U.S. Paralympics names team for 2015 Para-cycling Track World Championships
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – U.S. Paralympics, a division of the United States Olympic Committee, announced today the 16 athletes, including one tandem pilot, who will compete at the 2015 UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships, held March 26-29 in Apeldoorn, Netherlands.
Jamie Whitmore will look to defend her title as world champion, competing in the C3 class for the 500-meter time trial and 3-kilometer pursuit. Other Team USA 2014 world championship medalists include Joe Berenyi (silver), Jennifer Schuble (silver and bronze), Allison Jones (bronze), Greta Neimanas (bronze) and Clark Rachfal and pilot Dave Swanson (bronze).
“We exceeded our goals coming into last year’s world championships, earning nine medals and two golds,” Ian Lawless, high performance director for U.S. Paralympic Cycling said. “Coming in as the number one ranked team in the world puts us in a great position to build on last year’s performance and put more athletes on the top of the podium. I think we have a fantastic group to do it.”
Team USA finished fourth in the medal count in the 2014 UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships, only one medal behind third place China.
Meet the cycling athletes who will represent Team USA at the 2015 track world championships:
Oswego, Illinois | Classification: MC3
|Joe Berenyi only had three years of experience riding at the national level when he went on to win three medals and set a world record at the London 2012 Paralympic Games. Since then, he has continued to excel in the C3 class, taking gold at the 2014 UCI Para-cycling Road National Championships for the time trial and road races and silver at the 2014 track world championships in the pursuit race. He has been a member of the national team since 2012.
Missoula, Montana | WC4
|Megan Fisher medaled twice at the London 2012 Paralympic Summer Games, earning gold in the individual time trial and silver in the individual pursuit. Fisher has been a fixture on the national team and is a 2014 road world time trial champion. She most recently competed in February at the 2015 U.S. Paralympics Track Cycling Open in Carson, California where she earned second in her C4 races.|
Spring Hill, Florida | WC5
|After years of racing against able-bodied athletes, Samantha Heinrich started out predominantly as a road racer but has earned recognition on the track. Heinrich has been a member of the national team since 2014 and competes in a deep C5 class. She won a bronze medal in the time trial at the 2014 road world championships and medaled in the 2013 road world championships, UCI Para-cycling World Cup and most recently the 2015 U.S. Paralympics Track Cycling Open for the women’s 10-kilometer scratch race.
Colorado Springs, Colorado | WC2
|Allison Jones is an eight-time Paralympic Games medalist and competed for both the summer and winter sports as an alpine skier and cyclist where she’s been in seven consecutive games. After winning gold in the individual time trial (road cycling) at the London 2012 Games, Jones became just the second American woman to earn gold medals at both the summer and winter Paralympic Games. Jones returned from medaling at the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games in March to earn a bronze medal for the C2 women’s pursuit and silver in the 500-meter time trial at the 2014 UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships. One of her many accolades include winning both the road race and time trial world titles at the 2014 road world championships. She will continue with sights on Rio for the 2016 Paralympic Summer Games.
Woodinville, Washington | Classification: MC2
|Aaron Keith is looking to build off the momentum he garnered during the 2013 and 2014 seasons, including time trial wins in the 2013 and 2014 UCI Para-cycling Road World Championships and 2013 UCI Para-cycling World Cup. Keith won his first world cup medals—two golds—in 2012 in Baie-Comeau, Canada. Since then, he earned two more world cup victories and two time trial world championship titles. He has been a member of both the 2014 and 2015 national teams.
Draper, Utah | Classification: MC3
|Steve Kelly is a new face on Team USA’s world championship roster but is ready to make an impact and earn a spot on the 2015 Parapan Am Games team. Kelly most recently competed in the 2015 U.S. Paralympics Track Cycling Open and 2014 U.S. Paralympics Track Cycling National Championships.
