Track & field national titles on the line in San Mateo

By Katie Branham | June 19, 2014, 7:41 p.m. (ET)
Lex Gillette
Lex Gillete is one of nine reigning world champions competing in the national championships this weekend. 

SAN MATEO, California – More than 150 athletes will compete at the 2014 U.S. Paralympics Track & Field National Championships this weekend at the College of San Mateo (California) on the San Francisco Peninsula, June 20-22. The three-day event marks the first time that the national championships will be held in California.

One of the top athletes headlining the competition is 10-time track & field Paralympic medalist Tatyana McFadden (Clarksville, Maryland). will be competing in her first national championships since winning silver at Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games in cross-country skiing.

Other reigning world champions expected to compete include: Raymond Martin (Jersey City, New Jersey), Jeremy Campbell (Perryton, Texas), Lex Gillette (Raleigh, North Carolina), Cassie Mitchell (Atlanta, Georgia) Jarryd Wallace (Athens, Georgia), Richard Browne (Jackson, Mississippi), Blake Leeper (Kingsport, Tennessee) and Jerome Singleton (Irmo, South Carolina).

McFadden, Gillette and Singleton met with members of the media at the College of San Mateo track & field stadium on Thursday to talk about the upcoming championships.

“Rio is definitely the goal I’m looking ahead to, and there are small steps to get to that goal,” McFadden said. “I plan to be running five events, plus the marathon in Rio, so you’re looking at six events. Here I get to specifically practice my track events which includes starts and distance as well. I’m running the 100 through the 5,000 here, so it is really important to see where I am for the world championships next year in 2015.”

Gillette recently tied his own world record in the F11 long jump and was asked about improving his own mark this weekend.

“Training has been going really well, and since that time I’ve been competing overseas,” Gillette said. “In terms of this weekend, I’m always shooting for a world record, so if I can get one centimeter farther, I’ll be happy.”

Singleton told members of the media that he is returning from a minor injury, but looking forward to the national championships.

“This is a very important event, as the national championship, you have the chance to meet some of the best athletes in the world, period. You have some people who are my role models in this room right now like Tatyana and Lex. To be out here and to be part of the Paralympic Movement is something I've got to do.”

The championships are being hosted in cooperation with USA Track & Field Pacific Association, the College of San Mateo and the San Mateo County Silicon Valley Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Live results will be available at RecordTiming.com

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