|Mallory Weggemann won silver medals in the 400-meter freestyle S8 and 50-meter freestyle S8 on Aug. 9, 2015 in Toronto.|
TORONTO — Team USA continued its podium quest winning five medals, including four silver and one bronze, on the second day of competition at the 2015 Parapan American Games in Toronto, Canada.
Haley Bernanbaum (Snohomish, Washington) secured the first medal of the day, her second overall, to kick off the morning session after finishing second in the women’s 100-meter breaststroke S5 with a time of 2:10.80.
“Today was a really good day,” said Bernanbaum. “I got to race against some really great swimmers and they pushed me as hard as I could go. I dropped two seconds off my time [off my personal best], got silver and hopefully I’ll get gold tomorrow.
Paralympian Mallory Weggemann (Eagan, Minnesota) continued to shine in the pool winning two medals, giving her three total podium finishes in her first two days of racing. She swam strong in the women’s 400 freestyle S8 clocking in a time of 5:24.84 to take home second place. In what was sure to be the wildest race of the day, she edged out Brazil’s Cecilia Jeronimo by one-hundredth of a second to take silver in the women’s 50 freestyle S8 clocking in at 32.04-seconds, only four-hundredths of a second behind Canada’s Morgan Bird who took first place with a time of :32.00.
“Being here at the Parapan Am Games is absolutely amazing,” Weggemann gushed after her second medal in less than two hours. “It’s been quite the journey for me in the past year in a half. I had a severe arm injury about a year and a half ago and we’re still battling that so this is a good stepping stone going into Rio. Coming off of yesterday’s 100 backstroke and coming home with bronze in that and our 14-year-old Ahalya winning gold, I was just jazzed coming into today. The 400 was a great time for me, I was able to snake silver and then tonight the 50 free, what a race. The top three were within five one-hundredths of a second, it was crazy.”
With a time of 5:09.46, Anna Johannes (Colorado Springs, Colorado) shined in her first race at the Parapan American Games winning bronze in the women’s 400 freestyle S9.
“I’m just so happy,” Johannes said. “It feels so amazing to medal and go ahead and get the hard one out of the way.”
Gold medalist Ahalya Lettenberger (Glen Ellen, Illinois), who won gold in yesterday’s 100m backstroke, just missed the podium on Sunday with a fourth place finish in the women’s 400 freestyle S8 with a time of 5:29.00. Other notable performances of the day included a fourth place finish for Natalie Sims (Edina, Minnesota) in the women’s 400 freestyle S9, a fifth place finish for McClain Hermes (Dacula, Georgia) in the women’s 100 backstroke and a seventh place finish for Tom Miazga (Cedarburg, Wisconsin) in the men’s 50 freestyle S8.
To cap off the night, Team USA won silver in the mixed 4x50m freestyle relay 20 pts. Five-time Paralympian Curtis Lovejoy (Atlanta, Georgia) began the competition with a strong start kicking off superb performances by Sophia Herzog (Fairplay, Colorado) and Zachary Shattuck (Mt. Airy, Maryland). Reilly Boyt (Fort Collins, Colorado) was able to hold off her close competitors to bring home a podium finish for Team USA.
Day three of swimming competitions for the 2015 Parapan American Games will resume tomorrow, August 10, at the CIBC Aquatics Center beginning at 9 a.m. EST. Live streaming will be available throughout the week on the IPC website. Fans can also visit TeamUSA.org/Parapan and follow @USParalympics on Twitter for up-to-the minute results, schedules and much more.