U.S. Opens World Para Swimming Championships With Nine Medals

By Olivia Truby | Dec. 02, 2017, 11:30 p.m. (ET)

Robert Griswold claimed the first gold for Team USA at the World Para Swimming Championships in Mexico City.

MEXICO CITY - Team USA opened the World Para Swimming Championships in dominant fashion on Saturday, winning nine medals at the Francisco Marquez Olympic Swimming Pool to secure the top spot on the overall medal leaderboard. 

Paralympian Robert Griswold (Freehold, New Jersey) started off a string of victories for Team USA, winning the S8 100-meter backstroke in a time of 1:04.17 to claim the first world title of his career. Completing the trio of individual gold medals were four-time Paralympic medalist McKenzie Coan (Clarkesville, Georgia) in the S7 100 freestyle (1:10.82) and Aspen Shelton (Willow Park, Texas) in the S12 100 back (1:10.12).

McClain Hermes (Dacula, Georgia) secured the first silver medal for Team USA, swimming the S11 100 free in a time of 1:19.67 to add the first world championship medal to her resume. Also kicking off the event with silver was Hannah Aspden (Raleigh, North Carolina) in the S9 100 back (1:14.99), Tucker Dupree (Raleigh, North Carolina) in the S12 100 back (1:03.08) and Gia Pergolini (Roswell, Georgia) in the S13 100 back (1:09.01). 

En route to his first world championship medal, Tye Dutcher (Merced, California) swam to the bronze medal in the S10 100 back with a personal-best time of 1:03.81. Also securing bronze was two-time Paralympian Colleen Young (St. Louis, Missouri) in the S13 100 back (1:13.11). 

Jessica Long (Baltimore, Maryland), 23-time Paralympic medalist, and Dupree were named U.S. captains for the world championships, while Curtis Lovejoy (Atlanta, Georgia) was selected as Team USA’s flag bearer in the Opening Ceremony. 

OVERALL MEDAL COUNT
Team USA: 9
McKenzie Coan: 1 gold (S7 100 free)
Robert Griswold: 1 gold (S8 100 back)
Aspen Shelton: 1 gold (S12 100 back)
Hannah Aspden: 1 silver (S9 100 back)
Tucker Dupree: 1 silver (S12 100 back)
McClain Hermes: 1 silver (S11 100 free)
Gia Pergolini: 1 silver (S13 100 back)
Tye Dutcher: 1 bronze (S10 100 back)
Colleen Young: 1 bronze (S13 100 back)

QUOTES
Robert Griswold
On winning the first gold for Team USA...
“It feels amazing. I saw the schedule for the meet and thought to myself, ‘hey, I can make an impact and strike gold first.’ I did exactly what I wanted to do. I’ve been working really hard for this."

McClain Hermes
“It feels great. It’s the first time I’ve ever swam as an S11 in long course. It was a great first race and I’m excited to see what the rest of the week has to offer. It gives me confidence leading into my other four races.”

Hannah Aspden
“It was a lot of fun. It’s one of my favorite races and I get to swim with my favorite competitors from around the world, so it’s exciting.”

RESULTS
Full results from the World Para Swimming Championships can be found here. Follow U.S. Paralympics on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook for updated information during the event.