Americans Add 3 Swimmers to Paralympic Team in Russian Reshuffle

The 2016 U.S. Paralympic Team has added 22 new members, including 3 swimmers, after a redistribution of spots vacated by the barred Russian team.

The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) says that they’re hoping to redistribute 85% of the 267 athlete spots that had previously been earned by Russia after the CAS upheld a total ban of the country from the 2016 Paralympics.

Among the 22 spots allocated to  the United States were female swimmers Cassie Mitchell, Haley Beranbaum. and Leslie Cichocki. No American male swimmers were added.

Unlike the Olympics, where spots are allocated based on time standards plus Universality selections, Paralympic roster spots are awarded to countries based on performance standards at different international meets. Whereas at the Olympics, no country used its maximum roster, at the Paralympics, countries almost always use all of the spots earned at the Games.

Mitchell will now be a two-sport athlete – she was already a member of the American Track & Field team – she’s the 2013 World Champion in women’s discus (and, incidentally, a two-time World Champion in para-cycling as well). IN 2016, she broke World Records in the T51 women’s 100m and 400m trackc events and won the club throw at the U.S. Paralympic Trials – held concurrently with the U.S. Paralympic swimming trials in Charlotte at the end of June. Mitchell is an assistant research professor at Georgia Tech during the day.

For Beranbaum, this is a second chance after she was initially named to the team before a selection-standards error was discovered.

Beranbaum was on the originally-announced roster as a result of her performance in the 400 free. She was replaced by Grogan when the selection error was discovered (read more about that here), but bumped to the 1st alternate position.

Cichoski competes in the S14 category – which was not offered in swimming at the 2012 Paralympics. According to the United States Olympic Committee, CiChoski will become the first Intellectually Disabled swimmer to represent the United States at the Paralympics.

She won gold in the 100 back at the 2015 Parapan American Games.

We have not yet found any other countries who have announced updates to their Paralympic Teams. Russia won 71 medals and broke 10 World Records at last year’s IPC Swimming World Championship, both more than any other country, so this shift in qualifying spots will change the dynamic of the Paralympics in more ways than one.

The new updated roster is below:


Name Height  Weight  DOB Hometown
Evan Austin 6-1 175 9-10-1992 Terre Haute, Ind.
Cody Bureau 6-0 160 6/4/1988 Latrobe, Pa.
Tharon Drake 6-3 175 12/19/1992 Hobbs, N.M.
Tucker Dupree 6-0 180 5/11/1989 Raleigh, N.C.
Tye Dutcher 5-10 155 10/15/1996 Merced, Calif.
Rudy Garcia-Tolson 6-1 137 9/14/1988 Bloomington, Calif.
Robert Griswold 6-0 155 11/27/1996 Freehold, N.J.
Dalton Herendenn 6-4 185 4/23/1993 Elkhart, Ind.
Roy Perkins 6-0 130 5/9/1990 San Diego, Calif.
Brad Snyder 5-9 150 2/29/1984 Baltimore, Md.


Name Height  Weight  DOB Hometown
Hannah Aspden 5-10 130 6/11/2000 Raleigh, N.C.
Haley Beranbaum 3-9 85 6/4/1996 Snohomish, Wash.
Reilly Boyt 4-2 107 5/30/1996 Fort Collins, Colo.
Brickelle Bro 5-9 135 11/11/1996 Castle Pines, Colo.
Leslie Cichocki  5-9 135 12/28/1988 Palos Hills, Ill.
McKenzie Coan 4-3 105 6/14/1996 Clarkesville, Ga.
Cailin Currie 5-7 130 6/11/1998 Danvers, Mass.
Alyssa Gialamas 5-4 110 5/12/1995 Naperville, Ill.
Lindsay Grogran 5-4 115 12/19/1987 Macon, Ga.
McClain Hermes 5-5 130 1/5/2001 Dacula, Ga.
Sophia Herzog 4-0 80 3/20/1997 Fairplay, Colo.
Cortney Jordan 5-3 130 6/24/1991 Henderson, Nev.
Michelle Konkoly 5-10 152 2/20/1992 Eagleville, Pa.
Jessica Long 5-9 140 2/29/1992 Baltimore, Md.
Elizabeth Marks 5-5 125 8/7/1990 Nashville, Tenn.
Letticia Martinez 5-1 120 7/16/1995 Las Cruces, N.M.
Rebecca Meyers 5-3 124 11/20/1994 Baltimore, Md.
Cassie Mitchell  5-6 121 6/8/1981 Warner, Okla.
Noga Nir-Kistler 5-4 120 5/18/1979 Allentown, Pa.
Martha Ruether 5-10 142 7/3/1994 Allegany, N.Y.
Natalie Sims 5-8 45 6/6/1997 Edina, Minn.
Lizzi Smith 5-4 130 6/26/1996 Muncie, Ind.
Mallory Weggemann 5-9 125 3/26/1989 Eagan, Minn.
Colleen Young 5-8 135 6/29/1998 St. Louis, Mo.



Leave a Reply

Notify of
newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
4 years ago

Why wasn’t spot #3 given to a swimmer from the trials, but a track and field athlete with no IPC listing in the world rankings? There were a few other swimmers who completely dominated their class and could have been named?

4 years ago

she is S2 and in the 50 back rankings for 2015 and 2016. I think she was added to “fill the lane” for the S2s not many swimmers and maybe not even 8 of them and one was Russian. I consider her a “Bipartite” invitation probably from the IPC asking her to swim.

According to my calc USA should have gotten 2 more spots for women. For men I showed that the fraction prior to russia being banned was 7.49 and was round down to 7 and after banning Russia I calculated 8.51 which should be 9. So 2 more spots but we got zero on the men’s side seems very odd.

Reply to  Taa
4 years ago

sorry originally ten total which is 7 plus the 3 automatic worlds qualifiers. Now should be 9 plus the 3

Fan no1
4 years ago

Good to see USA can put in a s14 female swimmer as they the s14 were only just a put back in the para games in London the AUSSIE have only male swimmers competing no females at all it’s a slap in the face of the S14 I think not to include them in all the sports

Reply to  Fan no1
4 years ago

Too bad they couldn’t find an S10 to put in as well for the women.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder 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, …

Read More »