Matthew Torres celebrates after breaking the men's 1500m freestyle world record. (Photo: Joey Kirkman)
GREENSBORO –Paralympic medalist and Fairfield University swimmer Matthew Torres (Norwalk, Connecticut) shattereda21-year-old world record (pending official verification)by almost a minute route to his second gold medal of the 2021U.S. Paralympics Swimming National Championships, presented by Toyota, to lead Team USA on the second day of competition.
All races at the meet are mixed class, and results are based on the World Para Swimming points system to create an equitable field of play among the different classes.
Cheered on by his coach and family in the stands, Torres swam a 17:42.44 in the men’s 1500m freestyle, smashing the previous record of 18:39.88, which was set by American Jason Wening on June 25, 2000. Torres was the lone male athlete to swim the event today.
“My coach and I came out here specifically for the mile, it was the main event we were getting ready for, and I’ve had my eye on the world record for a while,” Torres said. “I was really excited;it’sdefinitely been a long time in the making. I remember a few years back I just narrowly missed out on the record, and I told myself I was going to get it next time. I understand it’s not a Paralympic event at the Games, but it still feels really good to have accomplished this.”
Torres is in the middle of his collegiate swimming season and coming off a summer that saw him win his first Paralympic medal, a bronze in the men’s 400m freestyle S8 in Tokyo. The 19-year-old also swam the finals of the men’s 100m backstroke tonight and took fourth.
Two-time Paralympian McClain Hermes (Dacula, Georgia) won her second medal of the weekend, taking gold in the women’s 1500m with a time of 22:08.64. She was followed by silver medalist Cali Prochaska (Fort Wayne, Indiana), who continued her strong showing at the championships after nabbing two bronze medalsyesterday. Tokyo Paralympian Makayla Nietzel (Crystal Lake, Illinois) finished third.
Parker Egbert (Greenwood, South Carolina) continued his national championships dominance, picking up his third gold medal of the meet. He won the men’s 100m butterfly and men’s 400m freestyle yesterday, and edged teammate and fellow S14 athlete Lawrence Sapp (Waldorf, Maryland) in the men’s 100m backstroke tonight. Sapp earned the silver while Tyson MacDonald of Canada took home bronze. Egbert finished his evening with a silver in the men’s 100m breaststroke, splitting two Canadians – James Leroux and Jagdev Gill – who took first and third.
Jessica Long (Baltimore, Maryland) picked up the gold in the women’s 100m backstroke, an event in which she has won four Paralympic medals. Canadians made up the rest of the podium, as Danielle Dorris and Angela Marina posted strong performances to earn silver and bronze, respectively. Marina also led a Canadian sweep of the women’s 100m breaststroke.
Elizabeth Marks (Colorado Springs, Colo.) took her second national title of the weekend, winning the gold in the women’s 50m breaststroke as an SB6 athlete. Her winning time of 46.83 seconds edged teammates Julia Gaffney (Mayflower, Arkansas) and Hannah Aspden (Raleigh, North Carolina) per the WPS ranking system. Gaffney finished in the runner-up position while Aspden, who had a big night last night, claimed third.
Mount Union College swimmer Emmett Martin (Canton, Michigan) earned his first national title in the men’s 50m breaststroke, beating out 2020 Paralympic bronze medalist Jamal Hill (Inglewood, California) and Chase Baird (Mesa, Arizona). Hill would go on to win the men’s 50m freestyle, the event in which he took bronze in Tokyo. He was followed closely by teammates Robert Griswold (Freehold, New Jersey) and Sapp.
Canadian Arianna Hunsicker, Aspden and Megan (Towson, Maryland) made up the podium in the women’s 50m freestyle.
To round out the evening, in the mixed 4x100m freestyle relay, the team of Evan Wilkerson (Rolesville, North Carolina), Hermes, William Rankine (Warner Robins, Georgia) and Aspen Shelton (Southlake, Texas) made up the visually impaired race, while the team of Katya (Lawrenceville, Georgia), Baird, Maggie Scherder (Peoria, Illinois) and Caitlin Trevor (Wilmington, Delaware), competed as the intellectually impaired team. The relay was combined into one heat, though the teams were not competing against one another.
Racing resumes for the event’s final day with preliminary heats beginning tomorrow morning at 9 a.m. EST. All sessions will be streamed live on USParaSwimming.org and on the U.S. Paralympics Swimming Facebook page. For full results from day two of competition, click here.
For media requests and inquiries, please contact Kristen Gowdy at Kristen.Gowdy@usopc.org.
Men’s 1500m Freestyle
1. Matthew Torres, S8
Women’s 1500m Freestyle
1. McClain Hermes, S11
2. Cali Prochaska, S9
3. Makayla Nietzel, S13
Women’s 100m Backstroke
1. Jessica Long, S8
2. Danielle Dorris (Canada)
3. Angela Marina (Canada)
Men’s 100m Backstroke
1. Parker Egbert, S14
2. Lawrence Sapp, S14
3. Tyson MacDonald, S14 (Canada)
Women’s 50m Breaststroke
1. Elizabeth Marks, SB6
2. Julia Gaffney, SB6
3. Hannah Aspden, SB9
Men’s 50m Breaststroke
1. Emmett Martin, SB9
2. Jamal Hill, SB9
3. Chase Baird, SB14
Women’s 100m Breaststroke
1. Angela Marina, SB14 (Canada)
2. Tess Routliffee, SB7 (Canada)
3. EmmaGrace Van Dyk, SB14 (Canada)
Men’s 100m Breaststroke
1. James Leroux, SB9 (Canada)
2. Parker Egbert, SB14
3. Jagdev Gill, SB9 (Canada)
Men’s 200m Butterfly
1. Matthew Cabraja, S11
Women’s 50m Freestyle
1. Arianna Hunsicker, S10 (Canada)
2. Hannah Aspden, S9
3. Megan Gioffreda, S6
Men’s 50m Freestyle
1. Jamal Hill, S9
2. Robert Griswold, S8
3. Lawrence Sapp, S14
Mixed 4x100m Freestyle Relay (Visually impaired)
Mixed 4x100m Freestyle Relay (Intellectually impaired)