U.S. Paralympics names team for UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships

By Katie Branham | Feb. 19, 2014, 6:40 p.m. (ET)
 Scott Martin en route to winning two titles at the Los Angeles Para-Track Cycling Open.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – U.S. Paralympics, a division of the United States Olympic Committee, announced today the roster of 17 athletes who will represent Team USA at the International Cycling Union Para-cycling Track World Championships in Aguascalientes, Mexico, April 10-13.

“This is one of the strongest American teams ever for the Para-cycling Track World Championships,” said Ian Lawless, high performance director U.S. Paralympics cycling. “It includes a mix of athletes with a lot of international experience, and newer athletes who will showcase their talents for the first time on the international stage. We’ve really been focusing a lot on team cohesion, and I am confident that the team’s soaring morale and positive support structure will result in some strong medal performances.”

The roster, which includes 10 men and seven women, was named following the inaugural Los Angeles Para-Track Cycling Open on Feb. 15-16. The event, a UCI international competition, included more than 30 athletes racing in the pursuit, time trial, team sprint and scratch race.

Top riders at the Los Angeles Para-Track Cycling Open included Jamie Whitmore (Mount Aukum, Calif.) and Jennifer Schuble (Birmingham, Ala.) who won their classes in the women’s 500-meter time trial, as well as Greta Neimanas (Asheville, N.C.) who won her class in the women’s 3-kilometer pursuit.

On the men’s side, notable performances came from Army veteran Justin Widhalm (Colorado Springs, Colo.) and Jason Kimball (Spring Lake, N.C.) who won their divisions in the men’s 1km time trial. Widhalm and Kimball also teamed with Schuble to win the mixed team sprint.

Several men walked away with multiple wins; Joe Berenyi  (Oswego, Ill.) and Marine Corps veteran Scott Martin (Oceanside, Calif.) both won their classes in the pursuit and scratch race, while the tandem team of Clark Rachfal (Annapolis, Md.) and pilot Dave Swanson (Tucson, Ariz.) won the 1km time trial and pursuit.

At the 2012 edition of the UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships, Team USA won four medals. Neimanas won silver in the women’s C5 500m time trial and 3km pursuit, and Allison Jones (Colorado Springs, Colo.) won bronze in the same two events in the women’s C2 class.

Jones will have a quick turnaround as a two sport athlete who has also been nominated to the 2014 U.S. Paralympic Alpine Skiing Team that will compete at the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia. Jones will only have a little more than three weeks to transition from the slopes of Sochi to the banked track of Aguascalientes.

U.S. roster for 2014 UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships
* Denotes U.S. Paralympians

Matthew Bigos (Cardiff By The Sea, Calif.) MC1
*Joe Berenyi (Oswego, Ill.) MC3
Jason Kimball (Spring Lake, N.C.) MC3
Jeffrey “Scott” Martin (Oceanside, Calif.) MC4
Justin Widhalm (Colorado Springs, Colo.) MC4
Christopher Murphy (Alta Loma, Calif.) MC5
*Clark Rachfal (Annapolis, Md.) tandem stoker
*David Swanson (Tucson, Ariz.) tandem pilot
Lance Footer (Greenville, S.C.) tandem stoker
Shawn Olin (Chula Vista, Calif.) tandem pilot

*Allison Jones (Colorado Springs, Colo.) WC2
Jamie Whitmore (Mount Aukum, Calif.) WC3
*Megan Fisher (Missoula, Mont.) WC4
*Greta Neimanas (Asheville, N.C.) WC5
*Jennifer Schuble (Birmingham, Ala.) WC5
*Karissa Whitsell (Colorado Springs, Colo.) tandem stoker
Jennifer Triplett (Colorado Springs, Colo.) tandem pilot