June 30, 2016
Two Loyola University Maryland swimmers, McKenzie Coan and Alyssa Gialamas, are looking to secure a spot on Team USA for the upcoming Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, as they compete in the US Paralympic Trials at theMecklenburg County Aquatic Center in Charlotte, N.C., this weekend.
Loyola head coach Brian Loeffler also coaches three other athletes competing at the event - Brad Snyder, Cortney Jordan and Elizabeth Smith.
Finals - All five of Loeffler's athletes shaved time off of their preliminary marks in Thursday's finals session. Coan and Gialamas both took over one second off of their morning performances, with Gialamas winning the S5 200 free in 3:15.43 and Coan again beating Jordan to the wall in the S7 400 free. Coan touched in 5:10.02 and Jordan finshed in 5:24.40. In the S11 400 free, Snyder had the biggest improvement, finishing with the No. 2 time in the world, 4:42.75, while Smith took second in the SB9 100 breast in 1:32.37.
Prelims - Coan, Gialamas and Snyder all qualified first in their respective events, with Coan touching first in the prelims of the S7 400 free (5:11.63), Gialamas finishing first in the S5 200 free (3:16.51) and Snyder turning in the fastest S11 400 free time (4:47.34). Jordan finished second to Coan in the S7 400 free, finishing with a time of 5:24.81, while Smith was second in the SB9 100 breast (1:33.90).
By Molly Mathias '17, Loyola Athletic Communications Student Assistant
BALTIMORE - Loyola University Maryland swimmers McKenzie Coan and Alyssa Gialamas will look to qualify for a spot on Team USA for the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro this weekend, as they compete at the Paralympic Trials at the Mecklenburg County Aquatic Center in Charlotte, N.C.
Gialamas, a native of Naperville, Illinois, competed in the 2012 Paralympic Games and came in fifth for the 200m freestyle. Gialamas will start competition today and swim the 200 free. On Friday, she will swim the 50 free and 50 back, before finishing her swimming trails with the 100 free on Saturday.
Coan, originally from Clarkesville, Georgia, begins the trials today swimming the 400 free, the event she finished sixth in at the 2012 Paralympic Games. On Friday, Coan swims for the 50 fly and 50 free, while she will finish the trials on Saturday with the 200 IM, 100 free and 100 back.
In addition, Loyola head swimming and diving coach Brian Loeffler is also at the Trials, as he has been training Paralympic swimmers for the past several years, including Brad Snyder- a U.S. Navy veteran that lost his sight in an IED attack in Afghanistan in September 2011, Loyola graduate student Cortney Jordan and Elizabeth Smith.
The 14 men and 20 women that will represent the United States at the Games will be announced on Sunday, as will the coaching staff that will have to travel to Rio de Janeiro with the team.
Opening ceremonies for the 2016 Paralympic Games are scheduled for September 7, 2016, with Brazil becoming the first South American city to host a Paralympic Games. More than 4,350 athletes from 160 nations are expected to compete in 22 sports. The Games will run from September 7-18, in the same venues as the 2016 Olympic Games.