McFaddens rise to the occasion in San Antonio

By Jamie M. Blanchard | June 15, 2013, 10 p.m. (ET)
Tatyana McFadden
Tatyana McFadden won four gold medals at the 2013 U.S. Paralympics Track and Field National Championships in San Antonio, Texas, on June 15.

SAN ANTONIO, Texas — Tatyana McFadden dominated on the second day of the 2013 U.S. Paralympics Track and Field National Championships in San Antonio, Texas. In the four events the Clarksville, Md., native raced Saturday at Trinity University, she won all four.

“Today was hard because we had the storm last night,” said McFadden, a 10-time medalist at the Paralympic Games. “I was only supposed to have the 100 today because tomorrow was supposed to be a pretty tough day. It is difficult doing four events but it is almost like another training day. We train high endurance and high intensity for days like this.”

McFadden is the champion in the women's 100 meters (T54), 200m (T54), 800m (T54) and 5,000m (T53/54), which was her final competition of the day. She has the 1,500m (T53/54) and the 400m (T54) remaining in San Antonio.

Hannah McFadden, a newcomer on the track who represented the United States at the London 2012 Paralympic Games at 16, finished second to her older sister in three races. Hannah did not race the 5,000m.

“My mom likes to say it's her cooking that makes us do well,” Tatyana smiled.

The McFadden sisters meet on the track in the 400m Sunday, which is the final day of action in San Antonio. “She’s just another competitor,” said Tatyana, who is favored in the 400m.

While Day 2 belonged to the McFaddens, Jerome Singleton (Irmo, S.C.) proved his worth by winning the highly anticipated men’s 100m (T44) with a time of 11.28. The defending International Paralympic Committee Athletics World Champion in the 100m topped Jarryd Wallace (Athens, Ga.), who clocked 11.45 to secure second place.

“I just got to have faith that I am where I need to be come worlds,” Singleton said. “Every day is a struggle. Everybody has issues that they have to go through. Whoever has the least amount of issues at the world championships has the best chance at winning.”

Favorite Richard Browne (Jackson, Miss.), who tied the 10.85 world record June 8 at an unsanctioned competition in Florida, only a week off crutches, aggravated his leg injury in the first steps of the race today. He finished last with a time of 18.96.

Blake Leeper (Kingsport, Tenn.) woke up Saturday to find his world record in the men’s 100m (T43), which he shared with South African Oscar Pistorius, broken by Brazil's Alan Oliveira at a meet in Berlin, Germany. Oliveira ran 10.77, 0.14 seconds faster than the previous record of 10.91.

“I am not going to lie, I was upset when I read that Alan broke the record,” said Leeper, who learned of the defeat on Twitter. “It took me years to tie Oscar’s record, which stood for a few years. I took pride in the world record. To be able to represent my country as a world record holder, it was an honor.”  

Leeper ran an 11.39 in San Antonio.

“The good thing about the Paralympic Movement is that world records are being set every day,” said Leeper, who won a silver medal and a bronze medal in London. “It lights a fire under me. I am fired up to face Alan in Lyon because he is a great competitor.”

Leeper said he can run a 10.77, to match Oliveira, but he is aiming for a 10.6.

“It is not anything that I can’t do,” he said.

In the women’s shot put (F32-34/52/53), San Antonio’s Kate Callahan, an F57, won with a 9.39m throw. But Cassie Mitchell (Warner, Okla.), an F52 who finished second, set a world record for her classification, throwing 6.14m. The previous world record for the F52 classification was 5.82m, thrown by Croatian Antonia Balek in 2009.

“I have been very close to a world record in my last few meets, like within centimeters,” Mitchell said. “I knew it was possible to set a world record here but with my other meets, I went in thinking about setting the world record and that didn’t go well. For this meet, I decided I wasn’t going to come in for the world record. I was coming here to let loose and throw it. Whatever happened, so be it.”

Hagan Landry (Delcambre, La.), competing in the newer F41 classification, threw a 9.1m in the men’s shot put (F40-44/46).

David Prince (Sarasota, Fla.) started the action on June 15 with a world record in the men’s 200m (T44), running 22.47. He runs in the 400m, which he also holds the world record in, on Sunday.

More than 130 athletes are competing at the 2013 U.S. Paralympics Track and Field National Championships. The event serves as the U.S. qualification opportunity for the 2013 International Paralympic Committee Athletics World Championships in Lyon, France.

The U.S. world team will be named by June 18.

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.

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