U.S. Paralympics, a division of the United States Olympic Committee, today announced it will send 20 athletes to the 2018 Pan Pacific Para Swimming Championships in Cairns, Australia, from August 9-13. The team features 15 females and 5 males, and includes 14 Paralympians.
Hosted by Australia, Japan, Canada and the U.S, the meet historically attracts up to 19 countries. The last edition of the event was held in August 2014 in Pasadena, California, where Team USA finished at the top of the medal table with 115 medals. The Pan Pacific Para Swimming Championships is the largest competition for U.S. swimmers in 2018.
“The Pan Pacific Para Swimming Championships presents a wonderful opportunity for high-level international competition during a year with no world championships,” said Queenie Nichols, high performance director for U.S. Paralympics Swimming. “We’re excited about the 20 athletes selected to the team, and it will be a great chance for our younger athletes to build confidence on the international stage.
The roster, which is highlighted by Paralympic Games Rio 2016 gold medalists Jessica Long (Baltimore, Maryland), McKenzie Coan (Clarkesville, Georgia), Michelle Konkoly (Eagleville, Pennsylvania) and Becca Meyers (Timonium, Maryland), features 14 members of the 2016 U.S. Paralympic Team. Additional Rio medalists named to the Pan Pacific Para Swimming Championships team include Hannah Aspden (Raleigh, North Carolina), Tharon Drake (Hobbs, New Mexico), Tucker Dupree (Raleigh, North Carolina), Robert Griswold (Freehold, New Jersey), Sophia Herzog (Fairplay, Colorado), Cortney Jordan (Henderson, Nevada), Lizzi Smith (Muncie, Indiana) and Colleen Young (St. Louis, Missouri).
The U.S. roster includes 13 athletes who competed at the 2017 World Para Swimming World Championships in Mexico City, helping Team USA finish second in the overall medal table with 54 total medals. To complete a full sweep of her events, 13-time Paralympic gold medalist Long swam to eight world titles.
U.S. Roster for 2018 Pan Pacific Para Swimming Championships
*Denotes U.S. Paralympian
*Hannah Aspden (Raleigh, N.C.) – S9/SB8/SM9
*McKenzie Coan (Clarkesville, Ga.) – S7/SB6/SM7
Julia Gaffney (Mayflower, Ark.) – S7/SB6/SM7
*Sophia Herzog (Fairplay, Colo.) – S6/SB6/SM6
Mikaela Jenkins (Evansville, Ind.) – S10/SB9/SM10
*Cortney Jordan (Henderson , Nev.) – S7/SB7/SM7
*Michelle Konkoly (Eagleville, Pa.) – S10/SB9/SM10
Ahalya Lettenberger (Glen Ellyn, Ill.) – S7/SB6/SM7
*Jessica Long (Baltimore, Md.) – S8/SB7/SM8
*Becca Meyers (Timonium, Md.) – S13/SB13/SM13
Gia Pergolini (Roswell, Ga.) – S13/SB13/SM13
*Martha Ruether (Allegany, N.Y.) – S13/SB13/SM13
Aspen Shelton (Willow Park, Texas) – S12/SB12/SM12
*Lizzi Smith (Muncie, Ind.) – S9/SB9/SM9
*Colleen Young (St. Louis, Mo.) – S13/SB13/SM13
*Evan Austin (Terre Haute, Ind.) – S7/SB6/SM7
*Tharon Drake (Hobbs, N.M.) – S11/SB11/SM11
*Tucker Dupree (Raleigh, N.C.) – S12/SB12/SM12
*Robert Griswold (Freehold, N.J.) – S8/SB7/SM8
Lawrence Sapp (Waldorf, Md.) – S14/SB14/SM14
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