GRESHAM, Ore. - Six months after the 2008 Summer Paralympic Games in Beijing, the U.S. Paralympic Swimming Team is still breaking records.
At day one of the 2009 Spring Can-Am Swimming Championships, the team broke a total of 15 records including five world records.
Newcomer Mallory Weggemann
(Eagan, Minn.) broke three American records in the 100 freestyle (S6), 200 freestyle (S6) and 100 fly (S6). She is hoping for more tomorrow.
"I've dropped significant time since I started swimming for the Paralympics in April," said Weggemann. "I've been training really hard and I'm looking forward to the rest of the meet."
Preparing for the Can-Am, Joe Wise
(Menlo Park, Calif.)
knew he wanted to break a world record. This morning, he shattered one in the 800 freestyle (S10).
"I've been training for months to break that record," said Wise. "It feels great to finally get it done."
Wise lowered the previous record of 9.02.29 set last year by more than six seconds. The new record stands at 8.55.73. Michael Hughes
and Philip Scholz
(Mount Sinai, N.Y.) both broke American and Pan American records in the preliminary heats and then again in the finals. Scholz lowered the 50 backstroke record (S11) to 35.99 and Hughes lowered the mark in the 50 backstroke (S6) with a time of 51.58. Roy Perkins
(Del Mar, Calif.)
doesn't swim the 100 butterfly (S5) very often in competition, but when he does the Beijing gold medalist does so in record setting time. Perkins lowered his own world record by almost two seconds to 1.25.37.
"It felt great to break my record," said Perkins. "Hopefully I can break the 50 butterfly (S5) world record tomorrow too."Kelley Becherer
(Sheboygan, Wisc.) often finds herself swimming good friend Valérie Grand'Maison
of Montreal in the finals. The two met three times in Beijing with each winning a gold medal and are set to meet a few more times in this competition.
"We are pretty good friends, but as soon as we get in the pool it's all about competition," said Becherer. "It's a healthy rivalry."
Becherer has the upper hand in the rivalry after winning gold in the 200 freestyle (S13) and 100 fly (S13) this evening. The two are set to meet again tomorrow in the 50 freestyle (S13), 50 butterfly (S13) and 400 freestyle (S13).
Women's 400m IM (SM7) - Deb Gruen (Hamden, Conn.) - 7.34.74 (1) (World Record) (American Record) (Pan American Record)
Women's 800m Freestyle (S6) - Miranda Uhl (Alachua. Fla.) - 12.53.84 (1) (American Record) (Pan American Record)
Women's 400m IM (SM9) - Anna Johannes - 5.55.44 (1) (American Record)Men's 200m Free (S7) - Tom Miazga (Milwaukee, Wisc.) - 2.27.66 (1) (Pan American Record)
Women's 100m Breaststroke (SB7) - Jessica Long (Baltimore, Md.) - 1.33.30 (1)
Men's 200m Freestyle (S9) - Michael Prout (West Springfield, Mass.) - 2.13.85 (1)