2016 U.S. Paralympics Track & Field High School All-Americans Announced

By Brianna Tammaro | Oct. 19, 2016, 1 p.m. (ET)

Alexa Halko, the youngest member of the U.S. Paralympic Track & Field Team at age 16, captured three medals in her Paralympic debut at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games in September.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Seventy-one athletes were selected today as 2016 U.S. Paralympics Track & Field High School All-Americans by U.S. Paralympics, a division of the United States Olympic Committee, marking the largest class to be recognized since the award’s creation in 2010.

This is the seventh year U.S. Paralympics has honored the top high school track & field athletes with Paralympic-eligible impairments based off performances during the 2016 season that included the 2016 Paralympic Games. Rio showcased the talents of 11 high school honorees, the largest representation of All-Americans to compete at the Games.

“This is a great legacy for the 2016 All-American class, not only to have 11 of our high school athletes attend the Paralympic Games, but to bring home seven medals and make an impact for Team USA,” Cathy Sellers, high performance director of U.S. Paralympics Track & Field said. “I’m so proud of this group and it shows how bright the future is for the program and our young athletes.”

Highlighting the largest-ever roster are 11 first-time Paralympians, an increase of five from the 2012 Games: A.J. Digby (Tontogany, Ohio), Emily Frederick (Gadsden, Alabama), Sam Grewe (Middlebury, Indiana), Tysheem Griffin (Amityville, New York), Alexa Halko (Williamsburg, Virginia), Jessica Heims (Swisher, Iowa), Desmond Jackson (Durham, North Carolina), Grace Norman (Jamestown, Ohio), Daniel Romanchuck (Mount Airy, Maryland), Amy Watt (Palo Alto, California) and Hunter Woodhall (Syracuse, Utah).

Four athletes took home their first medals at the Paralympic Games: Grewe, three-time medalist Halko, double-medalist in track & field and paratriathlon Norman and two-time medalist Woodhall. 

Washington topped the list for the first time with eight athletes represented on the All-American list. California came in second with six athletes with a total of 26 states making up the roster.

The selection criteria looked at multiple performances by each athlete compared against the “A” standard for the U.S. Paralympics Track & Field National Team. The ranking list is not a conventional list as the results are weighted according to the level and type of disability. The general disability categories of athletes named to the All-American list are visual impairment (11-13), intellectual disability (20), cerebral palsy (33-38), dwarfism (40), amputation/limb loss (41-46) and spinal cord injury (51-57).

Female Track Athlete of the Year – Alexa Halko
At just 16 years old, the youngest member of the U.S. Paralympic Track & Field Team raced well beyond her years, medaling in every event she entered at her first Paralympic Games. Halko competed against competitors more than twice her age, winning two silver medals in the women’s 400 T33/34 and 800 T34 and bronze in the 100 T33/34. With her time of 1:00.79 in the 400, her medal-winning performance also earned her an American record. This is Halko’s second straight nomination to the All-American list.

Male Track Athlete of the Year – Hunter Woodhall
Woodhall emerged as one of the standout young stars of Team USA after his two-medal performance at the Rio Games. Setting two American records in the process, the Syracuse High School senior took silver and bronze in the 400 T43/44 and 200 T43/44, respectively, in his Paralympic Games debut at the age of 17. Earlier this year, he won the boys 5A title in the 400 at the 2016 Utah UHSAA State Track & Field Championships against able-bodied runners. 

Female Field Athlete of the Year — Amy Watt
Watt, 18, takes the top honor for the second year in a row after making her first U.S. Paralympic Team and finishing sixth in the women’s long jump T46 with a leap of 5.15m. A freshman at Pamona College, she was one of the inaugural Paralympic athletes to run in the CIF State Track & Field Championships.

Male Field Athlete of the Year – Sam Grewe
Eighteen-year-old Grewe soared to new heights at his first Paralympic Games in Rio, securing a silver medal in the men’s high jump F42 with an American record and personal-best clearance of 1.86. The senior at Northridge High School represented on the All-American list for the third time in his career.



