Michelle Konkoly (center), seen here at the 2016 U.S. Paralympic Trials, set a new world record in the women's S9 50-meter freestyle.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Day two of the 2016 U.S. Paralympic Swim Trials filled the Mecklenburg County Aquatic Center with excitement as Michelle Konkoly (Eagleville, Pennsylvania) broke the women’s S9 50 freestyle world record in both the preliminary and final rounds of the competition. Fellow competitors Alyssa Gialamas (Naperville, Illinois) and North Carolina native Tucker Dupree (Raleigh, North Carolina) each posted new American and Pan American records.
Konkoly entered the meet with the third best time in the world this year in the women's S9 50 freestyle with a mark of 29.38, trailing only Sarai Gascon of Spain and former world record holder Ellie Cole of Australia. Sparks flew early for Konkoly as she smashed Cole's record in the morning session of the meet with a time of 28.37. The Georgetown University alum then lowered her own world best with a 28.24 in the final.
"I had pretty high expectations for myself," Konkoly said. "My goal was to go a 28.6, which would have put me back at first in the world and I thought that was a very aggressive goal. I am so happy with my swim."
Konkoly proved to not be the only American breaking records on the second day of competition as Gialamas and Dupree followed suit with new American and Pan American records. Gialamas crafted a stellar 50 backstroke in the women’s S5 class, touching the wall at 47.47. The 2012 Paralympian cut a full second off her preliminary time in the opening event of the finals, setting the stage for a historic night in front of a packed house.
Dupree closed the last session of day two with a lightning-quick 24.03 in the men’s S12 50 freestyle, improving his 24.20 from the morning edition. Dupree took bronze in the event at the London 2012 Paralympic Games and is striving to make his third U.S. Paralympic Team.
Gialamas was one of three swimmers to leave the pool with multiple first-place finishes, joined by Noga Nir-Kistler (Allentown, Pennsylvania) and Lucas McCrory (Chapel Hill, North Carolina). Seventeen-time Paralympic medalist Jessica Long (Baltimore, Maryland) claimed a victory in the women's S8 100 butterfly and U.S. Navy veteran and two-time Paralympic gold medalist Brad Snyder (Baltimore, Maryland) erased three seconds off his preliminary time to win the men's S11 100 butterfly.
Competition finishes on Saturday with prelims and finals in the 150 individual medley, 200 individual medley, 100 freestyle and 100 backstroke. For full results, visit USParalympics.org/2016TeamTrials.
The 2016 U.S. Paralympic Team Trials – Swimming and Track & Field are being held in Charlotte, North Carolina, June 30 – July 2, and are hosted by Partners for Parks. Thanks to support from The Coca-Cola Company, BP, and Deloitte, the multi-sport Trials feature more than 400 athletes who are competing for a chance to qualify for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. All events are free and open to the public. For more information, visit USParalympics.org/2016TeamTrials.