We are getting ready to start the final session of Day One of the Pan Pacific Para Swimming Championships in Pasadena, California. There should be a lot of great racing tonight, including:
- Kayla Wheeler S2 (USA) prelim time was less than half a second off her current World Record with a time of 5:50.31. Don’t be surprised if we see Wheeler break her World Record of 5:49.55 tonight in finals.
- Taylor Corry and Kayla Clarke of Australia in the S14 class had quite the race this morning in prelims, as it came down to the finish, with Clarke clocking a 2:16.59 and Corry just a few hundredths behind her at 2:16.65.
- Luis Flores Nunez S8 (MEX) had an impressive time drop as he cut over 45 seconds in his 400 Free this morning in prelims going from a personal best of 6:16.11 down to a 5:31.27, where he’s seeded 6th going into finals.
- Brendan Hall and Rowan Crothers will be two Australians to keep a watch out for in the S9 400m Free tonight. Finishing within a second and a half of each other in prelims, I wouldn’t be surprised if 16 year old Crothers gives World Record holder, Hall, a race to the finish in tonight’s finals.
- Also, be sure to keep an eye on Dalton Herendeen tonight in the men’s S10 400m Free, as he is going into tonight’s finals seeded first after touching out teammate, Ian Silverman with a time of 4:21.04 and Silverman right behind at 4:21.70. Although Silverman, the London 2012 Gold Medalist and 2013 World Champion has a personal best of a 4:04.91, meaning there is a good chance he has a lot left in his tank for tonight’s finals and there is a strong chance that he will leave this evening with his first Para Pan Pac gold medal.
50m Men’s Butterfly:
- In the men’s 50m Butterfly, the biggest race will come in the S5 classification between Roy Perkins (USA) and Daniel Dias (BRA). Dias is the current World Record holder and London 2012 Gold Medalist, although Perkins is in a good position to challenge that World Record in tonight’s finals. In prelims this morning, Perkins was only .20 off of the World Record. I wouldn’t be surprised if Perkins from the USA breaks the World Record time of 34.15 and become the new World Record holder for the men’s S5 class.
100m Women’s Butterfly:
In the women’s 100m Butterfly, there are certainly a number of races to watch for in tonight’s finals.
- Becca Meyers S13 (USA) was just under .30 from the long-standing World Record time of 1:05.95 set back in 1996. Meyers finished this morning with an impressive time of 1:06.22, a personal best by over a second. Don’t be surprised if Meyers shows up tonight ready to make history, by breaking a nearly 20 year old World Record.
- Another race to keep an eye on is Jessica Long in the S8 classification. After being a dominant force in the 100m Fly for years, Long has found herself in some fierce competition with Great Britain’s Stephanie Slater, who is currently competing in Eindhoven at the IPC European Championships. In last night’s finals, Slater broke Long’s World Record time of a 1:09.60 by over a second with a time of 1:08.20. Although Slater is not the only one that went under Long’s time of 1:09.60, Ukraine’s Kateryna Istomina also ducked under with a time of 1:09.09. Long will show up to tonight’s charged up and ready to race in attempt to reclaim her World Record in the S8 100m Fly.
50m Women’s Freestyle:
- In the women’s S7 class, there is some close competition between USA teammates Leanne Smith and Cortney Jordan. With Jacqueline Freney of Australia absent, it leaves the gold up for grabs. Freney was a dominating force at the London 2012 Games winning gold in the 50m Free and with her absence last year at World Championships in Montreal, she was unable to defend her reign and Jordan of the USA won gold. It will be a tight race in finals with Smith seated 1st ahead of Jordan by .03.
- We also have Maddison Elliott of Australia in the S8 50m Free; the current World Record holder with a time of 30.13, who clocked a 31.71 in prelims. Elliott won silver in the 50m Free in the London 2012 Gams and gold at last year’s World Championships in Montreal. At just 15 years of age, there is no telling how much Elliott is capable of accomplishing in the pool, but she certainly is charging into the International scene proving she is a force to be reckoned with.
- Lastly, we won’t want to miss Team USA’s newcomer, Michelle Konkoly. With Pan Pacific Para-Swimming Championships being her first International, she has certainly started the first session in a big way. Clocking a time of 29.24 in this morning’s prelims, Konkoly was just .20 off the World Record time of 29.04. There is a strong chance that Konkoly will leave tonight with not only her first International gold medal, but a World Record to go with it!