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Loeffler's Athletes Collect 14 Medals At Paralympic Games

The five US Paralmypic Team members coached by Brian Loeffler; (l to r) McKenzie Coan, Cortney Jordan, Lizzi Smith, Brian Loeffler, Brad Snyder and Alyssa Gialamas (front).
Throughout the year, Loyola University Maryland head swimming and diving coach Brian Loeffler trains five Team USA athletes that are currently in Rio de Janeiro competing at the 2016 Paralympic Games; McKenzie Coan, Alyssa Gialamas, Cortney Jordan, Lizzi Smith and Brad Snyder. Coan and Gialamas are juniors on the Greyhounds' swimming and diving team, while Cortney Jordan earned her Masters degree from Loyola in 2016. will provide as much of a running blog of
Coan and Gialamas' progress through the Games as possible. Photos, quotes and videos will be included below with the page being updated frequently. Be sure to check back often!

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McKenzie Coan
Alyssa Gialamas
Cortney Jordan
Lizzi Smith
Brad Snyder

Catholic Review Feature on Loyola's Paralympians

Baltimore Sun Digest:
Medal-winners Snyder, Coan break records at Rio Paralympics
McKenze Coan wins Rio gold; silver for training partner Cortney Jordan

Loyola University Maryland head swimming and diving coach Brian Loeffler sent five athletes - McKenzie Coan and Alyssa Gialamas, juniors on the Greyhounds' swim team, Cortney Jordan, a 2016 graduate of Loyola with her masters degree, Lizzi Smith, a first-time Paralympian, and Brad Snyder, a blind Navy vet - to Rio de Janeiro to compete with the U.S. Paralympic Team at the 2016 Paralmypic Games from Wednesday, Sept. 7, through Sunday, Sept. 18. Throughout the Games, which were contested in the same venues as the 2016 Olympic games, the group collected 14 medals, including six gold, six silver and two bronze.

Coan won her first-ever gold medal in the S7 50 free and followed it up with gold in the S7 400 free and S7 100 free to sweep the freestyle golds. She also captured a silver medal with the 400 free relay team to finish with four medals.

Jordan joined Coan on the medal podium in the 100m free and 400m free, by claiming silver in both events, while she brought home a third silver in the S7 50m fly and bronze in the SM7 200 IM. 

Like Coan, Snyder also brought home three gold medals by sweeping the freestyle events in the S11 category; the 50m, 100m and 400m. He then tied for silver in the S11 100 back to give him his seventh medal in two Paralympic Games.

The remaining medals belong to Smith, who teammed with Coan, Michelle Konkoly and Jessica Long to win silver in the 400 free relay, and then captured a bronze medal with the 400 medley relay team. 

Saturday, Sept. 17 - Morning Session
Alyssa Gialamas capped off her competition in the Paralympic Games with a 10th place finish in the S5 100 free. Gialamas finished fifth in her heat with a time of 1:37.15.

Friday, Sept. 16 - Evening Session

Loyola University Maryland junior McKenzie Coan captured her fourth medal of the Paralympic Games, and her third gold medal, Friday night, by winning the S7 100m freestyle. With the win, Coan swept all three freestyle events in the S7 category, the 50m, 100m and 400m.

The Clarksville, Georgia, native finished first with a time of 1:09.99, while teammate and training partner Cortney Jordan claimed silver in 1:12.80. The duo also went 1-2 in the S7 400m freestyle race. Jordan edged China’s Yajing Huang out of third by .05 seconds, as Huang settled for bronze in 1:12.85.

In the S5 50m backstroke, Alyssa Gialamas turned in a time of 47.96, which was good for sixth place. Spain's Teresa Perales won gold in 43.03 and was joined by the Bela Trebinova (44.51) and Norway's Sarah Louise Rung (45.01) on the podium.

Gialamas will return to the pool Saturday, the final day of competition, for the S5 100 freestyle. She's the only one of Brian Loeffler's athlete's still competing. 

Through the first nine days of competition, Team USA has collected 13 gold, 12 silver and nine bronze medals. Coan is responsible for three of those golds and contributed to one silver, while Loyola head coach Brian Loeffler's athletes - Coan, Gialamas, Cortney Jordan, Lizzi Smith and Brad Snyder - have combined for 14 medals (6 gold, 6 silver, 2 bronze). 

Friday, Sept. 16 - Morning Session
McKenzie Coan and Alyssa Gialamas both qualified for the finals of their events this morning.

Coan qualified for the finals of the S7 100 free and will attempt to sweep gold in the three S7 freestyle events tonight, as she has already won gold in the S7 50 free (32.42) and the S7 400 free (5:05.77). She is the favorite to win gold in the S7 100 free again tonight at 4:30 p.m., as she turned in a time of 1:09.47 in this morning's preliminary race. Watch tonight's finals race live here!

