U.S. Paralympics athletes shine before rain delays competition

By Jamie M. Blanchard | June 14, 2013, 10 p.m. (ET)
Shaquille Vance
Shaquille Vance, a 2012 U.S. Paralympian, was the fastest sprinter on Day 1.

SAN ANTONIO, Texas — After champions were crowned in nine field events in the first session, Friday evening action at the 2013 U.S. Paralympics Track and Field National Championships in San Antonio, Texas, was postponed due to lightning. Session 2 events have been rescheduled.

Set to start at 6 p.m. at Trinity University, meet officials postponed action at 5:55 p.m. because of a nearby lightning strike. After a heavy downpour and additional lightning in the area, officials made a decision at 7:45 p.m. to reschedule events.

The 2013 U.S. Paralympics Track and Field National Championships, which is the U.S. qualification opportunity for the 2013 International Paralympic Committee Athletics World Championships in Lyon, France, kicked-off Friday morning with finals in several field competitions.

U.S. Paralympian Ce-Ce Mazyck (Columbia, S.C.), a U.S. Army veteran who competes in the F57 classification, won the women's javelin throw (F54-58) with a 19.89 meter throw, one day after celebrating her birthday. "I'm in love with the javelin," she said.

She bested two Texans. Amy Simmons (Mesquite, Texas),  an F54, threw 11.19 and 2012 U.S. Paralympian Kate Callahan (San Antonio, Texas), an F57, threw 15.57.

"It was really awesome seeing the javelin sore in the air," said Mazyck, who was injured in Nov. 2003 while doing a parachute jump with the U.S. Army's 82nd Airborne Division. "I felt good. I felt confident. I delivered."

The javelin is her only event of the competition.

"It is such a relief," she said. "I can breathe now. I was a little stuffed up before today but I can breathe clearly now that I'm done."

Samuel Craven (Walnut Creek, Calif.) won the men's shot put (32-34/52/53). An F34, Craven beat two-time U.S. Paralympian Scot Severn (Caro, Mich.), an F53. Craven threw 9.20 meters. Severn, who was injured while on duty with the U.S. Army Reserves, threw 8.43.

In an all-Texas match-up, 2012 U.S. Paralympian Tobi Fawehinmi (Arlington, Texas) beat U.S. Army veteran Robbie Gaupp of Gatesville, Texas, in the men's triple jump (F45/46).

Fawehinmi's London teammates were also successful on Day 1. Elexis Gillette (Raleigh, N.C.), a three-time Paralympic Games silver medalist, won the title in the men's triple jump (F11/12). U.S. Army veteran Scott Winkler (Grovetown, Ga.) won the men's shot put (54/55). Dennis Ogbe (Prospect, Ky.), who represented Nigeria at the Sydney 2000 Paralympic Games before competing for the U.S. in 2012, won the men's shot put (56/57/58).

Other champions from Day 1 include Eric Johnson (Montevideo, Minn.) in the men's javelin throw (F11-13/40-46), Jorge Fernando Tarazon (Glendale, Ariz.) in the men's shot put (F11/12/20/35) and Rebeca Valenzuela of Mexico in women's javelin throw (F11-13/37/46).

Shaquille Vance (Houston, Miss.) was the fastest man in the lone track event of the day. In the first heat of the men's 200-meter (T42) preliminary race, he ran a 26.91 to easily qualify for the final. William Woods (Ocala, Fla.) was the second fastest, taking the top spot in the second heat with a 28.35.

Track action is set to continue Saturday at 8:30 a.m. with field events starting at 9 a.m. A revised competition schedule for the 2013 U.S. Paralympics Track and Field National Championships is available on USParalympics.org.

For more information the 2013 U.S. Paralympics Track and Field National Championships, June 14-16, in San Antonio, including a schedule and results, click here.