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Paralympic Champion Morgan Stickney Grabs Gold in Record Fashion on Second Day of World Series

by Annemarie Blanco

MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA - Team USA continued its domination in the Jean K. Freeman Aquatic Center on the second day of action at the Citi Para Swimming World Series USA 2023 adding a total of 17 podium appearances for the day. Across two days of competition, the U.S. has amassed an impressive 28 total medals for the meet.  


Double Tokyo Paralympic champion Morgan Stickney (Cary, North Carolina) led an all-Team USA podium breaking an Americas record in the women’s 400m freestyle grabbing her first gold of the meet. Paralympian McKenzie Coan (Clarkesville, Georgia) took silver with national team member Olivia Chambers rounding out the podium with bronze.  


“I’m happy with how it went,” said Stickney. “I’ve had a lot of difficulties training in the last year, so I’m happy I was able to finish the race and do really well. It’s amazing to be here and just be able to see everyone and spend time with them. It’s been a lot of fun to be part of Team USA.” 


In the men’s 50m freestyle, Paralympic bronze medalist Jamal Hill (Inglewood, California) took the silver medal with Noah Jaffe (Carlsbad, California) adding a bronze and two American records to his collection.  


No stranger to the podium, five-time Paralympic medalist Elizabeth Marks (Colorado Springs, Colorado) added two more world series medals to her tally grabbing gold in the women’s 50m butterfly and silver in the women’s 50m freestyle, respectively. 29-time Paralympic medalist Jessica Long (Baltimore, Maryland) followed Marks in the 50m butterfly picking up silver with Paralympic champion Mikaela Jenkins (Evansville, Indiana) rounding out the trio of U.S. medalists.  


“Everyone here has been incredibly welcoming,” said Marks. “My first-ever Para meet was in this pool. We decided to train through this event, so we were just hoping for good swims and good practice, I always want to try to make a worlds team.” 


Just over a year after winning his first world series gold as an American citizen, Paralympian Abbas Karimi, a native of Afghanistan, picked up his second title with the top finish in the men’s 50m butterfly. Karimi currently trains with Swim Fort Lauderdale with a goal to compete and win at the 2024 Paralympic Games in Paris next year.  


“I’m happy,” said Karimi. “If I could make any changes, I would come with a better strategy, a better plan – which I am going to do… make a new plan and come back stronger and faster. During the race, I had to focus more and then keep going fast and ‘keep going fast’ is what I was telling myself.” 


In the men’s 100m butterfly, Paralympian Lawrence Sapp (Walford, Maryland) earned his first 2023 world series medal of the season taking the men’s 100m butterfly title with teammate Jeff Lovett (Eustis, Florida) securing bronze respectively.  


“I’m feeling really, really good,” said Sapp. “I’m happy with [my race]. I’m just doing my best I can. I look forward to doing my best and keep working hard to keep pushing through.” 


The final day of racing begins at 9 a.m. CT on April 22. All races are mixed class with results based on the World Para Swimming points system to create an equitable field of play among the different classes.  


Sessions are streamed live on USParaSwimming.org/live-stream and on the U.S. Paralympics Swimming Facebook page. For full results from the second day of competition, click here. Follow U.S. Paralympics Swimming on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for updates and results from the team. 


For media requests and photo inquiries, please contact Annemarie Blanco at Annemarie.Blanco@usopc.org.  


MEDALISTS  


Women’s 50m Butterfly  

  1. Elizabeth Marks, S6 
  2. Nicole Turner (IRE), S6 
  3. Naomi Somellera Mandujano (MEX), S7 


Men’s 50m Butterfly  

  1. Abbas Karimi, S5 
  2. Jesus Alberto Gutierrez Bermudez (MEX), S6  
  3. Adin Williams, S7  


Women’s 100m Butterfly  

  1. Elizabeth Smith, S9  
  2. Jessica Long, S8  
  3. Mikaela Jenkins, S10  


Men’s 100m Butterfly  

  1. Lawrence Sapp, S14 
  2. Barry McClements (IRE), S9  
  3. Jeff Lovett, S14  


Women’s 400m Freestyle  

  1. Morgan Stickney, S7 – AMERICAS RECORD  
  2. McKenzie Coan, S7  
  3. Olivia Chambers, S13  


Men’s 400m Freestyle  

  1. Ugo Didier (FRA), S9  
  2. Matthew Torres, S8 
  3. Noah Jaffe, S8  


Women’s 50m Freestyle 

  1. Maria Carolina Gomes Santiago (BRA), S12 
  2. Elizabeth Marks, S6 
  3. McKenzie Coan, S7  


Men’s 50m Freestyle 

  1. Ugo Didier (FRA), S9  
  2. Jamal Hill, S9  
  3. Noah Jaffe, S8 – AMERICAN RECORD
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