2008 U.S. Paralympic Swimming Team Makes Strong Statement at Can-Am Championships

July 14, 2008, 1:01 p.m. (ET)
VICTORIA, British Columbia-The 2008 U.S. Paralympic Swimming Team has sent the world a message.  That message included an astonishing 36 American records, 18 PanAmerican records and five world records - all set during this weekend's Can-Am Championships for Swimmers with a Disability.

The women put on a particularly dominating performance, scoring all five of the team's world records.  Leading the way was Ashley Owens (Stockbridge, Ga.) who set two new world records in the S10 200m and 400m freestyle.

Also claiming world records were Anna Eames (Golden Valley, Minn.) in the S10 50m butterfly, Susan Beth Scott (Cape Girardeau, Mo./Colorado Springs, Colo.) in the S10 800m freestyle and Jessica Long (Baltimore, Md.) in the S8 100m butterfly.  Long's performance in that event also earned her Swim of the Meet honors and she claimed the meet's Swim of the Day on both Friday (100m butterfly) and Saturday (200m IM).

The men also made an impressive showing throughout the weekend.  Justin Zook (Plymouth, Minn.) broke two American records on the same day (S10 50m butterfly and 200m backstroke) and on the final day of competition Cody Bureau (Latrobe, Pa./Colorado Springs, Colo.) swam to new American and PanAmerican records in the S9 200m butterfly with a time of 2:23.36.  Jarrett Perry (Wichita, Kan./Colorado Springs, Colo.) also took home the final Swim of the Day honors with his performance in the 100m backstroke on Sunday.

"Overall the team looks fantastic," said Julie O'Neill (Colorado Springs, Colo.), U.S. team head coach.  "Most of them are in the middle of a hard training cycle right now and despite that there were still many lifetime best swims, new records, and great races.  All of the coaching staff is very pleased with how the team looks heading into Beijing."

Thirty-five of the 38 athletes that will be competing at the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing, September 6-17, traveled to Canada for the Can-Am meet.  This served as the final tune-up meet before the athletes depart for China.