Leslie Cichocki tops the podium on day three in Toronto

By Annemarie Blanco | Aug. 10, 2015, 8:58 p.m. (ET)


Team USA swimmer Leslie Cichocki, pictured above, snagged gold in day three's competition. 

TORONTO-It was a night of close finishes for Team USA swimmers who managed to add three more medals to their tally at the 2015 Parapan American Games, bringing the team’s total number of podium wins to 13. The team ended Monday night’s competition having won one gold, one silver and one bronze medal.

In an intense fight to the finish, Leslie Cichocki (Palos Hills, Illinois) struck gold after outlasting Canada’s Kirstie Kasko by only three-tenths of a second in the women’s 100-meter backstroke S14 (1:16.01).

“Before the race I was getting excited,” Cichocki said. “The race was good. I was focusing on my technique as I have been doing that in training and on my stroke as well. I will be building upon this race for the rest of the competition." 

Haley Bernanbaum (Snohomish, Washington) continued her streak of daily podium appearances winning Team USA’s first medal of the evening for the second day in a row. She beat out Brazil’s Leticia Lucas to take the silver medal in the women’s 50-meter butterfly S5 shaving off nearly five seconds from her qualifying time.

"I focused on keeping a constant kick that was always going and never pausing,” Bernanbaum explained. “I kept my arms straight out without a bend as well. It felt good; I felt really strong and there were some really fast competitors." 

Sophia Herzog (Fairplay, Colorado) also outlasted her competitors in a close race for the bronze in the women’s 50 freestyle S6 after clocking in at 39.71-seconds. The win marks Herzog’s first individual medal at the Games and second overall after helping Team USA capture silver in last night’s nail-biting, mixed 4x50 freestyle relay 20 pts.

“It feels really good,” said Herzog. “We’ve been training really hard at the training center so it’s nice to see all of my hard work paying off. I’m really looking forward to my 100 breaststroke tomorrow and then my 100 freestyle the next day.”

Anna Johannes (Colorado Springs, Colorado) just missed the podium in two separate races touching the wall fourth in the women’s 100 butterfly in 1:12.85 and again later that evening in the women’s 50 freestyle S9 (31.27), missing the bronze medal spot by less than two-tenths of a second.

Other notable performances of the night included Tom Miazga’s (Cedarburg, Wisconsin) fifth place finish in the men’s 100 butterfly S8 (1:25.40), Casandra Shaffer’s (Bend, Oregon) sixth place ending in the women’s 50 freestyle S6 (42.16), a sixth place finish for McClain Hermes (Dacula, Georgia) in the women’s 100 breaststroke S13 (1:38.58) and Nelya Schasfoort’s (Avon Lake, Ohio) seventh place finish in the women’s 50 freestyle S7 (42.91).

Natalie Sims (Edina, Minnesota) clocked in just behind Anna Johannes placing sixth in women’s 100 butterfly (1:16.13) and fifth in the 50 freestyle S9. Serafina King (Santa Monica, California) concluded the night’s events finishing in fifth place during the women’s 50 freestyle S10 (31.02).

Another full day of exciting swimming races will resume on Tuesday, August 11 at the CIBC Aquatics Center with live streaming available for the U.S. on the IPC website. For schedules, medal updates and share worthy photos, check out TeamUSA.org/ParapanAm