2016 U.S. Paralympic Track & Field High School All-Americans
Name    Hometown (High School)    Mark/Time 
Men         
         
100
1. Desmond Jackson (42)   
Durham, N.C. (Hillside) 12.31
2. AJ Digby (43) Tontogany, Ohio (Otsego)
11.29
3. Tim Tanner (13) Nashville, Tenn. (Tenn. School for the Blind) 11.61
4. Jack Briggs (46) Fort Collins, Colo. (Fort Collins) 11.37
5. Daniel Romanchuck (54) Mt. Airy, Md. (Home School) 15.03
6. Spencer Kimbro (53) Moses Lake, Wash. (Moses Lake) 16.60
7. Tyler Buysee (54) Gunter, Texas (Gunter) 16.05
8. Garrison Hayes (42) Aurora, Colo. (Cherokee Trail) 14.47
200
1. Hunter Woodhall (43) Syracuse, Utah (Syracuse) 21.12
2. AJ Digby (43)
Tontogany, Ohio (Otsego)
21.93
3. Jack Briggs (46)
Fort Collins, Colo. (Fort Collins)
22.86
4. Tim Tanner (13)
Nashville, Tenn. (Tenn. School for the Blind)
23.69
5. Desmond Jackson (42)  
Durham, N.C. (Hillside)
27.59
6. Daniel Romanchuck (54)
Mt. Airy, Md. (Home School)
28.05
7. Miguel Jimenez-Vergara (54) Ewing, N.J. (Notre Dame) 29.95
8. Derek Mondt (38) Briggsdale, Colo. (Briggsdale) 28.03
400
1. Hunter Woodhall (43) Syracuse, Utah (Syracuse) 46.70
2. AJ Digby (43) Tontogany, Ohio (Otsego)
47.34
3. Tysheem Griffin (20) Amityville, N.Y. (Amityville) 50.15
4. Daniel Romanchuk (54) Mt. Airy, Md. (Home School)  48.74
5. Spencer Kimbro (53)
Moses Lake, Wash. (Moses Lake)
54.21
6. Tim Tanner (13)
Nashville, Tenn. (Tenn. School for the Blind)
55.33
7. Miguel Jimenez-Vergara (54)
Ewing, N.J. (Notre Dame)
54.38
8. Isaiah Rigo (53) Cheney, Wash. (Cheney) 59.94
800
1. Adam Kiel (44) Acworth, Ga. (North Paulding) 02:34.12
2. Daniel Romanchuk (54)
Mt. Airy, Md. (Home School)
01:37.10
3. Spencer Kimbro (53) Moses Lake, Wash. (Moses Lake)
01:50.68
4. Miguel Jimenez-Vergara (54)
Ewing, N.J. (Notre Dame)
01:46.92
5. Derek Mondt (38)
Briggsdale, Colo. (Briggsdale)
02:23.38
6. Isaiah Rigo (53)
Cheney, Wash. (Cheney)
01:56.65
7. Phillip Croft (54) Spokane Valley, Wash. (Spokane Valley) 01:59.25
8. Jason Ernst (13) Mount Lake Terrace, Wash. (Mount Lake Terrace) 02:22.53
1500
1. Daniel Romanchuk (54)
Mt. Airy, Md. (Home School)
03:01.94
2. Brandon Walton (13) Windsor, Calif. (Windsor) 04:25.45
3. Noah Scherf (13) Michigan City, Mich. (Michigan City)
04:27.64
4. Miguel Jimenez-Vergara (54)
Ewing, N.J. (Notre Dame)
03:26.29
5. Isaiah Rigo (53)
Cheney, Wash. (Cheney) 03:45.28
6. Adonis Rosabul (47) Kent. Wash. (Kent) 04:58.60
7. Spencer Kimbro (53)
Moses Lake, Wash. (Moses Lake)
03:50.72
8. Justin Schultz (20) Mesa, Ariz. (Skyline) 05:13.30
5000
1. Daniel Romanchuk (54)
Mt. Airy, Md. (Home School)
10:20.65
2. Noah Scherf (13)
Michigan City, Mich. (Michigan City)
17:33.40
3. Isaiah Rigo (53)
Cheney, Wash. (Cheney)
13:46.60
4. Donovan McBride (54) Waterloo, Ill. (Waterloo) 14:31.10
5. Eric Rine (54) Bowling Green, Ohio (Bowling Green) 16:59.40
Discus
1. Jacob Zalewski (40) Flossmor, Ill. (Homewood-Flossmor)
18.31m
2. Garrison Hayes (42) Aurora, Colo. (Cherokee Trail) 34.36m
3. Steven Glover (20) Kentridge, Wash. (Kentridge)
24.30m
4. Tyler Tippins (35) Alabaster, Ala. (Thompson)
29.11m
5. Gianni Toce (11) Mandeville, La. (La. School for the Blind)
22.25m
6. Miguel Jimenez-Vergara (54)
Ewing, N.J. (Notre Dame)
20.54m
7. Alex Klein (44) Metairie, La. (Jesuit)
34.49m
8. Brian Nelson (37) Lake Villa, Ill. (Grayslake North) 28.41m
Javelin
1. Garrison Hayes (42)
Aurora, Colo. (Cherokee Trail)
37.45m
2. Ming Davis (46) New Rochelle, N.Y. (Home School) 40.79m
3. Logan Langley (38) Hokes Bluff, Ala. (Hokes Bluff)
31.77m
4. Gianni Toce (11)

Mandeville, La. (La. School for the Blind)
26.79m
5. Tyler Tippins (35)

