MIAMI ― Highlighted by a Pan American record from newcomer Michelle Konkoly in the women’s 50-meter freestyle, American swimmers continued to rewrite the record books on the second day of the 2014 U.S. Paralympics Swimming Spring National Championships/Spring CanAms at Miami’s Ransom Everglades School. The event, which includes more than 200 athletes from around the world, serves as the U.S. team qualifier for the Pan Pacific Para-Swimming Championships in August.
After setting an American record in the women’s 100m free S9 with a 1:03.94 swim on Thursday, Georgetown University swimmer Konkoly (Eagleville, Pa.) set a Pan American record in the 50m freestyle with a 30.06. She is competing in one of her first U.S. Paralympics swimming events, having sustained a spinal cord injury in January 2011 when she fell five stories from her dorm room window.
“It’s good to see new athletes come into the fray, whether it’s in my events or others,” said two-time Paralympic gold medalist and silver medalist Brad Snyder (Baltimore, Md.), who won two events on Friday. “The growth of Paralympic sport is what I get excited about.”
Snyder, a U.S. Navy veteran who had a brief hiatus from competition following the London 2012 Paralympic Games, won both the 50m free S11 and 100m backstroke S11 Friday in Miami.
“This meet is great and these events are great tests along the way,” Snyder said. “My vision is out towards Rio. The Paralympic Games are my target and competitions like this one are just measuring points along the road to Rio.”
Alyssa Gialamas, a 2012 U.S. Paralympian from Naperville, Ill., who also has her sights set on Rio, broke the Pan American record in the women’s 100m back S5. She swam a 1:45.11.
Kayla Wheeler (Lynnwood, Wash.), who broke a world record during Day 1, set American records in the women’s 50m free S2 with a 1:23.97 and 50m breaststroke S1 with a 2:06.94.
Leslie Cichocki (Palos Hills, Ill.), set a record in the women’s 200m individual medley SM14, an event she won with a 2:45.40, and the 100m back S14, where she finished second to Canadian Kristie Kasko 1:16.57 to 1:17.62. Cichocki broke the American records in those events in both the morning preliminaries and the evening finals.
Still recovering from knee surgery, six-time Paralympic medalist Roy Perkins (Del Mar, Calif.) swam an American record 1:48.98 in the men’s 100m back S5 in the morning then bettered it in the finals, swimming 1:47.39. “My goal for this season is to make the Pan Pacs my fastest meet ever,” he said.
Duncan Moss (Madison, Wis.), an S14, swam an American record 1:19.20 in the men’s 100m back in the morning. In the finals, he lowered his time to 1:18.95, although he finished fourth behind Canadian trio Adam Rahier (1:07.28), Gordie Michie (1:09.22) and Maxime Rousselle (1:12.06).
Three-time U.S. Paralympian Jessica Long (Baltimore, Md.), who has 17 Paralympic medals, won two events on Friday, the women’s 200m IM SM8 and the women’s 100m back S8.
Competition concludes Saturday.
For more information, please contact Jamie Blanchard, U.S. Paralympics, at 719-237-2179 or Jamie.Blanchard@usoc.org.