U.S. Paralympics News Team USA Closes Para...

Team USA Closes Para Swimming Nationals With 30 Records

By Kendra Hansey | Dec. 17, 2018, 12:57 a.m. (ET)

Leanne Smith competing at the 2018 U.S. Paralympics Swimming Para National Championships presented by Toyota in Tucson, Arizona.

  • U.S. swimmers finish Para swimming nationals with two world, seven Pan American and 21 American records

  • McKenzie Coan sets a new world record in the 1,500-meter freestyle

TUCSON, Ariz. – Following three days of competition at the 2018 U.S. Paralympics Swimming Para National Championships presented by Toyota, 27 records were set by U.S. athletes, including two world, seven Pan American and 21 American, at Oro Valley Aquatic Center in Tucson, Arizona.

Concluding nationals with a standout performance, four-time Paralympic medalist McKenzie Coan (Clarkesville, Georgia) set a new world record in the S7 1,500-meter freestyle with a time of 20:20.78. The two-time Paralympian rounded out the weekend claiming three additional national titles in the 400 free, 100 backstroke and 100 free.

Four athletes - Paralympian Curtis Lovejoy (Atlanta, Georgia), Leanne Smith (Salem, Massachusetts), Matthew Torres (Ansonia, Connecticut) and Breanna Sprenger (Sheffield Lake, Ohio) - leave Arizona with the most national titles to their name after winning five events. Smith was named “Swimmer of the Meet” after accruing the most points in the Can Am points system.

The 2018 U.S. Paralympics Swimming Para National Championships presented by Toyota marked the final meet of the year for Team USA. International competition returns in February 2019, with athletes competing in Melbourne, Australia, to kick off the World Para Swimming World Series. Indianapolis will be one of the seven stops on the world series circuit, with competition being held April 4-6.


McKenzie Coan

“I am so excited. I knew going into the race that it was going to be a hard record to get so I had a strategy in mind of just keeping focus and finding my pace early on and keeping with it. The [1500] is actually one of my favorite events to swim, because I just like to find that rhythm and go. I had so much fun. On the last 50, I was like ‘Just go! You’ve got this.’ The last little bit of it, I hit the wall and looking up at it - it was just the best feeling.”

Leslie Cichocki: S14 100 butterfly (American; 1:13.94); 50 fly (31.81)
McKenzie Coan: S7 1,500 free (world, Pan American, American; 20:20.78)
Mikaela Jenkins: S10 200 fly (Pan American; 2:34.89); 100 fly (Pan American, American; 1:08.90*)
Gia Pergolini: S13 100 back (American; 1:07.97*)

Jonathan Pierce: S14 1500 free (American; 18:48.24)
Carson Sanocki: SB13 200 breast (American; 2:26.35), 100 breast (American; 1:08.63*), 50 breast (American; 31.66)
Lawrence Sapp: S14 200 free (American; 2:05.29)
Leanne Smith: S3 200 free (Pan American, American; 3:41.34*)
Liam Smith: S6 400 free (American; 5:40.59*); 100 free (!:13.33)
Breanna Sprenger: S1 100 fly (American; 5:29.18)
Colleen Young: SB13 200 breast (world, Pan American, American; 2:50.75)

*Set record in prelims and finals.


Full results from the 2018 U.S. Paralympics Swimming Para National Championships presented by Toyota can be found here. Follow U.S. Paralympics Swimming on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Editor's note: This recap has been updated to reflect the proper record count after the final post-meet calculation and confirmation.

Related Athletes

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McKenzie Coan

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Curtis Lovejoy

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Leanne Smith

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Colleen Young

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Gia Pergolini

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Lawrence Sapp