Olivia Chambers Pips McKenzie Coan in the 400 Free; Mallory Weggemann Makes Appearance


A big showdown in the women’s 400 free and a surprise appearance from Paralympic champion Mallory Weggeman highlighted day 1 of the 2022 US National Paralympic Swimming Championships.

This year’s meet will be swum as a multi-class event. This means that swimmers from all classes will race each other, but rather than being compared on time, they will be scored based on the World Para Swimming points system. In short: the event winners will be the swimmers who come closest to the World Records in their events.

Read more about the para-swimming classification system here.

In the opening race of day 1, American S13 swimmer Olivia Chambers swam 4:34.30 and S7 swimmer McKenzie Coan swam 5:18.29. While their times were 44 seconds apart, by the WPS points system, they were separated by a narrow 3 points in the event, with the rising para-star Chambers getting the win.

Currently a sophomore at the University of Northern Iowa, Chambers set an American Record earlier this year in the 400 IM. Coan, meanwhile, is a stalwart of the American team: she is the two-time defending Paralympic Champion in the S7 400 free and the three-time defending World Champion in the event.

Day 1’s events included a surprise appearance from Mallory Weggemann in the women’s 50 fly. A three-time Paralympic champion, Weggemann is several months pregnant, but still managed a second-place finish in the 50 fly (40.01/717 points) behind Elizabeth Marks (37.21/887 points).

Weggemann addressed the decision to race while pregnant on her Instagram on Thursday.

In victory, Marks just-missed her American Record of 36.66 set earlier this year.

Other Day 1 Winners:

  • Zach Shattuck (S6) won the men’s 50 fly in 35.63, which was a 681-point swim. That was 2.3 seconds shy of his American Record in the event.
  • Lawrence Sapp (S14) won the men’s 50 fly with a 932 point swim – more than 100 points ahead of the next-closest competitor.
  • Christie Raleigh Crossley (S9) won the women’s 100 fly with a 946 point swim and a time of 1:07.51. That misses her own American Record by .02 seconds. Raleigh-Crossley is also a Paralympic swimming coach and was the 2012 NCAA Division III National Champion in the 100 yard freestyle.
  • Matthew Torres (S8) won the men’s 400 free with a 915 point swim. His was the 2nd-fastest time of the entire field and the best swim by 160 points.
  • Wendi Locatelli (S5) won the women’s 50 back in 1:09.51/158 points and Gabe Marsh (S4) won the men’s 50 back in 1:08.55/160 points. Both raced uncontested.

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3 months ago

Olivia is the sweetest! She’s an amazing asset to the national team.

B. Kubik
3 months ago

You can’t compare 2 athletes in different disability classes. It’s like comparing 2 wrestlers in 2 different weight classes to each other. They are both great champions!

Teresa Coan
3 months ago

BIG difference S13 and S7
Title seems off to me!!!

Reply to  Teresa Coan
3 months ago

This is how multi class point score is done. It is calculated with the current world record for each class.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of SwimSwam.com. 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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