USA In Front With 19 Medals After Day 2 of World Para Swimming Championships

Photo Courtesy: Matty Thomas

While the original 2017 World Para Swimming Championships were delayed because of an earthquake, the stars of Team USA appeared unfazed by the adversity of the delayed meet through the second night of competition in Mexico City.

Backstroker Robert Griswold continued his successful 2017 campaign with the team’s first victory in the 100 backstroke. His teammates then continued the momentum, including an incredible three-gold haul by Jessica Long on night two.

World Para Swimming Championships Day 1 Highlights

Team USA opened the World Para Swimming Championships in dominant fashion on Saturday, winning nine medals at the Francisco Marquez Olympic Swimming Pool to secure the top spot on the overall medal leaderboard.

Paralympian Robert Griswold (Freehold, New Jersey) started off a string of victories for Team USA, winning the S8 100-meter backstroke in a time of 1:04.17 to claim the first world title of his career. Completing the trio of individual gold medals were four-time Paralympic medalist McKenzie Coan (Clarkesville, Georgia) in the S7 100 freestyle (1:10.82) and Aspen Shelton (Willow Park, Texas) in the S12 100 back (1:10.12).

McClain Hermes (Dacula, Georgia) secured the first silver medal for Team USA, swimming the S11 100 free in a time of 1:19.67 to add the first world championship medal to her resume. Also kicking off the event with silver was Hannah Aspden (Raleigh, North Carolina) in the S9 100 back (1:14.99), Tucker Dupree (Raleigh, North Carolina) in the S12 100 back (1:03.08) and Gia Pergolini (Roswell, Georgia) in the S13 100 back (1:09.01).

En route to his first world championship medal, Tye Dutcher (Merced, California) swam to the bronze medal in the S10 100 back with a personal-best time of 1:03.81. Also securing bronze was two-time Paralympian Colleen Young (St. Louis, Missouri) in the S13 100 back (1:13.11).

Jessica Long (Baltimore, Maryland), 23-time Paralympic medalist, and Dupree were named U.S. captains for the world championships, while Curtis Lovejoy (Atlanta, Georgia) was selected as Team USA’s flag bearer in the Opening Ceremony.

OVERALL MEDAL COUNT

Team USA: 9
McKenzie Coan: 1 gold (S7 100 free)
Robert Griswold: 1 gold (S8 100 back)
Aspen Shelton: 1 gold (S12 100 back)
Hannah Aspden: 1 silver (S9 100 back)
Tucker Dupree: 1 silver (S12 100 back)
McClain Hermes: 1 silver (S11 100 free)
Gia Pergolini: 1 silver (S13 100 back)
Tye Dutcher: 1 bronze (S10 100 back)
Colleen Young: 1 bronze (S13 100 back)

QUOTES

“It feels amazing. I saw the schedule for the meet and thought to myself, ‘hey, I can make an impact and strike gold first.’ I did exactly what I wanted to do. I’ve been working really hard for this,” – Robert Griswold on winning the first gold for Team USA.

“It feels great. It’s the first time I’ve ever swam as an S11 in long course. It was a great first race and I’m excited to see what the rest of the week has to offer. It gives me confidence leading into my other four races,” – McClain Hermes.

“It was a lot of fun. It’s one of my favorite races and I get to swim with my favorite competitors from around the world, so it’s exciting,”– Hannah Aspden

World Para Swimming Championships Day 2 Highlights

U.S. athletes soared to 10 medals at the World Para Swimming Championships on Sunday. Team USA ranks first in the overall medal count with 19 total won at the Francisco Marquez Olympic Swimming Pool.

Four-time Paralympian and 23-time Paralympic medalist Long began the day by defending her world title in the SB7 100-meter breaststroke (1:35.48) before claiming the world crown in the S8 100 freestyle (1:06.83). Her third gold medal of the day was in the 4×100 34-point free relay alongside Hannah Aspden (Raleigh, North Carolina), McKenzie Coan (Clarkesville, Georgia) and Natalie Sims (Minneapolis).

Paralympic silver medalist Sophia Herzog (Fairplay, Colorado) became a world champion in the SB6 100 breast, finishing the race in 1:41.62, while teammate Julia Gaffney (Mayflower, Arkansas) earned her first world championships medal – a silver – in a time of 1:45.72 alongside Herzog. Gaffney made her name known at her world championships debut with an additional bronze in the S8 100 free (1:13.80).

With second-place finishes on Sunday, three U.S. athletes collected their second medals of the event, including Paralympic medalist Robert Griswold (Freehold, New Jersey) in the S8 400 free (4:41.40), Aspen Shelton (Willow Park, Texas) in the S12 100 free (1:04.71) and Paralympian McClain Hermes (Dacula, Georgia) in the S11 100 backstroke, marking a new American record with a time of 1:26.38.

Rounding out Team USA’s medal haul for Sunday was six-time Paralympic medalist Becca Meyers (Timonium, Maryland), who tallied a second-place finish in the S13 100 free (1:01.86).

OVERALL MEDAL COUNT

Team USA: 19
Jessica Long: 3 gold (SB7 100 breast, S8 100 free, 4×100 34-point free relay)
McKenzie Coan: 2 gold (S7 100 free, 4×100 34-point free relay)
Hannah Aspden: 1 gold (4×100 34-point free relay), 1 silver (S9 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)
Sophia Herzog: 1 gold (SB6 100 breast)
Natalie Sims: 1 gold (4×100 34-point free relay)
McClain Hermes: 2 silver (S11 100 free, S11 100 back)
Tucker Dupree: 1 silver (S12 100 back)
Julia Gaffney: 1 silver (SB6 100 breast), 1 bronze (S8 100 free)
Becca Meyers: 1 silver (S13 100 free)
Gia Pergolini: 1 silver (S13 100 back)
Tye Dutcher: 1 bronze (S10 100 back)
Colleen Young: 1 bronze (S13 100 back)

QUOTES

“It feels really good. I’m really honored to swim on Team USA, and I’m super excited that I’m able to swim fast and do the best I can. It’s always been my dream to race against Jessica Long, and now it’s amazing to share a podium with her,” – Julia Gaffney on winning two medals at her world championships debut.

“It’s an honor to be here and an honor to share the podium with Julia Gaffney. It’s her first world championships, so it will be awesome to share the podium with her and have another U.S. athlete up there with me,” – Sophia Herzog on sharing the podium with her teammate.

“It’s absolutely amazing. I just can’t even believe I’m here. I’m just glad I can represent my country and have a great time while doing it,” – Aspen Shelton on claiming two medals at her first world championships.

RESULTS

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

Press Releases courtesy of U.S. Paralympics. 

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Author: Diana Pimer

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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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