American Women Shine at World Para Swimming Championships

Photo courtesy: Twitter, @USParalympics

MEXICO CITY – The women of Team USA claimed the spotlight on Monday at the World Para Swimming Championships. Four different athletes swam onto the podium, bringing Team USA’s overall medal count to 23 at the Francisco Marquez Olympic Swimming Pool heading into the fourth day of competition.

With a photo-finish swim, four-time Paralympic medalist McKenzie Coan (Clarkesville, Georgia) outswam the second-place finisher by 0.66 seconds in the S7 50-meter freestyle (32.75), marking her third gold medal at the world championships. Coan has proven her strength in the event after having won gold at the Paralympic Games Rio 2016.

Six-time Paralympic medalist Becca Meyers (Timonium, Maryland) brought her world championships medal total to two silver, bringing home her second one in as many days in the S13 100 butterfly (1:06.42).

Paralympic silver medalist Sophia Herzog (Fairplay, Colorado) secured the bronze medal in the S6 100 free (1:25.78) to bring home her second medal at the championships. Paralympian Natalie Sims (Minneapolis) capped off the medal night for Team USA when she swam to a third-place finish in the S9 100 free (1:05.95).

Team USA recorded four additional top-10 finishes: Gia Pergolini (Roswell, Georgia) finished 4th in the S13 100 fly; Sims placed 5th in the SM9 200 individual medley; Hannah Aspden (Raleigh, North Carolina) placed 5th in the S9 100 free; Lawrence Sapp (Waldorf, Maryland) swam to 6th place in the SM14 200 IM.


Team USA: 23
Jessica Long: 3 gold (SB7 100 breast, S8 100 free, 4×100 34-point free relay)
McKenzie Coan: 3 gold (S7 100 free, S7 50 free, 4×100 34-point free relay)
Hannah Aspden: 1 gold (4×100 34-point free relay), 1 silver (S9 100 back)
Robert Griswold: 1 gold (S8 100 back), 1 silver (S8 400 free)
Aspen Shelton: 1 gold (S12 100 back), 1 silver (S12 100 free)
Sophia Herzog: 1 gold (SB6 100 breast), 1 bronze (S6 100 free)
Natalie Sims: 1 gold (4×100 34-point free relay), 1 bronze (S9 100 free)
Becca Meyers: 2 silver (S13 100 free, S13 100 fly)
McClain Hermes: 2 silver (S11 100 free, S11 100 back)
Tucker Dupree: 1 silver (S12 100 back)
Julia Gaffney: 1 silver (SB6 100 breast), 1 bronze (S8 100 free)
Gia Pergolini: 1 silver (S13 100 back)
Tye Dutcher: 1 bronze (S10 100 back)
Colleen Young: 1 bronze (S13 100 back)


McKenzie Coan

On swimming faster than her goal time…
“I tried to stay calm in the ready room and tell myself that all the hard work I’ve been doing could add up to this. I’ve always wanted to go 32 seconds at altitude, so I feel really good about that and I’m really happy. I couldn’t be happier.”

Sophia Herzog

On the close competition with Mexico’s Vianney Trejo Delgadillo…
“Her and I have been competing with each other for years. It’s an honor to swim with her and she definitely puts up a fight. I’m lucky enough that we get to see each other a couple times throughout the year so it’s nice to compete with her in freestyle.”


Full results from the World Para Swimming Championships can be found here.

Press release courtesy of U.S. Paralympics. 



  1. Billy Hurley

    Alice…Gia is our GOLD pride and joy!

  2. Veyru

    Worth to be known :p

  3. avatar

    McKenzie Coan your hard work is really paying off!! You never cease to amaze me! SO proud of you! Go TEAM USA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Author: Diana Pimer

Diana Pimer was a breaststroke/IMer at Keene State College and is the NEISDA Conference record holder in the 200 IM. She is currently an Age Group Coach at AGUA in New York City and has covered major competitions for Swimming World including the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, 2015 and 2017 FINA World Championships, USA Swimming Nationals and more.

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