Becca Meyers' fairy-tale week continued Thursday in Glasgow, Scotland. Still in awe after her ESPY award win the night before, the two-time Paralympic medalist broke her second world record in three days at the IPC Swimming World Championships, taking more than a second off the previous mark to finish in 4 minutes, 21.66 seconds in the women's 400-meter freestyle S13 race.
Swimming at the Tollcross International Swimming Centre, Meyers, 20, defended her 2013 world championship in the event and reclaimed the record from Anna Stetsenko of Ukraine, who in April had lowered Meyers' 4:25.31 mark to 4:23.01.
Meyers says she was determined to rewrite her name into the record book.
"I felt really good going into the race," Meyers said. "I told myself in the call room, 'I got this' and 'I want my world record back.' After the first lap I looked over and saw I was ahead of [Stetsenko] and just went for it. I needed to bring it home on the last lap, so I just went all-out."
Meyers woke up Thursday morning in Glasgow to discover she won the ESPY award for Best Female with a Disability, a fan-voted honor presented by ESPN.
"It was an incredible honor to be nominated. I'm still in awe that I won last night. It still hasn't hit me yet," Meyers said Thursday morning in quotes requested by The Baltimore Sun and forwarded by U.S. Paralympics. "It's amazing. It's been a roller coaster the past couple of years and I'm still on it. I know I still have more to accomplish and I look at all of this as just the beginning. I'm still in shock about the award."
The Notre Dame Prep alumna beat out four other nominees, including Tatyana McFadden, a sit-skier-wheelchair racer from Clarksville who attended Atholton, and Greta Neimanas, a cyclist who moved to Annapolis in November and works as a sales associate at The Bike Doctor.
Meyers, 20, who attends Franklin & Marshall, was born deaf and was diagnosed with Usher syndrome, a genetic disorder that causes gradual balance and vision loss.
"It's amazing how being nominated and winning for Paralympics brings a lot of awareness to the sport [of swimming]," she said. "That's one of the reasons I do this is to raise awareness and give back. If you asked me five years ago, I wouldn't have believed I'd be in this position [to win an ESPY and give back]. It's a roller coaster and I'm still on the ride enjoying it."
Meyers had a message for her hometown.
"Thank you so much for voting for me," she said. "I can't put into words my love and appreciation for everyone, especially back in Baltimore."
On Tuesday, Meyers broke the world record in the 200 individual medley. She'll look to keep the momentum through the weekend with three remaining races in Glasgow — the 100 breaststroke (today), 100 freestyle (Saturday) and 100 butterfly (Sunday).
"It feels incredible to have that kind of love and support from my teammates, my friends back home and my family here," she said. "I'm on a high right now and I'm excited to finish strong these next three days and bring it home for Team USA."
Jessica Long of Baltimore won the silver medal in the women's 100 free S8 race, finishing second to Australia's Maddison Elliott who set a world record in the event. Long, a 17-time Paralympic medalist, clocked in at 32.67.
Later she was part of the women's 4x100 freestyle relay team that rallied from sixth place to finish second.