Robert Griswold of CNU Breaks 4 American Records at BMC Championships

Bluegrass Mountain Conference – Men and Women

Among the many records broken during this weekend’s Bluegrass Mountain Conference Championships in Rock Hill, South Carolina, four were accounted for by Carson-Newman University freshman Robert Griswold.

Robert Griswold, Carson-Newman University

Photo: Daniel McCord/C-N Swim

Griswold, who is a class S8 paralympic swimmer from Freehold, New Jersey, absolutely destroyed the American Record currently in the books for the 1650 free on Saturday. Swimming a lifetime-best 17:52.26, he took down a 1997 mark by Jason Wening of 19:05.03 by one minute, thirteen seconds. On the first day of the four-day meet, he broke another Wening record in the 1000 free: Griswold’s 10:32.45 eclipsed Wening’s 11:32.00 by .15 short of a full minute.

Griswold now owns all three S8 distance freestyle American records, as he had broken the 500 free with a 5:12.49 last May (he then went 5:09.96 in November). He also owns the 200 fly (2:18.71) and 200 IM (2:12.33).

In addition to the 1000y and 1650y freestyle records, Griswold notched a pair of backstroke records at the BMC Championships. In the 200y back, he went 2:01.32 in prelims to qualify for the C final, then repeated his time in finals to score 24th. That bested Tom Miazga’s 2:19.93 from February, 2014. Griswold also broke Miazga’s 100y back record with a 56.69 in time trials.

Griswold competed at the 2015 Can Am Para-swimming Championships in Toronto last spring where he broke American records in the S8 400m free and 100m back, and SM8 200m IM. He then went on to represent the United States at the World Championships in Glasgow, Scotland in August, 2015, where he established American records in the 50m free, 400m free, 50m fly, 100m fly, and 200m IM. Griswold’s long-course American Records include:

  • 50m free S8
  • 100m free S8
  • 200m free S8
  • 400m free S8
  • 1500m free S8
  • 50m back S8
  • 100m back S8
  • 200m back S8
  • 50m fly S8
  • 100m fly S8
  • 200m fly S8
  • 200m IM SM8
  • 400m IM SM8

Griswold was first classified “S8” at the Can Am meet in Toronto last March. Paralympic star Mallory Weggemann produced an excellent piece explaining the classification system in more detail; you can read that story here. The IPC updated it rules and regulations pertaining to classification in September. Tom Miazga helped walk SwimSwam through the changes, which you can read here.

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Congratulations! Way to go!!


Congrats Robert — your hard work has paid off!


Oh my gosh Robert! You are on fire! Go OCY Alum!!! So proud of you.

About Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant is the mother of four daughters, all of whom swim/swam in college. With an undergraduate degree from Princeton (where she was an all-Ivy tennis player) and an MBA from INSEAD, she worked for many years in the financial industry, both in France and the U.S. Anne is currently …

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