Alabaster, Ala. (Thompson)
17.13m
6. Josh Winsper (41) Rochester, Mass. (Old Rochester Regional)
24.76m
7. Robert Berry (57) Decula, Ga. (Decula) 17.79m
8. Alex Klein (44) Metairie, La. (Jesuit)

32.51m
Long Jump
1. Gianni Toce (11)
Mandeville, La. (La. School for the Blind)
5.54m
2. Desmond Jackson (42) Durham, N.C. (Hillside)
5.12m
3. Andrew Kittrell (44)
Mt. Juliet, Tenn. (Mt. Juliet Christian Academy)
5.14m
4. Garrison Hayes (42)
Aurora, Colo. (Cherokee Trail)
4.30m
5. Ajitesh Balasubramanian (35)
North Brunswick, N.J. (North Brunswick)
2.12m
6. Ming Davis (46) New Rochelle, N.Y. (Home School)
4.68m
7. Adam Kiel (44) Acworth, Ga. (North Pauling)
4.14m
8. Seth Bosquez (44) San Antonio, Texas (O'Connor)
3.97m
         
High Jump        
1. Sam Grewe (42)   Middlebury, Ind. (Northridge)   1.86m
2. Garrison Hayes (42)   Aurora, Colo. (Cherokee Trail)
  1.46m
3. Ming Davis (46)   New Rochelle, N.Y. (Home School)
  1.32m
Shotput
1. Kurt Axene (38) Irvine, Calif. (Woodbridge)
10.28m
2. Garrison Hayes (42)
Aurora, Colo. (Cherokee Trail)
10.13m
3. Zach Steger (54) Richardson, Texas (Richardson) 6.83m
4. Eric Lowry (57) Land O' Lakes, Fla. (Focus Academy) 7.34m
5. Jacob Zalewski (40) Flossmor, Ill. (Homewood-Flossmor) 6.78m
6. Josh Winsper (41) Rochester, Mass. (Old Rochester Regional)

8.25m
7. Tyler Tippins (35) Alabaster, Ala. (Thompson)
9.35m
8. Gianni Toce (11) Mandeville, La. (La. School for the Blind)

7.85m
         
Club        
1. Jagannath Martin (51)   Riverton, Utah (Riverton)   13.89m
2. Wyatt Struxness (32)   San Antonio, Texas (Ronald Reagan)   7.86m
Women
100
1. Alexa Halko (34) Williamsburg, Va. (Jamestown) 18.13
2. Amy Watt (46) Palo Alto, Calif. (Gunn) 13.44
3. Jessica Heims (44)
Swisher, Iowa (Prairie)
14.54
4. Teylor Becher (37) Long Beach, Calif. (Lakewood) 15.68
5. Suzanne Arenal (35) Corona Del Mar, Calif. (Corona Del Mar) 17.03
6. Michelle Cross (37) Mission Viejo, Calif. (Trabuco Hills) 15.79
7. Aubrey Headon (35) Rochelle, Ill. (Rochelle Township) 17.85
8. Nicole Coltrain (37) University Place, Wash. (Curtis) 16.57
200
1. Grace Norman (44)
Jamestown, Ohio (Xenia Christian)
28.67
2. Amy Watt (46)
Palo Alto, Calif. (Gunn)
27.87
3. Jessica Heims (44)
Swisher, Iowa (Prairie)
30.17
4. Teylor Becher (37)
Long Beach, Calif. (Lakewood)
32.86
5. Suzanne Arenal (35)
Corona Del Mar, Calif. (Corona Del Mar)
35.46
6. Aubrey Headon (35)
Rochelle, Ill. (Rochelle Township)
37.49
7. Lauren Gates (44) Foxfield, Colo. (Grandview) 35.03
8. Melanie Baliff (37) Bossier City, La. (Airline) 39.77
400
1. Suzanne Arenal (35)
Corona Del Mar, Calif. (Corona Del Mar)
01:21.56
2. Aubrey Headon (35)
Rochelle, Ill. (Rochelle Township)
01:32.66
3. Alexa Halko (34)
Williamsburg, Va. (Jamestown)
01:01.80
4. Grace Norman (44)
Jamestown, Ohio (Xenia Christian)
01:01.83
5. Jaleen Roberts (37) Kent, Wash. (Kent Meridian) 01:09.09
6. Amy Watt (46) Palo Alto, Calif. (Gunn)
01:03.17
7. Jessica Heims (44) Swisher, Iowa (Prairie) 01:09.17
8. Amanda Malawski (37) Sugar Grove, Ill. (Kaneland) 01:23.05
800
1. Alexa Halko (34)
Williamsburg, Va. (Jamestown)
02:01.83
2. Grace Norman (44)
Jamestown, Ohio (Xenia Christian)
02:27.88
3. Abby Farrell (54) 
Colorado Springs, Colo. (Air Academy) 02:24.76
4. Aerelle Jones (54) Nicholasville, Ky. (Home School) 02:38.74
5. Elizabeth Becker (54) Wake Forest, N.C. (Heritage) 02:41.30
6. Rachel Doud (54) Homewood, Ala. (Homewood) 02:41.88
7. Sammy Rhodes (54) Wooster, Ohio (Triway) 02:51.00
8. Elizabeth Ruiz-Torres (54) Hackettstown, N.J. (Hackettstown) 02:58.16
1500
1. Grace Norman (44) Jamestown, Ohio (Xenia Christian)
05:14.45
2. Rachel Doud (54)

