2014 U.S. Paralympics Track and Field High School All-Americans named

By Katie Branham | Sept. 15, 2014, 12:57 p.m. (ET)
 
 A.J. Digby, who won the T43-44 400m at the 2014 U.S. Paralympics Track and Field Championships in San Mateo, California, is one of 65 young athletes named U.S. Paralympics Track and Field High School All-Americans.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – U.S. Paralympics, a division of the United States Olympic Committee, announced today the 2014 U.S. Paralympics Track and Field High School All-Americans. Now in its fifth year, the list honors the top high school track and field athletes who have a Paralympic-eligible impairment, based on their performances in the 2014 season.

"The class of 2014 is one of the best ever," said Cathy Sellers, High Performance Director for Paralympic track and field.  "It is a solid class from top to bottom.  These athletes are performing at a high level and I expect quite a few to be able to bridge the gap of age and experience and make Team USA for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games."

Sellers attributes much of the growth seen from the high school students to the efforts of state high school associations promoting Paralympic opportunities within the high school sports programs.

“We’ve already seen some of the athletes come straight out of their high school championships and go on to win national events,” Sellers said. “Watching A.J. Digby, Grace Norman and Megan Absten win national titles before they have graduated high school proves that our future is looking very bright.”

Only two years after developing their high school Paralympic program, Ohio boasts the most athletes named to the All-Americans list with seven athletes. Other states with multiple athletes on the list include: Washington (five), Louisiana (four), Alabama (four), Texas (three), New Jersey (three) and Indiana (three).  All of the states with multiple athletes have Paralympic programs embedded in their high school systems.

To be selected, criteria included looking at multiple performances by each athlete against the third best performance on the current world list, regardless of age). The ranking list is not a conventional list as the results are factored according to the level and type of disability.  The general disability categories of athletes named to the All-American list are visual impairment (11-13), intellectual disability (20), cerebral palsy (33-38), dwarfism (40), amputation/limb loss (41-46) and spinal cord injury (51-58).

2014 Male Track Athlete of the Year

It was a tight competition between two very different athletes: Michael Brannigan (20) of East Northport, New York, who is one of the top distance runners in the United States and A.J. Digby (43), of Bowling Green, Ohio, one of the top sprinters. The nod goes to Digby based on his dominating performances at the International Wheelchair & Amputee Sports Federation  World Junior Games where he won the 100, 200 and 400-meters along with his 400 victory at the 2014 U.S. Paralympics Track and Field National Championships.

2014 Male Field Athlete of the Year

Ja'Que Billingsley (Kathleen, Georgia) had a breakthrough year in the throws as he dominated the shot put and discus. His throw of 43.38m ranks him as third in the U.S. and No. 12 in the world this year. Billingsley recently graduated from Northside High School and is now attending Pasadena City College where he is their starting nose guard.

2014 Female Track Athlete of the Year

For the second year in a row, this honor goes to Hannah McFadden (Clarksville, Maryland).  McFadden, now a freshman at the University of Illinois, is one of the world's top T54 athletes. In her senior year of high school, she took top honors in the 100, 400 and second in the 800-meter rankings

2014 Female Field Athlete of the Year

Jenna Fesemeyer (Ravenna, Ohio) is an athlete who came out of the Ohio system and is having stunning results. As an F57 and a seated thrower, she produced the leading U.S. throw in the women's discus and the fourth best in the shot.

2014 U.S. Paralympic Track and Field High School All-Americans

 name hometown (high school) mark/time
     
Men's All-Americans    
100    
1. Michael Magin (36) Mead, Wash. (Mead) 14.98
2. Casey Followay (53) Wooster, Ohio (Wooster) 16.20
3. A.J. Digby (43) Bowling Green, Ohio (Ostego) 11.90
4. Hunter Woodhall (43) Syracuse, Utah (Syracuse) 11.90
5. Daniel Romanchuck (54) Mt. Airy, Md. (Home) 15.60
6. Timothy Bailey (53) Galloway, Ohio (Wesltand) 16.71
7. Desmond Jackson (42) Durham, N.C. (Hillside) 13.84
8. Bryan Powell (33) Marietta, Ga. (Lassiter) 23.35
     