This marked Gialamas' first race since Monday and will be her third finals appearance, as she finished third in her heat with a time of 48.65. She will be seeded fifth in the finals, which you can watch live here at 7 p.m. tonight. 

In addition to Coan, her teammate and training partner Cortney Jordan also qualified for tonight's finals in the S7 100 free and they'll square off once again. On Wednesday night, Coan and Jordan went 1-2 in the S7 400 free, with Coan capturing gold and Jordan taking the silver. Watch what Coan had to say about Jordan before they left for Rio:   

Thursday, Sept. 15 - Evening Session
McKenzie Coan swam Thursday night's lead off leg in the 34-point 400m freestyle relay, helping the United States record the second fastest time in world history, 4:20.10. The Australian team, however, bested the Red, White and Blue, shattering its previous world record with a gold-medal time of 4:16.65. 

The Aussies topped their 2012 gold-medal time of 4:20.39 to win Thursday night's race in Rio. Coan went off the blocks on the first leg and was followed in the water by Lizzie Smith, another swimmer who trains for head coach Brian Loeffler at Loyola. Jessica Long swam the third leg and Michelle Conkoly finished the relay for the United States. 

Watch the race here, or you can click here to watch the quartet receive their silver medals. 

Earlier in the evening session, Brad Snyder, who trains at Loyola, as well, won gold in the men's 100m freestyle S11 final, setting a World and Paralympics record of 56.15 in the process. 

Wednesday, Sept. 14 - Evening Session

McKenzie Coan
captured her second goal medal of the Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro Wednesday night, beating teammate and training partner Cortney Jordan to the wall in the S7 400 free. Coan dominated the event, touching first in 5:05.77, and was followed to the wall by Jordan, who took silver in 5:18.20. Great Britain's Susannah Rodgers claimed the bronze in 5:23.17.

Full results can be found here

"Oh, my goodness that was so much fun,” Coan said about the race, with an enormous grin. “To be able to go one-two with Cortney, I am really emotional. She is my hero. This is the greatest moment of my career."

To watch Coan and Jordan's race, click here. You can also catch them receive their medals by clicking here

Coan won her first gold medal Friday night in the S7 50 free, while the silver was Jordan's 11th-career Paralympic Games medal and third from the Rio Games.

"She's my training partner,” Jordan stated when asked about going gold-silver with Coan. “We've been doing this for four years. I moved to Baltimore, Maryland to be coached by Brian Loeffler, who's an incredible coach. We all moved together and it's an amazing training group. McKenzie is not only the best training partner, she's also one of my best friends.”

With the two medals, the duo helped Team USA raise their medal count to 27 after the seventh day of competition. 

Coan will race again Thursday night in the finals of the 400 free relay. She will be the lead off leg, and will be joined by Jessica Long - the second-most decorated Paralympian in U.S. history, Michelle Konkoly - a former Georgetown University swimmer who is making her Paralympic debut, and Lizzi Smith - a Team USA teammate who also trains for Loyola head coach Brian Loeffler.

The quartet will swim at 7:15 p.m. You can watch the race live by clicking here

Monday, Sept. 12 - Evening Session
McKenzie Coan raced the finals of the S7 50 fly and finished sixth overall with a time of 37.87. Great Britain's Susannah Rodgers won gold in 35.07, while training partner and fellow Team USA member Cortney Jordan captured silver in 35.46. New Zealand's Nikita Howarth took the bronze in 35.97, followed by Canada's Sarah Mehain (36.46), Spain's Judit Rolo Marichal (37.78) and Coan. 

Coan will rest Tuesday before getting back into action Wednesday morning when she races in the 400 free prelims.

Monday, Sept. 12 - Morning Session
After a weekend without races, McKenzie Coan returned to the pool this morning and turned in a time of 37.54 in the S7 50 fly, her third of five events throughout this year's Paralympic Games. She finished third in her heat and her time ranks fifth heading into tonight's finals. Coan has advanced to the finals in all three events she has competed in now. 

In addition, Alyssa Gialamas competed in the S5 50 free this morning. She finished sixth in her heat and 12th overall with a time of 44.48. She will return to action on Friday when she competes in the preliminaries of the 50 back. 

To watch Coan go for her second medal of this year's Games, tune in to NBCSN tonight at 7 p.m. You can also watch a live stream of her race at 7:08 p.m., by clicking here. 

Friday, Sept. 9 - Evening Session

McKenzie Coan captured her first-ever GOLD medal at the Paralympic Games, setting a new Paralympic Record in the S7 50 free. Coan touched in 32.42, bettering her own Paralympic Record from the prelims, and about half of one second faster than the runner up and silver medalist, Germany's Denise Grahl. Great Britain's Susannah Rodgers claimed the bronze medal, touching in 33.26, while Team USA's Cortney Jordan just missed out on making the modium, finishing in 33.33. 