Homewood, Ala. (Homewood)
05:09.94
3. Aerelle Jones (54)
Nicholasville, Ky. (Home School)
05:13.81
4. Elizabeth Becker (54)
Wake Forest, N.C. (Heritage)
05:15.56
5. Elizabeth Ruiz-Torres (54)
Hackettstown, N.J. (Hackettstown)
05:22.75
6. Stephanie Marquez (54) New Britain, Ct. (Richard J. Kinsella Magnet) 05:39.33
7. Eva Niemeijer (33) Maplewood, N.J. (Columbia) 10:15.60
8. Helen Newman (54) North Granby, Ct. (Granby Memorial) 07:01.76
Discus
1. Jessica Heims (44) Swisher, Iowa (Prairie) 25.98m
2. Lauren Gates (44) Foxfield, Colo. (Grandview)
19.71m
3. Mikayla Chandler (41) Marion, Mass. (Old Rochester Regional) 13.89m
4. Emily Frederick (40) Gadsden, Ala. (Hokes Bluff) 13.48m
5. Stephanie Marquez (54)
New Britain, Ct. (Richard J. Kinsella Magnet)
15.79m
6. Margaret Beaudoin (37) Berkley, Mich. (Berkley) 15.48m
7. Melanie Baliff (37) Bossier City, La. (Airline)
12.19m
8. Bailey Kruse (33) Bellville, Ill. (Bellville-West) 4.15m
Javelin
1. Emily Frederick (40)
Gadsden, Ala. (Hokes Bluff)
13.11m
2. Stephanie Marquez (54)
New Britain, Ct. (Richard J. Kinsella Magnet)
12.69m
3. Lauren Gates (44)
Foxfield, Colo. (Grandview)
14.24m
4. Emily Clark (56) Bradon, Fla. (Alonzo) 10.95m
5. Bailey Kruse (33)
Bellville, Ill. (Bellville-West)
10.70m
6. Elizabeth Becker (54)

Wake Forest, N.C. (Heritage)
10.70m
7. Rachel Doud (54)
Homewood, Ala. (Homewood)

10.06m
8. Annika Lake (44)
Wardville, Okla. (Kiowa) 11.43m
Shotput
1. Emily Frederick (40)
Gadsden, Ala. (Hokes Bluff)
5.86m
2. Mikayla Chandler (41)
Marion, Mass. (Old Rochester Regional)
5.00m
3. Sammy Rhodes (54) Wooster, Ohio (Triway) 6.98m
4. Stephanie Marquez (54)
New Britain, Ct. (Richard J. Kinsella Magnet)
6.87m
5. Amy Watt (46)
Palo Alto, Calif. (Gunn)
5.46m
6. Marhaya Bradford (57) Garden Cove, Iowa (Mormon Trail) 6.28m
7. Kaylee Hurley (57) South Salem, Ohio (McClain) 6.16m
8. Margaret Beaudoin (37) Berkley, Mich. (Berkley)

6.45m
Long Jump
1. Aubrey Headon (35)
Rochelle, Ill. (Rochelle Township)

2.46m
2. Jaleen Roberts (37) Kent, Wash. (Kent Meridian)
4.49m
3. Amy Watt (46)
Palo Alto, Calif. (Gunn)

5.30m
4. Nicole Coltrain (37) University Place, Wash. (Curtis) 3.30m
5. Lauren Gates (44)
Foxfield, Colo. (Grandview)
3.78m
6. Amanda Malawski (37) Sugar Grove, Ill. (Kaneland) 3.09m
7. Melanie Baliff (37)
Bossier City, La. (Airline)

2.88m
8. Margaret Beaudoin (37)
Berkley, Mich. (Berkley)
2.82m



Fort Collins, Colo. (Fort Collins)
Fort Collins, Colo. (Fort Collins)
Ewing, N.J. (Notre Dame)
Cheney, Wash. (Cheney)
New Rochelle, N.Y. (Home School)
New Rochelle, N.Y. (Home School)
Homewood, Ala. (Homewood)
Homewood, Ala. (Homewood)