Kelley Becherer sets new world mark on final day of CanAms

By Traci Hendrix | April 06, 2013, 11 p.m. (ET)
Kelley Becherer
Kelley Becherer, pictured at the London 2012 Paralympic Games, broke a world record on the final day of competition in Minneapolis. 

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The last day of the U.S. Paralympics Spring Swimming Nationals/2013 Spring CanAm proved to be a great success for U.S. swimmers. More than 10 records were broken on the final night of competition at the University of Minnesota.

Kayla Wheeler (Seattle, Wash.) was awarded Swimmer of the Meet.

Wheeler broke two more American records - in the 200 meter freestyle and 200m freestyle split (S1) in 6:00.64 and 2:54.52, respectively. The CanAm LC Performance points charts determine which swimmers are the top performers each day. Day 1-3 female Swimmer of the Day was awarded to Wheeler which ultimately led to her being awarded the Swimmer of the Meet.

U.S. Paralympian Kelley Becherer (Sheboygan, Wis.) broke the world, Pan American and American records with a 32.61 swim in the 50m backstroke in the women’s S13 class. Justin Zook (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) broke the American record in men’s S10 50m backstroke in 59.33.

The 200m breaststroke American record was broken by Elizabeth Wasil (Colorado Springs, Colo.) with her 3:34.14 in the SB9 class, and in men’s SB1 event, Curtis Lovejoy (Atlanta, Ga.) set a new American record in 7:33.26.

Three more American records were set in the women’s S11 50m backstroke by Letticia Martinez (Las Cruces, N.M.), Elizabeth Smith (Muncie, Ind.) in the S9 class and Alyssa Gialamas (Naperville, Ill.), who finished in 50.39, setting a PanAm record in the S5 class.

Ryan Duemler (Colorado Springs, Colo.) broke a 13-year-old American record with his swim in the 400m freestyle (S8) with a time of 4:40.78. Duemler broke two records during the three day meet.

"I’m speechless - It hurt like no other!,” Duemler said. “My coach Dave Denniston has helped me out a lot and really pushed me to the next level. I have great training partners including Jessica long who push me in every practice. I really hope my times here make the worlds team!"

During the course of the meet, U.S. swimmers set six world records, and collectively broke 28 American records and 12 Pan Am records.

Results from the performances in this meet will be used to determine who will be named to the U.S. Paralympics Swimming World Championships Team that will compete in Montreal, Canada, Aug. 11-17. The roster will be announced next week.