USA Triathlon Announces 2017-18 USA Paratriathlon Development Team

By USA Triathlon | Sept. 29, 2017, 2:49 p.m. (ET)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — USA Triathlon today announced the roster for its 2017-18 USA Paratriathlon Development Team, a group of rising elite paratriathlon stars from across the nation. The six athletes earned spots on the roster after strong performances at the USA Triathlon Paratriathlon National Championships in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin, in June.

The goal of the USA Paratriathlon Development Team Program is to identify and develop athletes who show the greatest potential to rise through the athlete pipeline toward the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. The program is intended to serve as the first step in the development pathway.

“The talented group of athletes named to the 2017-18 USA Paratriathlon Development Team have strong podium potential in the elite ranks and are bona fide contenders for the Tokyo 2020 Games,” said Amanda Duke Boulet, Paratriathlon Program Manager at USA Triathlon. “Through world-class coaching, leadership from National Team peers and developmental racing opportunities, these athletes have what it takes to win medals consistently on the international stage.”

The roster includes five 2017 national champions, three active duty or retired U.S. military service members, two college students and one U.S. Paralympian.

Allan Armstrong (Colorado Springs, Colo.), PTS2

Armstrong has been an active duty soldier in the U.S. Army since 2003, and is a father of three girls. In 2013, Armstrong was hit by a truck while on his motorcycle, resulting in the amputation of his leg. The Given Limb Foundation offered a paratriathlon introduction camp in 2015 for injured services members and veterans, where his love for the sport grew. Armstrong began racing in 2015, and in 2016 he became a member of the U.S. Army's World Class Athlete Program (WCAP) for Olympic and Paralympic-potential athletes. He has had an impressive 2017 season, earning gold medals at both the USA Paratriathlon National Championships and the Magog ITU Paratriathlon World Cup. His long-term goals are to be selected for the 2020 U.S. Paralympic Team, retire with 20 years of service from the Army and provide a college education to all three girls.  

Patricia Collins (Alexandria, Va.), PTS4

Collins has been competing in triathlons since 1989. She lost her left leg when she was hit by a car while cycling in 2006, but quickly returned to the sport the following year. Even after her accident, Collins remained a dedicated member of the U.S. Army and worked at the Pentagon and Fort Bragg as part of her 25-year career, from which she retired in 2015 as a Colonel. Though initially more involved in para-cycling, Collins began focusing on elite paratriathlon in 2012. She went on to compete as a member of Team USA in paratriathlon’s debut at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. Collins’ long-term goals include one day returning to her age group roots and "giving those two-legged ladies a run for their money." She also hopes to continue mentoring and supporting the next generation of elite paratriathletes.

Ashley Eisenmenger (Tolono, Ill.), PTVI
Eisenmenger is a runner turned triathlete. She started running in high school, and found her way to triathlon after graduating. Eisenmenger attended a summer camp when she was 16 where she rode her first tandem and fell in love with the freedom she felt riding a bike again. She did one triathlon in 2014, but didn't really jump into the sport until the following year. She now has three elite seasons under her belt. She trains with the women’s varsity triathlon team at North Central College (Naperville, Ill.) during the school year, and on her own in the summers. Her long-term goals include competing at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games and participating in more ITU races in the coming year to gain points toward that goal.

Brian Norberg (West Des Moines, Iowa), PTS3

Norberg has been racing competitively for the last four years after being introduced to triathlon by Dare2Tri, a grassroots paratriathlon club based in Chicago, in 2013. He and his wife moved to Iowa in 2015, and he has been training with an age-group team based in Des Moines. Highlights of his racing career include finishing in the top eight of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games qualifying standings, earning multiple CAMTRI Paratriathlon American Cup podiums and winning back-to-back USA Paratriathlon National Championships. Norberg's long-term triathlon goal is to make Team USA for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.

Ruth-Ann Reeves (Hattiesburg, Miss.), PTS5

Reeves is a freshman at the University of Southern Mississippi, where she is studying philosophy and communication studies. She has been a triathlete since age 12. Reeves got started in the sport because her sister had competed in triathlon. She discovered paratriathlon a few years later and has had the opportunity to race as an elite paratriathlete for the past two seasons. Reeves’ goals are to continue racing and ultimately to compete at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.

Howie Sanborn (Denver, Colo.), PTWC
Sanborn is a retired U.S. Army veteran. He served for 15 years as an Airborne Ranger, as well as a demonstrator on the U.S. Army Parachute Team, "The Golden Knights.” While Sanborn was serving in the U.S. Army, he began competing in triathlon as an able-bodied age-group racer. In September of 2012, he was cycling with a friend when a distracted driver struck him from behind, breaking his back and paralyzing him from the waist down. During his recovery at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC), Sanborn was introduced to Keri Serota, one of the co-founders of Dare2Tri. While Sanborn was still an inpatient at RIC, he began handcycling, swimming and learned how to use a racing wheelchair. He competed in his first triathlon using a racing wheelchair seven months after he was injured, and has continued to compete at the elite level ever since. This year, Sanborn won a national title in the PTWC division and took gold at the Magog ITU Paratriathlon World Cup. He hopes to continue to improve as a racer and become one of the top 10 PTWC athletes in the world. His overall goal is to compete for Team USA at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games while continuing to help grow the sport.

Click here more information about the USA Paratriathlon Development Team. To learn more about paratriathlon in general, including elite, grassroots and military programming, visit usaparatriathlon.org.

About USA Triathlon

USA Triathlon is proud to serve as the National Governing Body for triathlon, as well as duathlon, aquathlon, aquabike, winter triathlon, off-road triathlon and paratriathlon in the United States. Founded in 1982, USA Triathlon sanctions more than 4,300 races and connects with nearly 500,000 members each year, making it the largest multisport organization in the world. In addition to its work with athletes, coaches, and race directors on the grassroots level, USA Triathlon provides leadership and support to elite athletes competing at international events, including International Triathlon Union (ITU) World Championships, Pan American Games and the Olympic and Paralympic Games. USA Triathlon is a proud member of the ITU and the United States Olympic Committee (USOC).