TORONTO - American pride was seeping through the walls of the CIBC Aquatics Center as Team USA took home nine medals comprised of three gold, three silver and three bronze on the fourth day of the Parapan American Games competition in Toronto.
It was an exciting one-two finish for Reilly Boyt (Fort Collins, Colorado) and Sophia Herzog (Fairplay, Colorado) in the women’s 100 backstroke SB6 as Boyt grabbed the first gold medal of the day in 1:45.69. U.S. teammate Herzog was right behind her to take silver (1:48.00). The pair rejoined in the water later in the evening to take home another gold-silver medal finish in the women’s 200 IM S6. Boyt, who broke a Parapan American record, took the first place spot in 3:23.00, with Herzog grabbing silver in 3:23.21.
"We just wanted to get the U.S. on the podium and just do our best,” said Boyt. “I think we achieved that."
Roderick Sewell (Florence, Alabama) took to the podium with a bronze as Team USA’s first medal winner of the day after a strong finish in the men’s 100-meter breaststroke S6 (1:40.59).
"It's overwhelming to be here and it's getting us prepared for Rio,” Sewell said. “This is definitely an uplifting event to get ready for Rio. Overall I’m very proud of the way it went today. I've been struggling with this event for a while now, but I practiced and today it all came together."
Anna Johannes (Colorado Springs, Colorado) added a second medal to her collection in the women’s 100 breaststroke S8 despite almost losing her cap midway through the race. Johannes clocked in with a time of 1:29.30 behind Canada’s Katarina Roxon.
“It wasn’t exactly the time I was looking for but I gave it my all,” Johannes said after the race. “My cap came halfway off during my swim so I was just thinking finish the race, you got this. I think my pull outs were amazing and I had a really good flip turn; you can’t ever say bad things about a silver, so I’m very, very happy with that.”
Lucas McCrory (Chapel Hill, North Carolina) made his first podium appearance in Toronto winning a bronze medal in the men’s 200 IM S7 (2:57.77). Serafina King (Santa Monica, California) also nabbed her first medal of the games taking bronze in the women’s 400 freestyle S10 (4:58.78). After the race, she gushed about the influence her teammates had on her making the podium.
“I think I did really well, I dropped a total of five seconds in my race which is pretty exciting, it’s hard to drop that amount of time,” said King. “I was definitely a little nervous before the race but all I thought about was how pain lasts only for a few seconds, but glory lasts forever. Before the race I told my teammates to raise their hand during the race if I was still in third and that’s what I focused on. My teammates are the only reason I got a medal.”
Paralympian Mallory Weggemann (Eagan, Minnesota) increased her medal count to four after winning her first Parapan gold to end an amazing night for Team USA. Taking to the water with a fury, Weggemann set a Parapan American record after finishing the women’s 200 IM in 3:02.14.
Other notable performances of the night included a fifth place finish for Tom Miazga (Cedarburg, Wisconsin), men’s 200 IM S8 (2:46.53); McClain Hermes (Dacula, Georgia), sixth place finish in the women’s 50 freestyle S12 (35.67); a seventh place finish for Kayla Wheeler (Lynnwood, Washington), women’s 50 breaststroke S3; and Haley Beranbaum (Snohomish, Washington), sixth place finish in the women’s 200 IM S6 (4:09.87).
To check out the action at the CIBC Aquatics Center, visit the IPC website for live streaming or head over to TeamUSA.org/Parapan for breaking news. Day five of the 2015 Parapan American swimming competition will resume on August 12 starting at 9 a.m. EST.