VICTORIA, British Columbia--If the competition at this weekend's Can-Am Championships is any indication of what awaits for U.S. swimming athletes at the upcoming Paralympic Games, then there will be much for the Americans to celebrate in Beijing.
The team took its cue from Jessica Long (Baltimore, Md.) and Susan Beth Scott (Cape Girardeau, Mo./Colorado Springs, Colo.), who set the tone for the meet by each breaking a world record in the morning preliminaries. Long's record came in the S8 100m butterfly (1:12.90) and Scott set her new record in the S10 800m freestyle (9:40.00).
"I felt like I had a really good swim, even though it was a tough race at the end of a long prelim session," said the 16-year old Scott. "I'm excited to now have the world record in both the 400m and 800m freestyle."
Ashley Owens (Stockbridge, Ga.) added to the U.S.'s first-day world record tally by demolishing her own record in the S10 200m freestyle. Owens set this mark at last summer's Can-Am meet and this year knocked nearly five seconds of her time, lowering the record to 2:14.10. This is also a new American and PanAmerican record.
Cortney Jordan (Henderson, Nev.) also highlighted the women's team performances, swimming to a new American and PanAmerican record in the S7 200m freestyle in a time of 2:43.43. Jordan broke the PanAmerican record she set in the morning prelims and also took down the American record previously held by teammate Erin Popovich (Silverbow, Mont.)
Not to be left out of the fun, the men also put up a number of record-breaking results as well. Michael Prout (West Springfield, Mass.) toppled his own American and PanAmerican record in the S9 200m freestyle (2:08.07) and Roy Perkins (Del Mar, Calif.) knocked off his own record in the S5 200m freestyle (2:52.65).
In total, U.S. athletes broke 18 American records, 11 PanAmerican records and three world records on the first day of competition.
The Can-Am Championships continue throughout the weekend. Live results can be found at https://www.swimming.ca/liveresults/08CANAM/