16-year old Anastasia Pagonis broke 4 American Records this weekend at Stony Brook School, swimming in time trial races as part of a two-day time trial event.
Pagonis, who swims in the S11 Classification, swam the 100 free, 200 free, 100 fly, and 200 IM, and came away with 4 swims faster than the American Records in those events.
All swims are pending ratification:
|Old American Record||New American Record|
|100 free||Letticia Martinez – 1:07.45||1:01.41|
|200 IM||Letticia Martinez – 2:52.14||2:36.27|
|200 free||McClain Hermes – 2:32.75||2:13.96|
|100 fly||Letticia Martinez – 1:18.11||1:11.37|
Pagonis began losing her sight at age 11 because of Stargardt’s disease, a genetic disorder that causes macular degeneration. By age 14, she had completely lost her vision. While she was faster in all of the events above prior to age 14, the above are all best times since age 14.
Three of the four records were previously held by Letticia Martinez, who is a two-time US Paralympian (2012, 2016). Martinez finished as high as 6th place, in the 100 back, at the Rio Olympic Games.
Across the 4 events, she knocked a total of 48.44 seconds off the American Records. This comes after a late-November 5:52.45 in the 500 free where she took almost 45 seconds off McClain Hermes’ American Record in the event.
That Pagonis took down these records comes as little surprise after she previously crushed the American Record in the 200 yard free in a practice swim, which she posted a video of on her Instagram channel last year.
Pagonis says that returning to competition after the coronavirus-caused quarantines has been particularly difficult for her as a visually-impaired swimmer.
“As a visually impaired swimmer I use muscle memory and feel/touch in the pool,” Pagonis told SwimSwam. “It was extremely challenging having to starting over when the pools opened up again. These 4 swims this past weekend really helped me to see where my times were after not competing for so long. It showed me that all my hard work is paying off and that I need to continue to train hard.”
Pagonis says that perfecting her technique and improving her lane alignment, running into the lanerope next, is her goal headed toward this summer’s Paralympic Trials.
My focus for Tokyo is to put more work into my stroke technique and concentrate on staying straight in the pool!”
The 2021 U.S. paralympic Team Trials for swimming, along with cycling and track, have been rescheduled for June 17-20, 2021 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Pagonis trains with Islander Aquatics in New York.