RIO DE JANEIRO – Three American swimmers collected hardware Wednesday night at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium courtesy of a gold-medal performance from McKenzie Coan (Clarkesville, Georgia), a silver-medal swim from Cortney Jordan (Henderson, Nevada) and a bronze-medal finish from Tucker Dupree (Raleigh, North Carolina). The trio sent Team USA’s swimming medal count to 27 for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games with 11 gold, nine silver and seven bronze medals after the seventh day of competition.
Coan left no doubt in any spectator’s mind that she owns the women’s S7 400-meter freestyle, touching the wall at 5:05.77 to snag her second gold in Rio. She won gold in the women’s S7 50 freestyle earlier in the week, completing a remarkable feat by taking first in the shortest and longest freestyle events offered at the Paralympic Games.
"Oh, my goodness that was so much fun,” Coan said with an enormous grin. “To be able to go one-two with Cortney (Jordan), I am really emotional. She is my hero. This is the greatest moment of my career."
Jordan was a lane over fromCoan in the women’s S7 400 freestyle and secured silver with a time of 5:18.20, giving her an 11th-career Paralympic Games medal.
"She's my training partner,” Jordan stated when asked about going gold-silver with Coan. “We've been doing this for four years. I moved to Baltimore, Maryland to be coached by Brian Loeffler, who's an incredible coach. We all moved together and it's an amazing training group. McKenzie is not only the best training partner, she's also one of my best friends.”
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Jordan, a soon-to-be fourth grade teacher, won silver in the women’s S7 50 butterfly and bronze in the women’s SM7 200 individual medley earlier in the meet. She will finish her individual events in Rio on Friday with the 100 freestyle.
Dupree gathered the third U.S. medal of the evening session with a bronze in the men’s S12 100 backstroke, finishing with a mark of 1:01.04. The medal signaled the fourth of his Paralympic career, sending his total to one silver and three bronze medals. Dupree will hope to add to his cache on the final day of competition with the 50 freestyle.
Navy veteran Brad Snyder (Baltimore, Maryland) provided a close race for bronze in the men’s S11 100 butterfly, but was slightly out-touched by Oleksandr Mashchenko of Ukraine, finishing fourth with a time of 1:03.52 compared to Mashchenko’s 1:03.38. Snyder has three medals to his name at the Rio Games, two gold and one bronze, and will finish his individual events with the 100 freestyle tomorrow.
Two-time Paralympian Dalton Herendeen (Elkhart, Indiana) crafted an impressive effort in the men’s SB8 100 breaststroke, concluding the race with a time of 1:14.71 for fourth place. The University of Mary Washington assistant swim coach will look for his first career medal tomorrow in the 400 freestyle.
Rebecca Meyers (Baltimore, Maryland) improved her seed by two slots to take sixth in the women’s S13 100 freestyle and finished with a career-best time of 28.58. The three-time Rio gold medalist has one individual event remaining at the Games, the 100 freestyle.
The U.S. men’s 4x100 freestyle 34 pt. relay marked the first time an American team has competed in a relay event at the Rio Games and finished in sixth with a time of 4:11.00. The squadron of Tye Dutcher (Merced, California), Evan Austin (Terre Haute, Indiana), Rudy Garcia-Tolson (Bloomington, California) and Robert Griswold (Freehold, New Jersey) represented the red, white and blue to beat fellow North American country Canada.
McClain Hermes (Dacula, Georgia) made her Paralympic-finals debut with a race in the women’s S12 100 backstroke. The 15-year-old Peach State resident went a 1:26.75 for eighth place in the event. She has completed all her individual events in Rio.
The swimming competition continues on Thursday with the preliminary session, starting at 9:30 a.m. BRT/8:30 a.m. ET. Finals start at 5:30 p.m. BRT/4:30 p.m. ET.
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