Tye Dutcher competing in the S10 100-meter backstroke at the 2018 U.S. Paralympics Swimming Para National Championships presented by Toyota in Tucson, Arizona.
- Nine athletes won two national titles
- Mallory Weggemann captures tight win in return to competitive swimming
TUCSON, Ariz. – Thirty-seven athletes captured national titles on the second day of the 2018 U.S. Paralympics Swimming Para National Championships presented by Toyota. Of those athletes, nine won two titles in the same day at Oro Valley Aquatic Center in Tucson, Arizona.
Paralympians Tye Dutcher (Phoenix, Arizona), Curtis Lovejoy (Atlanta, Georgia), McClain Hermes (Dacula, Georgia), Hannah Aspden (Raleigh, North Carolina) and Elizabeth Marks (Prescott Valley, Arizona) each captured two national titles.
Adin Williams (Happy Valley, Oregon) defended his 2017 crown in the S6 50-meter freestyle, shaving off exactly one second off his 2017 time to finish with a time of 33.84. Mikaela Jenkins (Evansville, Indiana) set the sole Pan American record of the day after posting a time of 2:34.89 in the S10 200 butterfly. The 15-year-old went on to win the S10 100 backstroke.
In a tight race, Mallory Weggemann (Eagan, Minnesota) edged out the field by half a second to take the crown in the S8 50 free. The two-time Paralympian has been on a hiatus since the Paralympic Games Rio 2016, with this being her second meet since returning to competitive swimming and with her eyes set on Tokyo 2020.
Sunday is the final day of competition with the first session beginning at 9 a.m. MT and the second session at 4 p.m.
“Going into this meet, it was a lot of learning and gauging where we’re at after being out since Rio. There were a lot of question marks and still trying to figure out the new normal and where my body’s at as we get ready for Tokyo . This was a big learning experience for us, but I think we’ve tucked away some good swims in the process which has been great.”
“We’re really just focusing on the grind that comes with coming back into a sport after being out for as long as we were out.”
With regard to the 50 free...
“In the past three months, we’ve done a little bit of work which is good -- clearly it’s paying off. I was completely shocked by that. I didn’t know what to expect in the 50 -- that’s my gold medal back from London  so obviously that’s kind of like my baby, but that was more than what I anticipated coming so I’m pretty stoked.”
“I felt good. With training, we’re in mid season, obviously, so we’re not tapered or anything so it’s good to see where I’m at.”
With regard to areas to emphasize more in training...
“More training, more yards, more technique and just the finer things.”