Matt Torres Cracks World Record on Day 2 of U.S. Para Nationals

2021 U.S. PARALYMPIC SWIMMING NATIONALS

Matt Torres cracked the men’s S8 1500 free world record on Saturday with a time of 17:42.44 during day 2’s prelims session of the 2021 U.S. Para-swimming nationals.  The 20-year-old Torres made his Paralympic debut in Tokyo where he won bronze in the 400 free.

29-time Paralympic medalist Jessica Long then took down the women’s multi-class 100 back with a 1:21.31 in the S8 class to win gold.

The Greensboro Coliseum was buzzing with energy from both the first large para swim meet since Tokyo and the Eric Church concert stationed across the parking lot from the aquatic center.

The events are being contested as multi-class in Greensboro, 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:

PARA CLASSIFICATION SYSTEM

  • 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.

17-year-old Paralympian Parker Egbert dominated the men’s 100 back multi-class with a 1:02.89, earning himself a total of 978 WPS points, the highest score of the whole session. This swim continued Egbert’s gold medal haul, giving him a total of 3 gold medals after Saturday’s finals session. He was still about 5 seconds off the S14 100 back world record.

Other event winners on day 2 include two-time Paralympian Elizabeth Marks who won the 50 breast SB6 (46.83) and in the men’s 50 breast, Emmett Martin touched the wall closest to his classification world record (in SB9) with a time of 35.01 to earn gold.

It was a productive day for Canadian swimmers who won a total of four gold medals in one session. Canadian Paralympian Angela Marina in women’s SB14 100 breast, 1:28.31 in, her second gold medal of the meet after winning the 100 back on Friday. James Leroux of Canada claimed 1st in the men’s 100 breast with a time of 1:13.34.

Saturday’s finals session ended with some sprint freestyle where Canadian Paralympian Arianna Hunsicker took gold in the women’s 50 free with a time of 29.14 (S10) and USA’s Jamal Hill won the men’s event with a time of 26.56 (S9). Hill won bronze in this event in Tokyo with a 25.19.

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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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