MINNEAPOLIS -- Iraq war veteran Melissa Stockwell set an American record Thursday in the women's 400-meter freestyle in the U.S. Paralympics swimming trials, finishing in 5 minutes, 3.08 seconds at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center.
Stockwell, competing in the S9 class, lost a leg in a roadside bombing in Baghdad.
"The training I have been doing is really paying off. I felt good going in to the pool and I was pushed by my competition," Stockwell said. "I have unbelievable support, but I still have to keep my focus for the remainder of the competition. I feel relaxed and settled in to do well in the competition."
U.S. coach Jimi Flowers praised Stockwell.
"Melissa set the tone for the rest of the team by her integrity, sacrifice and striving for what she wanted," Flowers said. "The success is contagious and hopefully it will carry for the rest of the meet."
Also, Susan Beth Scott broke the world record in the women's 400 freestyle (S10) with a time of 4:40.10; Lantz Lamback set an American mark in the men's 400 freestyle (S7) at 5:03.42; and Joe Wise broke the U.S. mark in the men's 400 freestyle (S10) in 4:24.92.