Americas' Records Come Crashing Down on Day One of the 2008 U.S. Paralympic Team Trials - Track & Field
TEMPE, Ariz. - Sixteen points. That's what kept Jeremy Campbell (Chula Vista, Calif./Perryton, Texas) from becoming the new world record holder in the men's pentathlon (P44). A measly sixteen points. While he just narrowly missed the world record, Campbell handily took top honors in the first event of competition with 4,431 points at the 2008 U.S. Paralympics Team Trials - Track & Field at Arizona State University.
Teammates Casey Tibbs (San Diego, Calif./San Antonio, Texas) and Jeff Skiba (Chula Vista, Calif./Sammamish, Wash.) followed in second (4,323 points) and third place (4,088 points), respectively.
Day one of competition also saw several of the Americas' records (include records from both North and South America) fall. Carlos Leon (Birmingham, Ala./N. Lauderdale, Fla.) topped the current Americas' record (7.34m) in the men's F52 shot put by launching his best pitch of the day with 7.98m.
Teammate Matthew Brown (Idalou, Texas) also bested the current Americas' record (43.39m) in the men's F54 discus by throwing 44.77m.
Thrower Robyn Stawski (Tampa, Fla.) also set two new Americas' records, a feat that she says proves that hard work does pay off.
"Training and working everyday - that's my life," says Stawski. "I've been working really hard and giving it everything I've got. Competing at the 2007 Parapan Ams was a real eye-opener for me. It confirmed what I wanted to do, and with the help of my new coach, I've been able to really dedicate myself and adapted my workouts and it's paying off."
Stawski's new Americas' records are in the women's F33 shot put, with a throw of 5.67m (previous 5.45m), and the women's F33 discus with 12.93m (previous 11.78m).
In today's racing action, Amanda McGrory (Kennett Square, Pa./Champaign, Ill.), who set a new world record (11:29.95) in the women's T53 5,000m just last month at the Swiss Racing Series in Ibach, proved that the 105-degree heat was no match for her. She finished the 5,000m in 12:04.56 in first, followed by teammate Cheri Blauwet (Menlo Park, Calif.) in a close second with 12:04.71.
"It felt good - the Arizona heat makes the 5,000m a challenge, but it felt good," said McGrory. "Cheri and I worked together on and off through each lap. While the pressure's on to do well, we both knew that we needed to hit a certain time and worked with each other to get there."
McGrory also took the women's T53 800m with a final time of 1:52.49.
Tatyana McFadden (Clarksville, Md.) won the women's T54 800m final in 1:50.93, beating her closest opponent by over three full seconds.
In the men's T54 5,000m action, Joshua George (Champaign, Ill.) continued his dominance on the track, finishing first in 10:58.64. He was followed by Tyler Byers (Washington, D.C./Spokane, Wash.) with 10:59.42 and Adam Bleakney (Champaign, Ill.) in third with 11:00.26.
George also took the field in the men's T53 800m in 1:40.07. Adam Bleakney trailed just behind in 1:40.30.
In the men's T54 800m, Jordan Bird (Wichita, Ks.) led the pack with a final time of 1:38.55. He was followed by Tony Iniguez, 1:40.89, and Aaron Pike, 1:42.08.
In today's 100m action, the following athletes finished first in his/her final heat:
T11 - Nelacey Porter (Chula Vista, Calif.) - 11.59
T12 - Josiah Jamison (Chula Vista, Calif.) - 10.99
T13 - Royal Mitchell (Chula Vista, Calif.) - 11.06
T37 - Cole Sanders - 13.56
T42 - Kortney Clemons (Little Rock, Ms.) - 15.14
T44 - Brian Frasure (Apex, N.C.) - 11.45
T52 - Paul Nitz - 18.59
T53 - Joshua George (Champaign, Ill.) - 15.06
T54 - Erik Hightower (Glendale, Ariz.) - 14.83
T37 - Sabra Hawkes (Rockport, Mass.) - 15.52
T44 - April Holmes (Chula Vista, Calif./Somerdale, N.J.) - 13.09
T53 - Jessica Galli (Savoy, Ill.) - 17.46
T54 - Tatyana McFadden (Clarksville, Md.) - 16.48
For complete results from the 2008 U.S. Paralympic Team Trials - Track & Field, go to http://www.2008paralympictracktrials.com/.
For additional information, please contact Beth Bourgeois, U.S. Paralympics, at (719)866-2039 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About U.S. Paralympics:
U.S. Paralympics, a division of the U.S. Olympic Committee, is dedicated to becoming the world leader in the Paralympic sports movement and to promoting excellence in the lives of people with a physical disability. Visit the U.S. Paralympics Web site at http://www.usparlaympics.org/.