McClain Hermes’ American Record Highlights Night Four of Para Worlds

Photo Courtesy: Twitter, @USParalympics

MEXICO CITY – McClain Hermes (Dacula, Georgia) claimed two individual medals, winning gold (S11 400-meter freestyle) and bronze (S11 50 free) to collect her third and fourth medals of the world championships. It was an 11-medal day as the U.S. heads into the fifth day of competition tomorrow at the Francisco Marquez Olympic Swimming Pool.

Hermes set an American record as she won gold in the 400 free (5:46.00) before earning her bronze in the 50 free (37.74) in her world championships debut.

U.S. women dominated the S6-8 100 backstroke event. In the S8 class, 23-time Paralympic medalist Jessica Long (Baltimore, Maryland) won gold in a time of 1:19.80, while Julia Gaffney (Mayflower, Arkansas) took silver with a time of 1:25.06. Sophia Herzog (Fairplay, Colorado) captured the bronze medal (1:40.01) in the S6 class. Long, Herzog and Gaffney each collected their third individual medals of the competition.

Three other athletes claimed individual gold medals on the fourth day of competition. En route to the first world title of his career, Paralympic silver medalist Tharon Drake (Hobbs, New Mexico) swam the S11 400 free in a time of 4:54.30. Four-time Paralympic medalist Tucker Dupree (Raleigh, North Carolina) took the title of world champion in the S12 50 free (24.49), marking his first since 2009. Two-time Paralympian Becca Meyers (Timonium, Maryland) claimed her first gold medal of the event and third medal overall with a first-place finish in the S13 400 free (4:32.65).

Grabbing their third individual medals each, McKenzie Coan (Clarkesville, Georgia) finished second in the S7 50 butterfly (37.96) and Aspen Shelton (Willow Park, Texas) swam to bronze in the S12 50 free (29.58).

The combination of Long, Herzog, Natalie Sims (Minneapolis, Minnesota) and Hannah Aspden (Raleigh, North Carolina) combined for the world title in the 4×100 34-point medley relay.

The world championships continue tomorrow and run through Thursday, December 7.


Team USA: 34
Jessica Long: 5 gold (S8 100 back, SB7 100 breast, S8 100 free, 4×100 34-point free relay, 4×100 34-point medley relay)
McKenzie Coan: 3 gold (S7 100 free, S7 50 free, 4×100 34-point free relay), 1 silver (S7 50 free)
Hannah Aspden: 2 gold (4×100 34-point free relay, 4×100 34-point medley relay), 1 silver (S9 100 back)
Sophia Herzog: 2 gold (SB6 100 breast, 4×100 34-point medley relay), 2 bronze (S6 100 back, S6 100 free)
Natalie Sims: 2 gold (4×100 34-point free relay, 4×100 34-point medley relay), 1 bronze (S9 100 free)
McClain Hermes: 1 gold (S11 400 free), 2 silver (S11 100 free, S11 100 back), 1 bronze (S11 50 free)
Becca Meyers: 1 gold (S11 400 free), 2 silver (S13 100 free, S13 100 fly)
Tucker Dupree: 1 gold (S12 50 free), 1 silver (S12 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), 1 bronze (S12 50 free)
Tharon Drake: 1 gold (S11 400 free)
Julia Gaffney: 2 silver (S8 100 back, 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)


Tharon Drake

On winning the first world title of his career…
“My first world title: it’s awesome; a great feeling. It’s something I’ve been dreaming of since I was a kid, about 10 years ago when I went blind, so this has been a 10-year long journey.”

McClain Hermes

On a double-medal day…
“It feels really amazing because I’ve had a really hard past year. After Rio, I got really sick and went through a lot. It feels great to show that I can overcome something and perform really well.”

Jessica Long

On her third individual gold medal…
“It feels awesome. I’m so thankful to still be a part of Paralympic swimming. That was an okay time for me considering my training has been a little bit lighter, but I’m really happy with it.”


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

Press release courtesy of U.S. Paralympics. 

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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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