Henry Sawyer competes at the invitation-only selection camp.
COLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO – U.S. Paralympics Boccia today announced the two athletes named to its 2023 National Team and a third athlete who earned a spot on next season’s Development Team. The selection follows an invitation-only camp held at Lakeshore Foundation, where athletes showcased both technical and tactical skills in an effort to qualify.
Four-time wheelchair tennis Paralympian Nick Taylor (Wichita, Kansas) and Henry Sawyer (Callahan, Florida) will represent Team USA as national team members in 2023, while U.S. Army veteran Daniel Castillo (San Antonio, Texas) will team with his ramp operator Angelina Randez to compete on the development team.
“The national team standards process was hugely successful,” Kathy Brinker, U.S. Paralympics Boccia head coach, said. “The selection team was clearly able to assess both athletes' technical and tactical abilities on court. We are thrilled to announce both the development and national team for 2023. These rigorous national standards will be the benchmark going forward that align with the program goals for podium potential.”
Sawyer, a Navy veteran who was introduced to Boccia seven years ago, has been competing at the international level since 2018. He holds a world ranking of 52nd in the men’s BC4 classification, and most recently competed at the Sao Paulo 2021 World Boccia Americas Regional Championships, where he won one of his pool play matches.
Taylor, who retired after a successful wheelchair tennis career that saw him earn a spot on four Paralympic teams, switched to Boccia in 2018. Also a men’s BC4 athlete, he holds a world ranking of 28th.
After an impressive showing at the selection camp, Castillo rounds out the 2023 roster and was the only athlete named to the 2023 Development Team. He has been playing for eight years beginning in 2013. He took a hiatus between 2013-2015, but returned to the sport in 2017, where he and Randez have continued to rise through the ranks of domestic Boccia athletes.
U.S. Paralympics Boccia’s first competition of 2023 will be the World Boccia Cup, which will take place in Montreal, Quebec, in April.
For media requests and photo inquiries, please contact Kristen Gowdy at Kristen.Gowdy@usopc.org.