UMW Assistant Swim Coach Headed to Rio Paralympics
UMW Assistant Swim Coach Dalton Herendeen is headed to Rio this week as a member of the U.S. Paralympic Swimming Team. He will compete in the 200 individual medley (IM), 100-meter butterfly, 400-meter freestyle, and 100-meter breaststroke.
Just last year, Herendeen considered retiring from competition. During the 2015 IPC Swimming World Championships in Scotland — where he placed sixth in the 100-meter breast 4×100 medley, seventh in the 4×100 freestyle, and eighth in the 100-meter back — his knee gave out. His left leg had been amputated below the knee shortly after birth, due to a blood clot. Doctors said years of extra pressure on the right leg had taken a toll, and the knee required reconstructive surgery.
UMW Head Swimming Coach Abby Brethauer encouraged Herendeen to continue. He had surgery in November 2015, began training again in February 2016, and made the Paralympic team in June.
“I had a phenomenal meet, my best times, and just crushed it,” he told Doug Williams in a story for the Paralympics website.. He posted the second best time in the 100-meter breaststroke (1:14.59) and in the 100-meter butterfly (1:03.48).
Herendeen began swimming when he was eight, in his hometown of Elkhart, Indiana. He was the first impaired swimmer to make it to the high school state team. At the University of Indianapolis, he was a top-eight finalist at the championship level all four years.
He made his senior international debut at the London 2012 Paralympic Games, where he placed ninth in the 400 meter freestyle and 100 meter back; 16th in the 100 meter butterfly; 25th in the 100 meter breast; and swam the 200 meter IM, but did not qualify.
Herendeen graduated from Indianapolis with a degree in Exercise Science, and began coaching at UMW this year. He’s also the new head coach for the Stingrays Swimming Club at the Jeff Rouse Swim and Sport Center in Stafford.
“Dalton has been an incredible inspiration and motivator for the team,” said UMW’s Brethauer. “We are so grateful to have him with us, and cannot wait to cheer him on in Rio.”
The Rio Paralympic Games will be held September 7 to 18, 2016.
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