Trio Of Americans Capture Two Medals On Day 5 Of Para Worlds

Photo Courtesy: Kevin McCarthy

Jessica Long (Baltimore, Maryland), Tharon Drake (Hobbs, New Mexico) and Colleen Young (St. Louis, Missouri) each captured two medals on Wednesday at the World Para Swimming Championships at the Francisco Marquez Olympic Swimming Pool. With 13 medals today, Team USA sits with 47 total heading into the final day of competition tomorrow.

On his final day competing at world championships, Drake went out with a bang, winning the gold medal in the SB11 100-meter breaststroke (1:15.70) and taking home silver in the SM11 200 individual medley (2:41.70). The Paralympic silver medalist earned three medals at the competition, including two gold and one silver.

Long, a 13-time Paralympic champion, swam to two more gold medals, bringing her individual event total to five. Long claimed the world title in the S8 400 free (5:01.57) and the S8 100 butterfly (1:12.81). She wraps up competition tomorrow with the SM8 200 IM.

Young earned the first world title of her career, swimming the SB13 100 breast in a time of 1:17.21. The Paralympic bronze medalist concluded the evening by recording a second-place finish in the SM13 200 IM, completing the race in 2:33.40 and securing her third individual medal of the competition.

McKenzie Coan (Clarkesville, Georgia) stood atop the podium for the fourth and final time in the S7 400 free, winning gold in 5:22.02 to close her world championships run in Mexico City. She finished 1:08.38 faster than the second-place competitor. Newcomer Lawrence Sapp (Waldorf, Maryland) completed his world championship debut with a first-place finish and American record in the S14 100 back (1:06.42).

Two additional women won medals in the 100 breast. In the SB13 class, Becca Meyers (Timonium, Maryland) secured bronze (1:26.43), while McClain Hermes (Dacula, Georgia) also recorded a third-place finish in the SB11 class (1:42.52).

Julia Gaffney (Mayflower, Arkansas) won an impressive fourth medal in her world championship debut, taking silver in the S8 400 free (5:26.51). Also securing her fourth piece of hardware was Natalie Sims (Minneapolis, Minnesota), who finished with bronze in the S9 400 free (5:11.33).

To cap off the evening, the combination of Tye Dutcher (Merced, California), Zach Shattuck (Mt. Airy, Maryland), Robert Griswold (Freehold, New Jersey) and Roderick Sewell (Spring Valley, California) swam to the bronze medal in the 4×100 34-point medley relay (4:55.79).

Team USA concludes world championship competition tomorrow beginning at 10 a.m. ET. The U.S. is currently first in the overall medal standings ahead of China.

OVERALL MEDAL COUNT
Team USA: 47
Jessica Long: 7 gold (S8 100 fly, S8 400 free, S8 100 back, SB7 100 breast, S8 100 free, 4×100 34-point free relay, 4×100 34-point medley relay)
McKenzie Coan: 4 gold (S7 400 free, 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), 2 bronze (S9 400 free, S9 100 free)
Tharon Drake: 2 gold (S11 400 free, SB11 100 breast), 1 silver (SM11 200 IM)
McClain Hermes: 1 gold (S11 400 free), 2 silver (S11 100 free, S11 100 back), 2 bronze (SB 11 100 breast, S11 50 free)
Becca Meyers: 1 gold (S11 400 free), 2 silver (S13 100 free, S13 100 fly), 1 bronze (SB13 100 breast)
Robert Griswold: 1 gold (S8 100 back), 1 silver (S8 400 free), 1 bronze (4×100 34-point medley relay)
Aspen Shelton: 1 gold (S12 100 back), 1 silver (S12 100 free), 1 bronze (S12 50 free)
Colleen Young: 1 gold (SB13 100 breast), 1 silver (SM13 200 IM), 1 bronze (S13 100 back)
Tucker Dupree: 1 gold (S12 50 free), 1 silver (S12 100 back)
Lawrence Sapp: 1 gold (S14 100 back)
Julia Gaffney: 3 silver (S8 400 free, S8 100 back, SB6 100 breast), 1 bronze (S8 100 free)
Gia Pergolini: 1 silver (S13 100 back)
Tye Dutcher: 2 bronze (S10 100 back, 4×100 34-point medley relay)
Zach Shattuck: 1 bronze (4×100 34-point medley relay)
Roderick Sewell: 1 bronze (4×100 34-point medley relay)

QUOTES
Tharon Drake
On winning two medals on his final day of competition…
“It was really amazing. I’m really glad to be here and couldn’t be happier with how Mexico City treated us. To come home with three medals and show my community while hopefully making a positive difference is just an amazing thing.”

Colleen Young
On claiming two medals on the fifth day of competition…
“It’s incredible, honestly. Any time you have the chance to swim and represent your country is a big deal. The fact that I can medal two times in one day, that’s huge. I’m excited.”

McKenzie Coan
On finishing her world championships with a gold in the 400 free…
“I am so happy and so excited. The 400 free is by far my favorite race to swim, so to be able to go out on that note for my world championships is just amazing. This whole experience has been incredible. I get really emotional talking about it because I love it so much.”

RESULTS
Full results from the World Para Swimming Championships can be found here. Follow U.S. Paralympics on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook for updated information during the event.

Press release courtesy of the USOC. 

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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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