Live Recap: Day 3 Prelims, U.S. Paralympic Swimming Trials

Jessica Long

Everything you need to know about day 3 of the U.S. Paralympic Swimming Trials can be found here!

Thursday marked the start of the 2016 U.S. Paralympic Trials at the Mecklenburg County Aquatic Center in Charlotte, North Carolina. The event will run from Thursday June 30 until Saturday evening, July 2. The Trials features swims from athletes across a range of classification categories.

Over 400 athletes are competing in this year’s Paralympic Trials, with the hope of representing Team USA at the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games (September 7 – 18), following the 2016 Olympic Games (August 5 – 21). Four women and three men will represent the U.S. at the Rio Paralympic Games.

Note: The Paralympic classification system for athletes competing in swimming is coded with an S followed by a number. A swimmer competing in a lower number category indicates that they have a physical impairment that has more impact on their ability to compete in swimming. For example, a swimmer in the S2 category has more severe activity limitation in the water than a swimmer in the S14 category. A more detailed description of the classification system can be found here.

Today’s Timeline:

Men’s 150 IM (SM1 – SM4)

American record holder Michael DeMarco (SM3) was the only entrant for the Men’s 150 IM, finishing as the top seed in 3:49.83.

Women’s 200 IM (SM5 – SM14)

World and American record holder Rebecca Meyers (SM13) led all qualifiers through prelims (2:33.10). Her teammates and fellow world record holder Jessica Long (SM8) also led her class through the prelims of the women’s 200 IM, posting a time of 2:48.68 to take the first seed for tonight’s finals.

Mary Kate Cooper (SM10) had a huge personal best time (3:30.37), dropping 24 seconds to lead her class into finals. Samantha Tubbs (SM9) also had a huge drop in the morning, cutting 15 seconds from her seed to grab her class’ first seed into finals. American record holder Leslie Cichocki (SM14) was just off her best times to lead her respective class into finals tonight. American record holders Rebecca Meyers (SM13), Letticia Martinez (SM11), and Haley Beranbaum (SM5) will also head into finals as top seeds.

Men’s 200 IM (SM5 – SM14)

Zachary Shattuck (SM6) broke his own American record, dropping 4 seconds to record a 3:04.00. Evan Austin (SM8) also hit a big best time, dropping 9 seconds to lead his class into finals tonight.

American record holder Rudy Garcia-Tolson (SM7) and Cody Bureau (SM9) were off their best times this morning, but they will still head into finals with the first seed.

Women’s 100 Freestyle (S1- S13)

Michelle Konkoly (S9) led all qualifiers with a new American record with a 1:02.00, putting her less than a second away from Natalie Du Toit’s world record of 1:01.08. That record has been on the books since 1984 and will certainly be on Konkoly’s radar heading into finals tonight.

American record holders Alyssa Gialamas (S5), Jessica Long (S8), and Letticia Martinez (S11) were off their respective records but will be the top seed heading into finals tonight.

Men’s 100 Freestyle (S1- S13)

Zach Shattuck (S6) continued his impressive morning by adding another American record to his name. Touching in 1:13.73, Shattuck broke Rafael Castillo’s record of 1:14.46 by nearly a second to grab the top seed heading into finals. Brad Snyder (S11), was less than a second off his seed to lead all qualifiers in 57.68, which is was also only a second off of John Morgan’s American record. Snyder’s seed of 56.78 is just one-tenth off of the American record, so he will surely be gunning for that record tonight.

American record holders Roy Perkins Jr. (S5) and Ian Silverman (S10) will also lead their respective classes into finals tonight.

Women’s 100 Backstroke (S1, S2, S6 – S14)

Hannah Aspden (S9) was just off her seed to post the top time in her class (1:13.63), which is just 2.5 seconds off of Elizabeth Stone’s American record. Leslie Cichocki (S14) continued her strong morning, also just off her own American record in the event after leading prelims in 1:15.85. Expect both swimmers to take a run at those records tonight. Notably, American record holder Jessica Long (S8) secured her third number one seed of the morning after touching in 1:22.94.

Men’s 100 Backstroke (S1, S2, S6 – S14)

Garner Moss (S14) just clipped his own American record this morning, touching in 1:12.49 to cruise past his record of 1:12.95. Connor Gioffreda (S6) also had a strong swim this morning, dropping 6 seconds from his seed to lead his class into finals tonight.

American record holder Tucker Dupree (S12) led all qualifiers through the morning with a 1:02.86, about 1.5 seconds off his seed. Fellow American record holders Curtis Lovejoy (S2) and Robert Griswold (S8) also advanced as top seeds, with Griswold just .35 off of his record from April this morning.

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Author: James Sica

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James Sica is the Men and Women's Assistant Coach at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has been an assistant coach at CMU in Pittsburgh, PA (2015-2017), a volunteer assistant coach with the Harvard women’s program (2014-2015) and an assistant with the Ithaca College men's program (2012-2014).

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