Scottsdale, Arizona | Classification: MC1
|Coming onto the cycling scene in 2010, Todd Key is earning his second consecutive world championship team nomination. Key finished seventh in the time trial at the 2014 UCI Para-cycling Road World Championships in Greenville, South Carolina where he also came in 13th in the road race. He is a member of the national development team for Team USA and was national team member for both track and road in 2013. Key is coming off of a sweep in his 1-kilometer time trial and 3-kilometer pursuit races for the C1 class at the 2015 U.S. Paralympics Track Cycling Open.
Oceanside, California | Classification: MC4
|Scott Martin has represented his country both as a member of Team USA’s national team and as a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corp. A Purple Heart honoree, Martin made his Paralympic debut in 2011 at the inaugural Warrior Games and has created a name for himself since. Winning the Warrior Game’s highest individual honor, Ultimate Champion, he went on to win three national titles in 2013 and set the American Record in the 4-kilometer track pursuit. Martin also medaled in the 2014 para-cycling world cup and took fourth in the pursuit at 2014 track world championships.
Leavenworth, Kansas | WC4
|With her first competition at the 2010 Warrior Games, U.S. Army veteran Shawn Morelli has emerged as a force on the national team and one to look out for going into the world championships. Morelli’s highlights in the last year include winning the 2014 road race world title and overall road world cup. She made her track cycling debut at the 2014 U.S. Paralympics Track Cycling National Championships where she won national titles in the women’s C4 pursuit and time trial.
Alta Loma, California | Classification: MC5
|One of the promising athletes on Team USA’s 2015 world championship roster, Chris Murphy has earned places on both the 2014 UCI Para-cycling Track and Road World Championship teams. A national development team member, he won his first national titles in the men’s C5 races, sweeping the time trial, pursuit and scratch race. Murphy will look to add to his collection at the world championships and looking ahead to the Parapan Am Games.
Chicago, Illinois | WC5
|Greta Neimanas has competed in the last two Paralympic Summer Games in the C5 class. Neimanas has competed in world championships since 2006 and has gone on to win 13 medals and 10 U.S. titles, including the bronze in the 3-kilometer pursuit at the 2014 track world championships. She recently won her 3-kilometer race at the 2015 U.S. Paralympics Track Cycling Open as well as earning a bronze in the mixed team sprint.
Clark Rachfal (Stoker) and Dave Swanson (Pilot)
Annapolis, Maryland and Tucson, Arizona | MTandem
|Clark Rachfal and Dave Swanson represented Team USA on the tandem bike at the 2012 Paralympic Games in London. The national team duo came together at a racing development camp in 2004 and went on to win national and world titles. Coming off of last year’s bronze medal in the 4-kilometer pursuit, Rachfal and Swanson will return to defend their standing as one of the top tandem pairs in the world.
Birmingham, Alabama | WC5
|A five-time medalist at the Paralympic Summer Games, Jennifer Schuble has represented Team USA on the biggest stage since 2008 where she earned a gold medal in the 500-meter time trial. Schuble, a U.S. Army veteran, has seven world championship medals and will look to upgrade her silver from the 2014 UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships for gold in 2015. After winning two gold medals at the 2011 Parapan American Games, Schuble hopes to defend her time trial and pursuit heading into Toronto later this summer.
Mount Aukum, California | WC3
|After a breakout year in 2013, Jamie Whitmore has continued to excel in the C3 class. At her first track cycling world championship, Whitmore won gold in the time trial and pursuit events at the 2014 UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships, setting two world records. She also swept her events at the 2014 road world championships. Whitmore, a national team member, was honored as the Best Female Athlete with a Disability at the 2014 ESPYS and was nominated for the Women’s Sports Foundation’s Individual SportsWoman of the Year award.
Colorado Springs, Colorado | Classification: MC4
|A veteran of the U.S. Army, Justin Widhalm has competed as a member of the 2014 U.S. Paralympics Cycling National Development Team and earns his second world championship team nomination. Widhalm is coming off a gold medal sweep his C4 races in the 4-kilometer pursuit and 1-kilometer time trial at the 2015 U.S. Paralympics Track Cycling Open in early February.|