World Records Fall at Para World Series Stop in Indy as Pagonis, Pergolini Make Returns

2024 Para Swimming World Series

  • April 11-13, 2024
  • IUPUI Natatorium
    • Indianapolis, Indiana
  • LCM (50 meters)
  • PDF Results

Three world records fell at the Para Swimming World Series stop last weekend in Indianapolis, where Team USA topped the medal table with 10 golds in 24 events.

The three-day meet featured multi-class races where the standings were determined by World Para Swimming (WPS) points.

Nelson Crispin Corzo shaved about a tenth off his own SB6 world record in the 100-meter breaststroke with a winning time of 1:18.07. The 31-year-old Colombian also won the 100 freestyle (1:06.49), 50 butterfly (31.43), and 200 IM (2:39.54) while placing 3rd in the 50 free (30.01). Corzo is gearing up for his fourth Paralympics this summer after losing the 100 breast by just .06 seconds in Tokyo.

Another global standard was toppled by 19-year-old Canadian Sebastian Massabie, who went almost a second faster than any other S4 swimmer in the 50 fly with a time of 39.51 in prelims. He took down the former world record of 40.48 posted by Slovenia’s Darko Duric at the 2012 Paralympics. Massabie ended up swimming 39.85 in the final later that night.

Two-time Paralympic champion Elizabeth Marks triumphed in the 50 free (33.65) and 400 free (5:19.62), breaking the S6 Americas record in the latter event. She dropped more than half a second off Victoria Arlen’s previous continental standard of 5:20.18 from the 2012 Paralympics. Marks also took the 50 free title in 33.65.

Earning the runner-up finish behind Marks in the 400 free was fellow Paralympic champion Anastasia Pagonis (5:04.08), who made her long-awaited return to international competition after struggling with a concussion and a shoulder injury the past couple years. The 19-year-old Pagonis clocked an S11 American record in 100 free (1:06.25) to lower her own mark of 1:06.65 from the Tokyo Paralympics in 2021, where she missed the podium by less than a tenth of a second at age 17.

Six-time world medalist Olivia Chambers (SB13/SM13) captured multiple individual crowns for the Americas with victories in the 100 breast (1:18.00) and 200 IM (2:26.40).

At 18 years old, Owen McNear (S9) collected his first win at an international competition with his 100 back victory in 1:07.33.

“I was sitting at fourth in time for the 100m backstroke event. I was like ‘I just want to go try and win this.’ In every other event, I was like ‘I just got to go hard and see what I can do’ and I’ve done great,” McNear said. “I came to this meet two years ago and didn’t have my international classification then. Now that I’m here at finals, I’ve gotten to really prove what I can do and I’m just glad I came away with some wins.”

Morgan Stickney picked up a victory in the 100 free, going 1:09.85 in the final after a 1:09.58 in prelims. The 26-year-old owns S7 world records in the 200 free (2:26.01), 400 free (4:54.28), 800 free (10:02.54), and 1500 free (19:21.20).

Three-time Paralympic champion Mallory Weggemann took the 50 fly title in 35.74. The 35-year-old is the former world record holder in the S7 50 free and 200 IM.

Other individual American champions included Grace Nuhfer in the 100 fly (1:04.33), Lawrence Sapp (S14) in the 100 fly (58.81), and Noah Jaffe (S8) in the 400 free (4:30.31). Paralympic champion Gia Pergolini also returned to the international scene after competing for Florida International University since the Tokyo Paralympics, where she set a S13 world record in the 100 back (1:04.64). Pergolini placed 2nd in the 100 back (1:05.43) behind Canada’s Shelby Newkirk (S6), who also set a world record in the 50 back prelims at 37.40. The previous global standard stood at 38.17 by China’s Song Lingling.

“I’m feeling really happy about my swims this weekend. I didn’t know where my times were going to be,” Pergolini said. “Swimming with these amazing athletes, I’ve grown up with them since I was 13, they’re like my family. I needed that break for my own mental health, so just showing that you can come back from mental health issues is what I want to show people.”

Seven gold medals for Mexico brought home seven gold medals, led by a pair of veteran double winners in Nely Herrera and Christopher Tronco. The 51-year-old Herrera won the women’s 50 breast in 1:20.36 and added a 150 IM title in 3:26.72 while swimming in her SB4/SM4 classification. The 38-year-old Tronco emerged with the most WPS points in the 50 breast (1:05.84) and 150 IM (3:54.07) for his SB2/SM2 classification. Mexico got three more individual victories courtesy of America Andrade (S14) in the women’s 200 free (2:25.31), Karina Torres (S5) in the women’s 50 back (52.39 after 51.21 in prelims), and Diego Lopez (S3) in the men’s 50 back (51.74 after 51.51 in prelims).

Canada, Chile, and Norway also earned victories thanks to Newkirk in the women’s 100 back, Alberto Abarza Diaz (S2) in the men’s 200 free, and Fredrik Solberg (S9) in the men’s 50 free.

Up next is the European Championships in Madeira later this month before the Singapore stop of Para World Series from May 17-19.

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Robert Crawford
1 month ago

There were 3 WR, Shelby Newkirk also broke the women’s S6 50m backstroke record in prelims.

About Riley Overend

Riley is an associate editor interested in the stories taking place outside of the pool just as much as the drama between the lane lines. A 2019 graduate of Boston College, he arrived at SwimSwam in April of 2022 after three years as a sports reporter and sports editor at newspapers …

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