Catherine "Annie" Carey competes during the women's long jump at the 2021 U.S. Paralympic Track and Field Team Trials on June 17, 2021 in Minneapolis.
Over 70 athletes flocked to Miramar, Florida, this past weekend to take place in the 2022 U.S. Paralympics Track & Field National Championships.
Many athletes in attendance had won at least one Paralympic medal, but the weekend’s biggest star might have been Catherine “Annie” Carey, who has yet to graduate high school.
The 17-year-old from Boise, Idaho, set a new women’s long jump T44 world record with a distance of 4.81 meters. The previous record had been 4.49 meters, and Carey jumped longer than that distance in four out of her six attempts in the competition. She ended up officially breaking the record three different times, with the 4.81 jump coming on her fifth attempt.
“I came out here hoping that I’d break it again, so I’m really excited about that,” Carey told USParaTrackandField.org. “I’m going to take what I did today and use it (to build on) my consistency of the running approaches and getting height in the air to bring to meets next year.”
After setting that record on Friday, Carey then competed in the 100-meter and 200-meter on Saturday. She won the 100 by over 2.5 seconds and set a new Americas record in the 200 T44 with a time of 28.19.
Coming one year after the postponed Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020, and with the planned 2022 world championships in Japan being postponed until 2024, some top Americans elected to rest this season. For many of the athletes who did compete in Miramar, this year’s nationals served as their biggest competition of the season.
The unique circumstances meant this was a non-traditional nationals in many ways. One way the meet felt familiar, however, was in the standout performances by some of the biggest U.S. names.
Richard Browne Jr., who won a silver in the 100-meter T64 at the London 2012 Games, set a new world record in the same race with a time of 10.53.
This breaks Browne Jr.’s own record of 10.61 set at the 2015 world championships, when he won both the 100 and 200. It’s also the fastest 100 ever ran by a single or double amputee, as the Jackson, Mississippi, native beat Johannes Floors’ — a double amputee from Germany — previous record of 10.54, which was set at the 2019 world championships.