What To Watch at the World Para Swimming World Series In Indianapolis

By Stafford Braxton | June 07, 2017, 3:35 p.m. (ET)

 
Michelle Konkoly will lead the roster into the three-day competition in Indianapolis. 

Team USA’s best athletes are gearing up for the fourth stop of the 2017 World Para Swimming World Series, with competition set to take place at Indiana University Natatorium from June 9-11. The season has shown remarkable success with U.S. athletes breaking records at the previous three stops of the world series circuit. With the final stop of the series taking place in Berlin from July 6-9, swimmers are looking to make an impact in hopes of being selected for the World Para Swimming Championships from Sept. 30 – Oct. 6 in Mexico City.

The event brings together over 150 athletes from across 18 countries, including Great Britain, Germany and Australia. Team USA will be comprised of 69 athletes, nine of which medaled at the Paralympic Games Rio 2016. Paralympic powerhouse Michelle Konkoly (Eagleville, Pennsylvania) will lead the team after leaving Rio with four medals, including two golds. Joining her will be three-time Paralympic gold medalist McKenzie Coan (Clarkesville, Georgia), six-time Paralympic medalist Rebecca Meyers (Baltimore, Maryland) and three-time Paralympian Cortney Jordan (Henderson, Nevada). Army Sargent Elizabeth Marks (Prescott Valley, Arizona) will also join the squad after recently setting the American, Pan American and world record in the SB7 200-meter breaststroke at the Jimi Flowers Classic in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

With the nation’s best Paralympians and Paralympic hopefuls together in the pool, here are some key events to watch during the three days of competition:

Familiar Territory
Two-time Paralympian Evan Austin (Terre Haute, Indiana) and two-time medalist Elizabeth Smith (Muncie, Indiana) are two natives set to compete at the historic IU Natatorium this weekend. Austin grew up just outside of Indianapolis and has been swimming at the state-of-the-art facility since 2002 when he began his career. Next weekend, he will tackle the 50 freestyle, 100 breast, and 200 individual medley with hopes of improving his swims from the previous world series stops in Sheffield, Great Britain, and Copenhagen, Denmark, earlier this year. Smith hopes to capitalize off her Rio success after walking away with a silver and bronze medal in the relay events. With top finishes in the 50 free and 100 butterfly in Sheffield, she will vie for a top podium spot in her home state.

Emerging Champions
As an opportunity to gain experience on the international level, Team USA’s Emerging Athlete Team and National B Team will arrive in Indianapolis in full force with 19 athletes representing the rising squad. The team will be led by standouts Zachary Shattuck (Mt. Airy, Maryland) and two-time Paralympian Letticia Martinez (Las Cruces, New Mexico), both of whom have shown success on the world series circuit up to this point. Additional athletes to look out for include U.S. Olympic Training Center Resident Team athletes Roderick Sewell (Spring Valley, California) in the 100 breast, Jacob Pruett (Phoenix, Arizona) in the 400 free, Garner Moss (Madison, Wisconsin) in the 200 free and Samantha Tubbs (King George, Virginia) in the 100 breast.

Sheffield Success
As the team transitions into the next stop on the world series, the top performances in Sheffield cannot be ignored. Meyers undoubtedly had a fantastic meet, taking two first-place finishes in the 100 fly and 400 free. Martinez was next on the podium, grabbing silver in the 50 free. Shattuck will be looking for redemption after showing promise in the 50 fly, but finishing just off the podium in fourth. Lastly, look for Rio silver medalist Sophia Herzog (Fairplay, Colorado) to make a strong comeback in her signature event, the 100 breast, after finishing seventh in Great Britain.

Follow U.S. Paralympics on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook for updated information during the event. The event will be hosted at the IU Natatorium and will begin on Friday, June 9 and conclude on Sunday, June 11. Full results can be found here.