200    
1. A.J. Digby (43) Bowling Green, Ohio (Ostego) 23.13
2. Hunter Woodhall (43) Syracuse, Utah (Syracuse) 23.62
3. Nick Rogers (43) Lisbon Falls, Maine (Lisbon) 24.85
4. Desmond Jackson (42) Durham, N.C. (Hillside) 30.81
5. Justin Ferra (37) Greenwich, R.I. (East Greenwich) 28.20
6. Garrison Hayes (42) Aurora, Colo. (Cherokee Trail) 32.07
7. Nicholas Badeaux (38) New Iberia, La. (Catholic) 28.07
8. Michael Magin (36) Mead, Wash. (Mead) 31.28
     
400    
1. Hunter Woodhall (43) Syracuse, Utah (Syracuse) 51.27
2. A.J. Digby (43) Bowling Green, Ohio (Ostego) 51.58
3. Daniel Romanchuck (54) Mt. Airy, Md. (Home) 52.28
4. Casey Followay (53) Wooster, Ohio (Wooster) 55.10
5. Timothy Bailey (53) Galloway, Ohio (Westland) 56.13
6. Robert Burns (54) Swanton, Ohio (Liberty Center) 54.48
7. Nicholas Badeaux (38) New Iberia, La. (Catholic) 62.35
8. Matthew Tohon (54) Linden, N.J. (Linden) 58.31
     
800    
1. Michael Brannigan (20) East Northport, N.Y. (Northport) 01:54.46
2. Daniel Romanchuck (54) Mt. Airy, Md. (Home) 01:44.37
3. Robert Burns (54) Swanton, Ohio (Liberty Center) 01:51.19
4. Timothy Bailey (53) Galloway, Ohio (Westland) 01:57.30
5. Casey Followay (53) Wooster, Ohio (Wooster) 01:57.45
6. Matthew Tohon (54) Linden, N.J. (Linden) 02:00.64
7. Stephen Koziel (34) Kearny, N.J. (Kearney) 02:21.59
8. Michael Hoyt (54) Spokane, Wash. (Mt. Spokane) 02:18.11
     
1500    
1. Michael Brannigan (20) East Northport, N.Y. (Northport) 03:58.38
2. Daniel Romanchuck (54) Mt. Airy, Md. (Home) 03:17.91
3. Robert Burns (54) Swanton, Ohio (Liberty Center) 03:24.56
4. Nicholas Badeaux (38) New Iberia, La. (Catholic) 05:44.79
5. Matthew Tohon (54) Linden, N.J. (Linden) 04:01.44
6. Noah Scherf (13) Michigan City, Ind. (Michigan City) 05:28.79
7. Stephen Machak (54) Pompton Plains, N.J. (Pequannock Township) 04:57.11
8. Randy McMullen (54) Kent, Ohio (Kent Roosevelt) 05:07.81
     
Discus    
1. Garrison Hayes (42) Aurora, Colo. (Cherokee Trail) 35.61m
2. Ja'Que Billingsley (44) Kathleen, Ga. (Northside) 43.38m
3. Samuel Grewe (42) Middlebury, Ind. (Northridge) 28.64m
4. Desmond Jackson (42) Durnham, N.C. (Hillside) 26.91m
5. A.J. Digby (43) Bowling Green, Ohio (Ostego) 35.13m
6. Randy McMullen (54) Kent, Ohio (Kent Roosevelt) 22.70m
7. Brandon Stroh (57) Pasco, Wash. (Pasco) 22.64m
8. Hagan Landry (41) Delcambre, La. (Delcambre) 22.88m
     
