U.S. Paralympics Swimming names 2023 National Team

by Kristen Gowdy

Julia Gaffney competes in breaststroke at the 2022 World Para Swimming Championships in Madeira, Portugal. (Photo: Ralf Kuckuck)

COLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO – Thirty-nine athletes earned spots on the 2023 U.S. Paralympics Swimming National Team roster, the organization today announced. The list includes 37 swimmers who were on the roster in 2022.


An experienced roster led by multi-Paralympic medalists and world champions, more than half of the team has made their Paralympic debuts. The group is headlined by athletes who found the top of the podium at the Madeira 2022 Para Swimming World Championships, including Leanne Smith (Salem, Massachusetts), who won a historic seven golds at the event, as well as Paralympic medalists Elizabeth Marks (Colorado Springs, Colorado), McKenzie Coan (Clarkesville, Georgia), Anastasia Pagonis (Long Island, New York), Gia Pergolini (Atlanta, Georgia), and Colleen Young (St. Louis, Missouri) who each snagged multiple gold medals in Madeira.


In addition to the established veterans on the team, newcomers Christie Raleigh Crossley (Toms River, New Jersey) and Olivia Chambers (Little Rock, Arkansas) broke onto the scene in the second half of last season en route to national team spots. Raleigh Crossley set an Americas Record at the WPS World Series event in Mexico, while Chambers, a sophomore on the University of Northern Iowa swim team, was named Swimmer of the Meet at the 2022 U.S. Paralympics National Championships after accumulating the most points in the meet.


After opting out of world championships last season, 29-time Paralympic medalist Jessica Long (Baltimore, Maryland) and five-time Paralympic medalist Mallory Weggemann (Eagan, Minnesota) return to the national team roster as the team readies for world championships in Manchester, England, and the 2023 Parapan American Games in Santiago, Chile.


They are joined by a slew of athletes who have proven themselves on the world stage. Paralympic champions Hannah Aspden (Raleigh, North Carolina), Morgan Stickney (Cary, North Carolina), Rudy Garcia-Tolson (Colorado Springs, Colorado), and Mikaela Jenkins (Evansville, Indiana) earned their roster spots after each winning at least one medal in Madeira.


Rounding out the contingent of Paralympic medalists making the roster include multi-time medalists Lizzi Smith (Muncie, Indiana), and Julia Gaffney (Mayflower, Arkansas), as well as Tokyo 2020 medalists Matthew Torres (Ansonia, Connecticut), Jamal Hill (Inglewood, California), David Abrahams (Havertown, Pennsylvania), and Ahalya Lettenberger (Glen Ellyn, Illinois).


Several Team USA swimmers impressed at world championships en route to roster spots, led by Morgan Ray (St. Augustine, Florida), who won a silver in his worlds debut. Teenager Audrey Kim (Salt Lake City, Utah) was part of the silver medal-winning mixed 4x100-meter freestyle relay 34 pt. team in her first world championships appearance. Tokyo Paralympian Summer Schmit (Stillwater, Minnesota) claimed bronze in the 400-meter freestyle in Madeira and earns a roster spot, while Paralympians and 2022 worlds teammates McClain Hermes (Dacula, Georgia) and Parker Egbert (Greenville, South Carolina) return to the national team as well.


Tokyo Paralympians Haven Shepherd (Carthage, Missouri), Zach Shattuck (Mt. Airy, Maryland), Lawrence Sapp (Cincinnati, Ohio), and Keegan Knott (Lake Villa, Illinois) also return to the pool as members of the national team. Out of the 34 American swimmers at the Tokyo Paralympics, 25 are still competing at the national team level.


A host of up-and-coming swimmers looking to make their first world championships team in 2023 complete this year’s national team roster. Rounding out the roster are Taylor Winnett (Hershey, Pennsylvania), Yaseen El-Demerdash (Overland Park, Kansas), David Gelfand (Weston, Connecticut), Connor Gioffreda (Timonium, Maryland), Jeff Lovett (Orlando, Florida), Noah Jaffe (Carlsbad, California), Adin Williams (Happy Valley, Oregon), Cali Prochaska (Fort Wayne, Indiana), Hannah Nelson (Yankton, South Dakota), and Trevor Lukacsko (Basking Ridge, New Jersey).


Major competitions for U.S. Paralympics Swimming athletes in 2023 include the Para Swimming World Series in Indianapolis, Indiana, the Manchester 2023 Para Swimming World Championships, the 2023 Parapan American Games, and the U.S. Paralympics Swimming National Championships. Follow U.S. Paralympics Swimming on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for updates and results from the team.


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2023 U.S. Paralympics Swimming National Team



Hannah Aspden

Olivia Chambers

McKenzie Coan

Christie Raleigh Crossley

Julia Gaffney

McClain Hermes

Mikaela Jenkins

Audrey Kim

Keegan Knott

Ahalya Lettenberger

Jessica Long

Elizabeth Marks

Hannah Nelson

Anastasia Pagonis

Gia Pergolini

Cali Prochaska
Summer Schmit

Haven Shepherd

Leanne Smith

Lizzi Smith

Morgan Stickney

Mallory Weggemann

Taylor Winnett

Colleen Young



David Abrahams

Parker Egbert

Yaseen El-Demerdash

Rudy Garcia-Tolson

David Gelfand

Connor Gioffreda

Jamal Hill

Noah Jaffe

Jeff Lovett

Trevor Lukacsko

Morgan Ray

Lawrence Sapp

Zach Shattuck

Matthew Torres

Adin Williams