14 year-old double amputee Jessica Long wowed spectators and swimmers alike by scoring a hat trick of records at the GTAC Disability Open, May 27 and 28, at Eastern Michigan University. Beginning the first day, with her world record swim of 2:27.19 in the 200 free, Long, classified as an S8, proved as versatile as she was strong by nailing the 1500 free world record on Sunday with a time of 20:54.28, and then rounding out her trio by achieving a Pan-American record time of 1:09.03 in the 100 free later in the morning. She is less than .15 seconds off of the world record time of 1:08.90, a four year old record held by Keren Leibovitch of Israel. Long, at age 12, was the youngest member of the U.S. Paralympic team in Athens.
Meanwhile, Paralympic veteran Curtis Lovejoy continued to dominate the S2 classification by achieving a new Pan-American record in the 200 free with a time of 5:13.34.
Lovejoy and Long were the highlights of a fast meet with outstanding swims by Paralympians Elizabeth Stone, Carrie Willoughby, Jarrett Perry, Travis Mohr and Justin Fleming, as well as by many first-time competitors.
“We were especially pleased by the number of new swimmers we had at this meet,” remarked GTAC head coach Keith Kennedy, “For example, it was awesome to see the performance of 10 year old Joey Chiavaroli, our youngest competitor from Florida, who was just one of dozens of new competitors here this weekend. This sport is clearly growing stronger in numbers and in the level of competition each year, and it’s exciting to see all of this talent and hard work in the pool.”
Complete results can be found at www.gtacswim.com