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Paralympic Track Champions Reign Supreme In Lima

By U.S. Paralympics | Aug. 26, 2019, 11 p.m. (ET)

Gianfranco Ianotta at the Parapan American Games Lima 2019.Gianfranco Iannotta celebrates at the 2019 Parapan American Games on Aug. 26, 2019 in Lima, Peru.


LIMA, PERU – Paralympic champions Breanna Clark (Los Angeles, California) and Gianfranco Iannotta (Garfield, New Jersey) led a successful night for U.S. athletes at the Villa Deportiva Nacional Videna Athletics Stadium on Monday as Team USA finished with 14 medals (seven gold, six silver and one bronze). The U.S. raced to its third podium sweep in as many days to highlight the mid-way point of track and field competition in Lima, Peru.

Top Highlights from Track and Field
Paralympic champions reign  – Breanna Clark (Los Angeles, California) and Gianfranco Iannotta (Garfield, New Jersey) showed their dominance in the events that crowned them Paralympic champions in 2016. Clark captured gold in her Parapan Am debut in the women’s 400m T20 while Iannotta won his first event in Lima in the men’s 100m T52.

Second U.S. women sweep – U.S. women have found great success on the podium in Lima, particularly in the women’s T54 class with Jenna Fesemyer (Ravenna, Ohio) leading the second U.S. women’s podium sweep of the Parapan American Games. Fesemyer captured gold alongside Hannah Dederick (Liberty Lake, Washington) and Arielle Rausin (Santa Monica, California) in the women’s 800-meters. Fesemyer and Dederick were a part of the first sweep on Saturday, switching placements and sharing the podium with bronze medalist Elizabeth Floch (Spokane Valley, Washington).

Sharing the podium
  – In addition to the podium sweep, U.S. athletes shared the podium with top-two placements in the men’s events. Texas natives Tobi Fawehinmi (Arlington, Texas) and Tanner Wright (Fort Worth, Texas) took gold and silver, respectively, in the men’s long jump T47 while Trenten Merrill (San Juan Capistrano, California) and Ezra Frech (Los Angeles, California) took first and second in the men’s long jump T63/64. On the track, Iannotta and Isaiah Rigo (Cheney, Washington) went one-two in the men’s 100m T52.

Team USA Results

14 medals (7 gold, 6 silver, 1 bronze)

Gold (8): Breanna Clark (Los Angeles, Calif.) – women’s 400m T20 (57.09); Tobi Fawehinmi (Arlington, Texas) – men’s long jump T47 (7.03m); Jenna Fesemyer (Ravenna, Ohio) – women’s 800m T54 (2:02.52); Gianfranco Iannotta (Garfield, N.J.) – men’s 100m T52 (17.82); Trenten Merrill (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.) – men’s long jump final (6.94m); Jaleen Roberts (Kent, Wash.) – women’s 200m T37 (28.30); Yen Hoang (Vancouver, Wash.) – women’s 800m T53 (2:08.09)

Silver (5): Phillip Croft (Spokane, Wash.) – men’s 400m T53 (55.52); Ezra Frech (Los Angeles, Calif.) – men’s long jump T63/64 (5.43); Tanner Wright (Fort Worth, Texas) – men’s long jump T47 (6.45m); Hannah Dederick (Liberty Lake, Wash.) – women’s 800m T54 (2:06.30); Isaiah Rigo (Cheney, Wash.) – men’s 100m T52 (17.89)

Bronze (2): Erik Hightower (Glendale, Ariz.) – men’s 400m T54 (51.14); Arielle Rausin (Santa Monica, Calif.) – women’s 800m T54 (2:12.87)

World record: Nelya Stary Schasfoort (Avon Lake, Ohio) – 5th (heat 1/2), women’s 400m T47 (1:08.90)

Full results can be found at TeamUSA.org/Parapan2019 and Lima 2019’s website

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Trenten Merrill
“I’ve been waiting to hear my national anthem played and our flag raised. I couldn’t stop smiling on the podium. I’ve been dreaming of that moment for a long time now and words can’t describe when you’re up there and the feeling of representing your country and winning gold. I’m super excited and I had a great time, but I’m hungry for more. This is just a Costco sample and I’m ready to buy now in bulk.” 

Tobi Fawehinmi 
“It’s always an out-of-body experience for me [to be at a Games]. Just being on this stage and among these crowds, I’m still learning to take everything in, how to control the crowd and myself, and adapt to my environment. It’s always builds character and is a learning experience.”

Breanna Clark
“It’s been hard work, but you know the old saying that when it comes to training for this race, ‘once you do the hard stuff, it becomes easier.’ My training is paying off and I’m so excited for Dubai. I hope to keep my world record intact and improve on it.” 

Ezra Frech
“I’m super excited that we went first and second in the high jump and now in the long jump. It’s been so fun. To get two silver medals in my favorite two events – what more could you ask for?”

What To Watch

The fourth day of track and field competition features several primetime events, including the debut competitions for Noah Malone (Fishers, Indiana) in the men’s 100-meter T12, Jeremy Campbell (Perryton, Texas) in the men’s discus F64, Scot Severn (Caro, Michigan) in the men’s shot put F53/54 and Scout Bassett (Harbor Springs, Michigan) in the women’s long jump T42-44/61-63. Deja Young (Mesquite, Texas) will return for the women’s 100m T47 in hopes of closing out her Lima campaign undefeated.

Get Connected

Coverage of the 2019 U.S. Parapan American Team can be found at TeamUSA.org/Parapan2019. Visit TeamUSA.org/USADaily to sign up to receive the USA Daily, a digital news blast that provides Team USA results and highlights each night via email during the Games. Livestream of the Parapan American Games Lima 2019 is also available on TeamUSA.org/Live.

Follow U.S. Paralympics on Twitter,Instagram and Facebook for updated results throughout the Parapan American Games Lima 2019.

Team USA Sweeps Women's T54 400m | Parapan American Games Lima 2019
Isaiah Rigo Wins Gold in T52 400m | Parapan American Games Lima 2019