Aiden Stivers Breaks US Record in S9 200 Breast at Indy Sectionals


Two weeks ago, a group of US Para Swimmers were in Italy for a stop of the Para Swimming World Series, but last weekend a contingent competed closer to home at the long course Sectional Championships in Indianapolis, Indiana.

That included 16-year-old Aiden Stivers, who lowered his own US National Record in the SB9 200 meter breaststroke from 2:46.42 to 2:41.59.

In the Paralympic classification for swimming, classes S1-S10 are for physical disabilities, S11-S13 are for visual disabilities, and S14 is for intellectual disabilities. Within those categories, a lower classification number implies a more severe impairment as it relates to the sport of swimming.

Stivers says that a focus on both the technical aspects of his stroke as well as his racing strategy led to the improvement.

“I have been diligently focusing on my technical skills during practice, ensuring that I keep my head down to minimize drag and improve speed in each stroke,” Stivers told SwimSwam. “A key strength of my breaststroke is my kicking technique, so I prioritize this aspect in my pool training sessions. Additionally, I dedicate significant effort to my weightlifting and conditioning routines, which occur three times a week.

“In terms of racing strategies, I have been refining my approach by aiming for a lower stroke count during each 50 meters of my 200-meter race. I also emphasize pushing myself during the third 50 meters, as that’s where I can sometimes lag behind.

“Importantly, I’m mindful not to start too fast during races to conserve energy for the entire event.”

Stivers’ previous best time was done in December at the US National Championships. True to plan, while he improved on every 50 of the race, his biggest improvements came on the back-half, where he dropped 1.8 seconds on the third 50 and 1.4 seconds on the fourth 50 en route to his new record-setting swim.

Splits Comparison:

Aiden Stivers Aiden Stivers
Old Record New Record
50m 37.55 36.45
100m 41.46 (1:19.01) 40.98 (1:17.43)
150m 43.55 41.76
200m 43.86 (1:27.41) 42.40 (1:24.16)
2:46.42 2:41.59

The World Record in the event is a 2:22.27 done by South African Kevin Paul in 2017.

The 200 breaststroke is not on the Paris schedule for the Paralympic Games nor was it raced at the 2023 World Para-Swimming Championships.

Stivers swam a number of best times at Sectionals, including 35.75 in the 50 breaststroke (on a split) and 1:14.82 in the 100 breaststroke. The American Records in those races are 34.00 and 1:12.23, respectively.

Stivers trains under Christian Hanselmann at the Southeastern Swim Club in Fishers, Indiana.

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About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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