"I am so excited for my first major medal to be gold," Coan said. "It is absolutely insane. Me and my coach have been working on sprints all the time. Every single day we do something off the blocks fast and that really gave me the confidence to go out there knowing I could do that. My body goes on autopilot and I don't have to think about it."

For her efforts, Coan was named the BMW Performance of the Day. You can watch her race here, while you can catch the medal ceremony here.

Coan will have the weekend to celebrate her gold medal and rest up for her next event, the 50 fly on Monday. Teammate Alyssa Gialamas will also return to the pool on Monday, as she will compete in the 50 free.  

Friday, Sept. 9 - Morning Session
McKenzie Coan will swim for GOLD tonight! Coan set a new Paralympic Record in the S7 50 free this morning, as she won her heat in 32.57. She will be the top-seeded athlete in tonight's final! You can watch the race live online at 5:05 p.m. ET or on NBCSN on tape delay beginning at 11:30 p.m ET.

In addition, Cortney Jordan, who trains for Loyola head coach Brian Loeffler, also won her heat in the S7 50 free and will be the third-seeded athlete in tonight's final. She touched in 34.07. Germany's Denise Grahl is seeded second wtih a time of 33.28.

Full results can be found here

Thursday, Sept. 8 - Evening Session

In Thursday evening's finals session, Alyssa Gialamas finished seventh in the S5 200 free after shaving more than one second off of her preliminary race time. Gialamas touched in 3:15.04, beating France's Anita Fatis (3:18.23) to the wall. China's Li Zhang won gold in the race with a time of 2:48.33, while Spain's Teresa Perales (2:50.91) was the silver medalist and Norway's Sara Louise Rung (2:51.37) claimed bronze. Watch the race here.

In McKenzie Coan's S7 100 back race (watch here), she just missed capturing her first medal, as she finished fifth in 1:25.17. China's Liting Ke (1:23.06) and Ying Zhang (1:23.34) finished 1-2, followed by New Zealand's Rebecca Dubber (1:23.85). Teammate and training partner Cortney Jordan finished seventh in the race with a time of 1:25.95. 

Thursday, Sept. 8 - Morning Session

McKenzie Coan and Alyssa Gialamas started competition strong this morning, as they both advanced to tonight's finals of their respective events.

Gialamas will be seeded eighth in the finals of the S5 200 free at 7:08 p.m. ET. She finished fourth in her heat this morning, touching in 3:16.22. You can watch her prelim race here:

Coan finished third in her heat of the S7 100 back with a time of 1:25.34. She enters tonight's finals tied with China's Yajing Huang for fifth. You can watch Coan's prelim race here: She will race in the finals with teammate and training partner Cortney Jordan at 7:32 p.m. ET. Jordan finished fourth in her prelim heat in 1:25.54 and will be seeded seventh in the finals. 

Televised coverage of each of the finals races will begin on NBCSN at 7 p.m. You can also find live stream links at the link above. 

Early September

Two Loyola University Maryland swimmers, rising juniors McKenzie Coan and Alyssa Gialamas, are finishing up final preparations for the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, where they will compete with the US Paralympic Team.

Coan and Gialamas will miss the Opening Ceremonies on Wednesday, Sept. 7, as they both compete on the first day of competition.

Coan will open with the 100 back on Thursday, Sept. 8 and the 50 free on Friday, Sept. 9. Following a two-day break, the Clarksville, Georgia, native will return to the pool for the 50 fly (Monday, Sept. 12), the 400 free (Wednesday, Sept. 14) and the 100 free (Friday, Sept. 16).

Gialamas, from Naperville, Illinois, will first compete in the 200 free on Thursday, Sept. 8. She will follow that up with the 50 free on Monday, Sept. 12, the 50 back on Friday, Sept. 16 and the 100 free on Saturday, Sept. 17.

Prior to leaving, all seven US Paralmypic Team members with ties to Maryland were honored in a special sendoff ceremony by Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake at Baltimore City Hall. Coan, Gialamas, Cortney Jordan, Elizabeth Smith and Brad Snyder, who all train under Loyola head coach Brian Loeffler, in addition to Jessica Long and Rebecca Meyers were honored.

"Today, I am deeply honored to recognize several more of our world-class athletes who are preparing for their own competitive journey to Rio de Janeiro," Rawlings-Blake stated in her opening to the ceremony on Thursday, Aug. 11. "These individuals with Baltimore and Maryland ties are not only extraordinary athletes, but they have remarkable stories of personal triumph. They exemplify how perseverance and personal will to succeed can prepare you to beat what seem like insurmountable odds."

The 2016 Paralympic Games will begin on Wednesday, Sept. 7, with Closing Ceremonies scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 18. All of the Games will be held at the same venues as the 2016 Olympic Games.






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