NCAA D3 National Champion Raleigh-Crossley Breaks American Record at US Nationals


Two American Records fell on day two of the 2022 US Para Swimming National Championships in Charlotte.

One came from Christie Raleigh-Crossley, a former NCAA Division III National Champion. She won the 100 backstroke in 1:08.74, which broke Hannah Aspden’s record of 1:09.22 from last summer’s Paralympic Games in Tokyo, which won her a gold medal.

The time is now just a second away from the World Record of 1:07.41 set by New Zealand’s Sophie Pascoe in 2019.

That swim gave Raleigh-Crossley 1040 points, which is the first 1000+ point swim of the meet so far. That is her second win of the meet so far after also coming out on top in the 100 fly. Elizabeth Marks (S6) was 2nd in 1:24.07/966 points, Lizzie Smith was 3rd in 1:13.88/935 points, Olivia Chambers (S13) was 4th in 1:08.79/909 points, McKenzie Coan (S13) was 5th in 1:28.12/814 points, and Jessica Long (S8) in her comeback meet from a long break was 6th 1:25.09/799 points. This was the most-stacked field of the meet so far.

This year’s meet will be swum as a multi-class event. This means that swimmers from all classes will race each other, but rather than being compared on time, they will be scored based on the World Para Swimming points system. In short: the event winners will be the swimmers who come closest to the best times for their class since 2009 wins.

Classes S1-S10 are for athletes with physical disabilities, Classes S11-S13 are for athletes with visual impairments, and Class S14 is for athletes with intellectual disabilities. The system is designed so that swimmers with higher numbers generally have less-severe disabilities as they relate to swimming. The “SB” classification is for breaststroke events and the “SM” classification is for individual medley events.

Read more about the para-swimming classification system here.

Another American Record fell in the men’s 100 breaststroke, where Jeff Lovett of the SB14 class swam 1:15.04. That shaved two-tenths of a second off the time that Jacob Basini swam at last year’s Olympic Trials in Minneapolis.

Lovett’s record wasn’t enough to win that event. His time was worth 794 points under the WPS scoring system, but David Abrahams (SB13) swam a 1:08.35 for 895 points.

Other Day 2 Winners:

  • Racing much of the same field from the 100 back, sans Raleigh-Crossley, Elizabeth Marks (S6) won the women’s 50 free in 33.95, scoring 962 points. Lizzie Smith (S9) was 2nd with a time of 29.97/934 points. That’s a second meet win for Marks, who had the #2 and #3 highest-scoring swims of the day on Saturday.
  • Jamal Hill (S9) also broke 900 points en route to winning the men’s 50 free with 928 points/26.49. That missed his own American Record of 25.19 from last year’s Paralympic Games, which earned him a bronze medal. He beat out Yaseen El-Demerdash (S10), who was 2nd with a time of 25.83 and a score of 866 points.
  • Lawrence Sapp (S14) took his second victory of the meet, winning the men’s 100 backstroke in 1:06.07/844 points. He also won the 100 fly on Friday.
  • Madelyn White (SB8) won the women’s 100 breaststroke in 1:37.90/617 points. That gave him both the fastest time and the highest score of the race.

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