Trio of top performers highlight U.S. Paralympics Track Cycling Open

By Brianna Tammaro | Feb. 09, 2015, 6:37 p.m. (ET)

 
Justin Widhalm pictured at the 2013 U.S. Paralympics Track Cycling National Championships

CARSON, Calif. – Todd Key, Shawn Morelli and Justin Widhalm were three of the top performers in their respective classes ahead of national team selection at the 2015 U.S. Paralympics Track Cycling Open at the VELO Sports Center, Feb. 7-8.

Key (Scottsdale, Arizona) led the men’s C1 class, earning wins in both the time trial and pursuit. He escaped with a narrow win in the 1-kilometer time trial against Brayden McDougall of Canada, but Key won convincingly in the 3km pursuit. Key also claimed third in the mixed team sprint with teammates Mark Gyulafia (Overland Park, Kansas) and Greta Neimanas (Chicago, Illinois).

Morelli (Leavenworth, Kansas) finished on the top of the podium in all of her women’s C4 events. In addition to winning the time trial and pursuit, she also grabbed a third place finish in the women’s 10-kilometer scratch race behind Samantha Heinrich (Spring Hill, Florida) and winner Neimanas.

The scratch race combined the women’s C1 through C5 classes , with the top four competitors finishing on the same lap. In addition to her mixed team sprint podium finish, Neimanas also won her C5 pursuit race the day earlier.

With margins ranging from 11 to 19 seconds, Widhalm (Colorado Springs, Colorado) swept the men’s C4 races against Cody Jung and contributed to a mixed team sprint win with teammates Joseph Berenyi (Oswego, Illinois) and Jennifer Schuble (Birmingham, Alabama).

Other strong showings came from Aaron Keith (Woodinville, Washington) and Chris Murphy (Alta Loma, California) in their C5 and C2 races, respectively. Keith swept both his time trial and pursuit races over second place Billy Lister (Huntington Beach, California) this weekend. Murphy’s most dominant race came in the 4-kilometer pursuit final, where he took control of the race early and finished with a time of 4:52.250 over runner-up Dana Pierce .

U.S. Paralympics will announce the team on Friday, Feb. 13 that will compete at the UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships in Apeldoorn, Netherlands on Mar. 26-29.

For results from the 2015 U.S. Paralympics Track Cycling Open, visit this link.