Flash! Dave Denniston Paralyzed in Sledding Accident, Undergoes Surgery Today

By Phillip Whitten

LARAMIE, Wyo., February 7. FORMER NCAA champion and US National Team member Dave Denniston, 25, was seriously injured in a sledding accident yesterday in Wyoming and is paralyzed from the waist down, according to reports from Kicker Vencill, his former roommate at the Irvine NOVAquatics Swim Team.

Denniston, an Auburn University graduate known for his freewheeling, infectious sense of humor, also suffered two broken vertebrae.

Denniston will undergo surgery at 5:00 PM (Mountain time) today. His surgeons plan to fuse T-10 and T-11 together and to remove bone fragments from his spinal column. At present they are giving him a 50-50 chance of ever walking again.

Denniston was in Wyoming, living with his grandmother, and looking to land a coaching job.

In 1999, he won the 200-yard breaststroke at the men’s NCAA Championships as Auburn won its first-ever men’s crown. He was a member of the USA World Championship team in 2003 and was a finalist in both breaststroke events at the 2004 Olympic Trials in Long Beach.

Denniston’s mom asks all his friends in the swimming community to pray for his recovery. Well-wishers can e-mail him at: DaveDenniston@hotmail.com.

SwimInfo will post updates on Dave’s condition as we receive them.