Paralympian Long swims to 3 records Jessica Long of...

December 04, 2006

Paralympian Long swims to 3 records

Jessica Long of Middle River won three gold medals to help the U.S. team take the lead on the opening day of the International Paralympic Committee's Swimming World Championships in Durban, South Africa, on Saturday. The team won 11 medals, highlighted by a world-record performance in the women's 400-meter freestyle relay.

Long, 14, teamed with Ashley Owens of Stockbridge, Ga.; Erin Popovich of Silverbow, Mont.; and April Kerley of Loveland, Ohio, to blow away the field, finishing in 4 minutes, 30.66 seconds and cutting more than eight seconds off the previous world record.

For Long, the gold was one of three she earned Saturday. She set a Pan-American record in racing to victory in the S8 100-meter backstroke (1:20.93) and set another world record in her S8 100-meter freestyle victory (1:07.03).

Anna Eames of Golden Valley, Minn., won gold in the S10 100-meter butterfly on her first day at her first world championships. Roy Perkins of Del Mar, Calif., another first-timer at the worlds, earned a bronze in the SM5 200-meter individual medley.

Mark Barr of Davis, Calif., set a Pan-American record in the S9 100-meter butterfly in winning silver. Other silver-medal performances came from Travis Mohr of Whitehall, Pa., in the S8 100-meter backstroke and Cheryl Angelelli-Kornoelje of Fraser, Mich., in the S4 50-meter freestyle.

Long is entered in seven individual events at the world championships, which end Friday.

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