Long Jump    
1. A.J. Digby (43) Bowling Green, Ohio (Ostego) 5.61m
2. Desmond Jackson (42) Durham, N.C. (Hillside) 4.22m
3. Justin Ferra (37) Greenwich, R.I. (East Greenwich) 4.29m
4. Garrison Hayes (42) Aurora, Colo. (Cherokee Trail) 4.21m
5. Daniel Scrivano (37) Shelby Township, Mich. (Eisenhower) 3.86m
6. Mitchell Miles (37) Dodson, La. (Dodson) 3.73m
7. Brendan Driscoll (42) Essex, Mass. (Manchester Essex) 3.55m
8. Michael Magin (36) Mead, Wash. (Mead) 2.72m
     
Javelin    
1. Hagan Landry (41) Delcambre, La. (Delcambre) 31.82m
2. Brandon Stroh (57) Pasco, Wash. (Pasco) 28.07m
3. Justin Ferra (37) Greenwich, R.I. (East Greenwich) 33.36m
4. Mitchell Miles (37) Dodson, La. (Dodson) 28.82m
5. Daniel Velasquez (35) San Antonio, Texas (Int. School of Americas) 17.05m
6. Bryce Segura (34) New Iberia, La. (Westgate) 18.19m
7. Rashad Bennett (34) Birmingham, Ala. (Clay-Chalkville) 18.07m
8. Garrison Hayes (42) Aurora, Colo. (Cherokee Trail) 32.47m
     
Shot Put    
1. Ja'Que Billingsley (44) Kathleen, Ga. (Northside) 11.76m
2. Hagan Landry (41) Delcambre, La. (Delcambre) 9.31m
3. Randy McMullen (54) Kent, Ohio (Kent Roosevelt) 9.75m
4. Rashad Bennett (34) Birmingham, Ala. (Clay-Chalkville) 7.39m
5. Garrison Hayes (42)  Aurora, Colo. (Cherokee Trail)
9.25m 
6. Kyle Gribble (43) Elgin, Ill. (Elgin) 9.80m
7. Brandon Stroh (57) Pasco, Wash. (Pasco) 8.26m
8. Samuel Grewe (42) Middlebury, Ind. (Northridge) 8.77m
8. Noah Barbknecht (55) Ft. Wayne, Ind. (Northrup) 7.30m
     
     
Women's All- Americans    
     
100    
1. Hannah McFadden (54) Clarksville, Md. (Atholton) 16.78
2. Megan Absten (46) Burlington, Wash. (Annie Wright) 13.50
3. Jasmine Rowe (46) Douglassville, Texas (Atlanta) 13.60
4. Grace Norman (44) Jamestown, Ohio (Xenia Christian) 14.55
5. Amy Watts (46) Palo Alto, Calif. (Gunn) 14.47
6. Jessica Heims (44) Swisher, Iowa (Prairie) 15.41
7. Jessica Rogers (53) Springfield, VA (W.T. Woodson) 19.52
8. Yen Hoang (53) Vancouver, Wash. (Evergreen) 19.72
     
200    
1. Megan Absten (46) Burlington, Wash. (Annie Wright) 27.76
2. Grace Norman (44) Jamestown, Ohio (Xenia Christian) 30.69
3. Jasmine Rowe (46) Douglassville, Texas (Atlanta) 29.54
4. Jessica Heims (44) Swisher, IA (Prairie) 32.18
5. Amy Watts (46) Palo Alto, Calif. (Gunn) 31.63
6. Annie Scheslinger (37) Naperville, Ill. (Naperville Central) 38.84
7. Inhutea Hopson (46) Aurora, Colo. (Hinkley) 34.62
8. Hannah McFadden (54) Clarksville, Md. (Atholton) 29.16
     
400    
1. Hannah McFadden (54) Clarksville, Md. (Atholton) 57.51
2. Grace Norman (44) Jamestown, Ohio (Xenia Christian) 65.59
3. Megan Absten (46) Burlington, Wash. (Annie Wright) 65.74
4. Katrina Gerhard (54) Acton, Mass. (Acton Boxborough) 64.65
5. Dani Aravich (46) Eagle, Idaho (Bishop Kelly) 70.95
6. Jasmine Rowe (46) Douglassville, Texas (Atlanta) 71.35
7. Jessica Heims (44) Swisher, Iowa (Prairie) 75.04
8. Amy Watts (46) Palo Alto, Calif. (Gunn) 72.23
     
