Rutherford Keeps on Rolling at IPC World Champs -- December 14, 2002
by Paul Meznarich
MAR DEL PLATA, Argentina, Dec. 14. MIKHAILA Rutherford continued her impressive showing at the International
Paralympic Committee's Swimming World Championships On Friday in Mar Del Plata, Argentina, with two silver medals and another American record.
The 14-year-old dynamo from Alameda, Calif., swam to second-place finishes in the SM10 200-meter individual medley (2 minutes, 46.50 seconds) and the SB8 100
breaststroke (1:27.60). Her breaststroke time was an American record for the SB8 classification.
Rutherford, a below-the-knee amputee, has amassed five medals so far with three days remaining in the championships. Two days earlier, Rutherford captured the S10 backstroke title in a world record 1:14.13. Rutherford's remaining events include the S10 400 freestyle on Saturday and a 5K open water swim on Monday.
Jennifer Johnson (San Diego, Calif.) has kept her winning streak alive in the S1 division for athletes with complete spinal cord injuries or cerebral palsy
characterized by severe quadriplegia. Johnson claimed her third gold of the championships by winning the 50 backstroke in 2:07.74. Johnson was named USA Swimming's "Adaptive Swimmer of the Year" for 2002 earlier this season.
Kelly Crowley (Santa Clara, Calif.) was the final individual medalist of the day for the U.S. squad,
inishing third in the SM9 200 individual medley in 2:51.46.
Crowley was born with a condition affecting the strength in one of her arms. Meanwhile, the women's
400 medley relay, consisting of swimmers with visual impairments, also placed third. No time was available. Relay members included Jennifer Butcher (Portland, Ore.), Anessa Kemna (Long Lake, Minn.), Carrie Willoughby (Atlanta, Ga.) and Mandy Sommer (Omaha, Neb.).
Three U.S. athletes just missed the medals platform in the 400 freestyle. Brandi VanAnne (Fort Collins, Colo.) finished fourth in the S6 division in 7:14.63, while Deb Gruen (Hamden, Conn.) and Lantz Lamback (Augusta, Ga.) each finished fourth in their respective
races in the S7 category.
Competition continues until Monday, December 16. The IPC Swimming World Championships is the premier
swimming championship for elite-level athletes with physical disabilities. More than 900 athletes representing 64 countries are competing at this year's