Elizabeth Marks Scares American Record at U.S. Para Nationals Day 3


Five-time Paralympic medalist Elizabeth Marks highlighted the final day of the 2021 U.S. Para Swimming Championships by nearing an American record to win the women’s 100 free multi-class. She touched the wall with a time of 1:14.54, just 1.21 seconds off the current S6 American record set by Victoria Arlen in 2012. Marks came within 3.5 seconds of the  S6 world record.

She kept her winning streak in Greensboro alive with this swim, earning her 3rd gold medal of the meet.

The events are being contested as multi-class at this meet, meaning athletes are only separated by gender and not by their classification. The winner and placings are decided by World Para Swimming (WPS) point ranks. Athletes are awarded points based on how close they finish to the world record in their classification:


  • There are 14 classifications for Paralympic swimmers, typically denoted as “S” followed by a number.
  • “SB” designates an athletes classification for breaststroke events
  • “SM” is for individual medley events
  • Athletes with physical impairments are classified in S1-S10, SB1-SB9, and SM1-SM10 with numbers 1-10 ranging from more severe activity limitations to less severe limitations.
  • Athletes with visual impairments are classified in S/SB11-13.
  • Athletes with intellectual impairments are classified in S/SB14.

Two-time Paralympian Robert Griswold followed up his double gold medal win on day one by winning the men’s 100 free multi-class (in S8) with a time of 1:00.02.

Canada’s Angela Marina took down the women’s 200 IM multi-class with a 2:41.44, SM14. Just two events later, Marina won the women’s 200 free multi-class with a time of 2:19.38. She had a close race with second-place finisher and fellow S14 swimmer, EmmaGrace Van Dyk who touched the wall 2 seconds after Marina.

In the men’s 200 IM, Zach Zona had the highest WPS score by touching the wall at 2:41.36, outtouching fellow SM8 swimmer Felix Cowan, who placed 2nd overall, by less than 3 seconds.

Aly Van Wyck-Smart was the only finalist in the women’s 150 IM where she won gold with a time of 4:56.65 in the SM3 class. Adin Williams won the final event of the meet, the men’s 200 free,  with a 2:27.80. He competes in S7.

Since the conclusion of the meet, U.S. Para Swimming announced that one unnamed participant tested positive for COVID-19 during departure testing. They said that all close contacts of this participant have tested negative and that the participant was isolated and is now completing the 10-day quarantine that is mandated by the Center for Disease Control (CDC.)

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About Annika Johnson

Annika Johnson

Annika came into the sport competitively at age eight, following in the footsteps of her twin sister and older brother. The sibling rivalry was further fueled when all three began focusing on distance freestyle, forcing the family to buy two lap counters. Annika is a three-time Futures finalist in the 200 …

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