The road to Rio became even shorter on Thursday (30 June) in Charlotte, North Carolina, USA, as the 2016 US Paralympic Swim Trials began at the Mecklenburg County Aquatic Center.
Seven national and three Americas records were set during the first day of competition by seven different athletes with nine of the 10 total records coming in breaststroke events.
The first national record of the day went to Garner Moss who accomplished the feat in the second event of the morning session with a time of 2:20.14 in the men's 200m freestyle S14.
Fourteen-year-old Alexander Quesada-Amor was the next to ignite the crowd with a blistering national record of 1:22.40 in the men's 100m breaststroke SB14, also in the morning session.
The opening portion of the day continued to yield record-breaking swims as London 2012 Paralympian Dalton Herendeen posted a new national and Americas record in the men's 100m breaststroke SB8, coming in at 1:14.59.
US Paralympic resident team athlete Tharon Drake closed the first session by breaking the national and regional records in the men's 100m breaststroke SB11, touching the wall at 1:10.85.
Three more national records and one Americas record were broken in the final session of day one, causing thunderous roars from the crowd on site. London 2012 Paralympian Colleen Young was the first athlete of the session to add her name to the record books as she dropped nearly two seconds off her preliminary time, achieving both records with a finishing time of 1:16.72 in the women's 100m breaststroke SB13.
One heat later Leslie Cichocki kept the success flowing by flashing a time of 1:30.63 on the results board, confirming a new national mark in the women's 100m breaststroke SB14.
London 2012 Paralympian Evan Austin concocted the final record of the afternoon with an impressive 1:23.39 in the men's 100m breaststroke SB7.
US Army Sgt. Elizabeth Marks narrowly missed tying a world record in the women's 100m breaststroke SB7, falling .01 second shy of the record held by fellow competitor and 12-time Paralympic gold medallist, Jessica Long. Long won Thursday's women's 400m freestyle S8 and is looking to make her fourth US Paralympic team.
Multiple event winners included Cichocki, Toronto 2015 Parapan American Games bronze medalist McClain Hermes, Toronto 2015 two-time medalist Sophia Herzog and six-time Paralympic medallist Roy Perkins Jr.
Competition resumes on Friday (1 July) with prelims and finals in the 50m backstroke, 100m butterfly, 50m butterfly and 50m freestyle. For full results, visit US Paralympics website.
The 2016 US Paralympic Team Trials – Swimming and Track & Field are being held in Charlotte, North Carolina, 30 June – 2 July, and are hosted by Partners for Parks. Thanks to support from The Coca-Cola Company, BP, and Deloitte, the multi-sport trials feature more than 400 athletes who are competing for a chance to qualify for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.
All events are free and open to the public.
Regional records are subject to ratification by IPC Swimming.