Romanchuk Smashes World Record To Open Arizona Grand Prix

By Brianna Tammaro | June 16, 2018, 9:42 a.m. (ET)

 Daniel Romanchuk competes in the preliminary round of the men's T54 800-meter where he broke a world record with a time of 1:29.66 on Friday at the Arizona Grand Prix in Tempe, Arizona.

TEMPE, Ariz. – Daniel Romanchuk (Mount Airy, Maryland) wasted no time making his mark on the Joe Selleh Track, breaking a world record in the preliminary session to open the Arizona Grand Prix on Friday. 

The 19-year-old Paralympian broke his second world record in the span of a few weeks, shaving nearly seven-tenth-of-a-second off the previous mark to cross the finish line in 1:29.66 in the men’s T54 800-meter. Earlier this month, Romanchuk smashed the world-leading time in the 5,000 by more than four seconds at the Daniela Jutzler Memorial meet to write his name in the record books. His record-setting start in Tempe led to victories in the 800 and 5,000 on the first day of competition.

In a showdown in the men’s T64 100, two-time Paralympian Jarryd Wallace (Athens, Georgia) topped Paralympian Richard Browne (Jackson, Mississippi). Wallace, who won bronze in the event at the 2017 world championships, crossed the finish line in 11.02. This was the first face-off for the current (Browne) and former (Wallace) world record holder all season and likely the last major meeting until the next world championships in 2019. 

Paralympic and world champion Roderick Townsend (Stockton, California) managed an exhausting day filled with the T46 100, long jump and high jump to come away with two wins in the field events. He finished with a mark of 2.05-meters in the high jump and 7.20m in the long jump to head into the final day of competition.

Continuing their dominance on the track in the T11 100, reigning Paralympic and world champions David Brown (St. Louis, Missouri) and guide Jerome Avery (Lemoore, California) secured gold by crossing the finish line in a time of 11.12.

Coming in as the defending Paralympic and world champion in the T46 100, Paralympian Deja Young (Mesquite, Texas) claimed the first-place spot after completing the race in 25.27.

Paralympic bronze medalist Kym Crosby (Yuba City, California), who was also the 2017 world championships bronze medalist, stole the race under the lights as she outpaced the field to finish first in the T13 100 (12.76). 

Two-time Paralympian Brian Siemann (Millstone, New Jersey) opened his campaign at the Desert Challenge Games with a trio of wins in the T53 800 (1:44.65), 5,000 (10:47.22) and 100 (15.39). 

The Arizona Grand Prix, which is the biggest event of the season for U.S. athletes, concludes Saturday at Arizona State University.

Daniel Romanchuk 
On his approach to the 800-meter...
“It’s been a while since I’ve been out in Tempe for this event so I just decided to take it out as fast as I could and see what happened.”

Jarryd Wallace
On his approach to the race during a non-Games and non-Parapan Am year…
“When it comes down to it, I try not to focus on what the clock says at the end of the race, but just trying to focus on the race itself. Today, I felt like I rushed my start a little bit, but a rush start for me is a quick start. I just have to stay patient at the end when I do have a rush start, and I did that today. I would say I’m proud with how I ran because I stayed patient. Richard (Browne) is a very dangerous last-40-meter runner, and I was able to hold him off. We had a little bit of a headwind, but it is what it is.”

On competing against Richard Browne…
“I love the energy he brings into the team and onto the track. I’m sure we’re going to trade back and forth through the next few years, and we’ll hopefully be able to put on a good show come Tokyo 2020.”

Roderick Townsend
On his performance today...
“Today, my marks may not have shown how good I felt but this is only my second outdoor meet all season. I haven’t been able to jump much this year, but I’ve been working a lot on efficiency and my mindset, and just those two things allowed me to come out to this meet and have a lot of fun and be competitive. It just turned out to be exactly what I expected as far as where my mindset was, how my body felt and it just all came together really well. Again, the marks may not completely show it, but I know that on a bigger stage, today’s type of performance--the way that I felt--would be something really spectacular. I’m just really looking forward to putting it together over the next couple of years and see what happens. 

Kym Crosby
On the progress she’s made…
“It’s my fastest time of the season, but still not where I need to be. It’s an off-year, and I’ve taken a lot of rest which I’ve needed, just so I can come back for 2019 and be ready to go.”


For more information and full results from the 2018 Desert Challenge Games, visit the event website and live timing website. Follow all the action and behind-the-scenes content with U.S. Paralympics Track and Field on Facebook and Instagram.