800    
1. Grace Norman (44) Jamestown, Ohio (Xenia Christian) 02:26.19
2. Hannah McFadden (54) Clarksville, Md. (Atholton) 01:54.03
3. Katrina Gerhard (54) Acton, Mass. (Acton Boxborough) 02:05.81
4. Mikila Salazar (54) Spokane Valley, Wash. (West Valley) 02:25.81
5. Jessica Rogers (53) Springfield, VA (W.T. Woodson) 02:29.57
6. Jessica Larsen (54) Mesa, Ariz. (Red Mt. Charter) 02:28.45
7. Yen Hoang (53) Vancouver, Wash. (Evergreen) 02:32.45
8. Jenna Fesemeyer (54) Ravenna, Ohio (Southeast) 02:32.71
     
1500    
1. Grace Norman (44) Jamestown, Ohio (Xenia Christian) 05:05.02
2. Katrina Gerhardt (54) Acton, Mass. (Acton Boxborough) 04:11.16
3. Jessica Rogers (53) Springfield, VA (W.T. Woodson) 04:46.61
4. Rachel Doud (53) Homewood, Ala. (Homewood) 06:00.99
5. Kayla Hicks (53) Eastaboga, Ala. (Oxford) 06:11.06
6. Stephanie Marquez (54) New Britain, Conn. (RJ Kinsella) 06:37.36
7. Serena Jaros (53) Pleasant Prairie, Wis. (Tremper) 06:37.98
8. Carissa Stoltzfus (54) Hatfield, PA (Quakertown Christian) 06:38.74
     
Discus    
1. Jessica Heims (44) Swisher, Iowa (Prairie) 21.33m
2. Jenna Fesemeyer (54) Ravenna, Ohio (Southeast) 24.38m
3. Marissa Bartels (57) Delano, MN (Delano) 16.26m
4. Christina Lang (44) Dunedin, FL (Denedin) 13.88m
5. Stephanie Marquez (54) New Britain, CT (RJ Kinsella) 15.76m
6. Alyssia Crook (42) Allendale, MI (Home) 11.96m
7. Karina Keck (56) Tulsa, OK (Metro Christian) 17.95m
8. Emily Frederick (40) Birmingham, Ala. (Hokes Bluff) 10.64m
     
Long Jump    
1. Amy Watts (46) Palo Alto, Calif. (Gunn) 4.20m
2. Samantha Smolka (13) Hometown, Ill. (Oak Lawn) 3.21m
     
Javelin    
1. Katrina Gerhard (54) Acton, Mass. (Acton Boxborough) 12.46m
2. Karina Keck (56) Tulsa, Okla. (Metro Christian) 10.95m
3. Rachel Doud (53) Homewood, Ala. (Homewood) 10.41m
4. Rachel Kroener (34) Scottsdale, Ariz. (Pinnacle) 13.86m
5. Bridgette Wise (56) Pipersville, PA (Central Bucks East) 9.53m
6. Elizabet Ruiz-Torres (56) Hackettstown, N.J. (Hackettstown) 9.11m
7. Scarlet Lawhorne (55) Zephyrillis, FL (Zephyrhills) 8.89m
8. Jenna Fesemeyer (54) Ravenna, Ohio (Southeast) 10.76m
     
Shot    
1. Emily Frederick (40) Birmingham, Ala. (Hokes Bluff) 5.29m
2. Marissa Bartels (57) Delano, Minn. (Delano) 6.96m
3. Jenna Fesemeyer (54) Ravenna, Ohio (Southeast) 6.93m
4. Rachel Kroener (34) Scottsdale, Ariz. (Pinnacle) 5.20m
5. Alyssa Emerick (57) Kenosha, Wis.(Indian Trail) 6.11m
6. Abby Dunkin (57) New Braunfels, Texas (Canyon) 5.58m
7. Katrina Gerhard (54) Acton, Mass. (Acton Boxborough) 4.69m
8. Karina Keck (56) Tulsa, Okla. (Metro Christian) 4.96m