COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — USA Triathlon today announced the roster for the 2019 USA Paratriathlon Resident Team, an elite squad based at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Melissa Stockwell (Chicago, Ill.), Kendall Gretsch (Downers Grove, Ill.) and Kyle Coon (Carbondale, Colo.) will join current resident team athletes Allysa Seely (Glendale, Ariz.), Howie Sanborn (Denver, Colo.) and Hailey Danz (Wauwatosa, Wis.) as they train for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games and other elite races on the International Triathlon Union circuit.
The resident team first opened its doors in April as the fifth Paralympic sport to call the Colorado Springs campus home. USA Triathlon Level I Certified Coach Derick Williamson (Colorado Springs, Colo.) is the program’s head coach.
“Melissa, Kendall and Kyle bring a diverse set of experiences and strengths to the USA Paratriathlon Resident Program, and I am proud to welcome each of them to the squad,” Williamson said. “These athletes will not only benefit from the performance-focused environment of the U.S. Olympic Training Center, but will also bring out the best in their teammates as we put in work on the road to Tokyo.”
Seely, Danz and Stockwell made history by sweeping the women’s PT2 podium in paratriathlon’s debut at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. With all three now on the resident team, they will train together on a daily basis for the first time.
“I feel so fortunate to have the support of my family as we make the exciting move out to Colorado Springs so I can continue to train in hopes of competing in Tokyo 2020,” Stockwell said. “By training with the paratriathlon resident team, I will have access to all the resources I need to give me the best chance to succeed and be a part of Team USA in Tokyo.”
As part of the resident team, athletes have full access to the Olympic Training Center’s amenities, including workout facilities, nutritional counseling, sport science testing and sport psychology sessions. They receive regular group and individual coaching from Williamson as well as the Olympic Training Center’s performance services staff.
In addition, athletes have the opportunity to receive media training and take part in community engagement, leadership and service opportunities around Colorado Springs.
Athletes in the inaugural program saw enormous success during the 2018 season. Seely won her third career world title at the ITU Paratriathlon World Championships in Gold Coast, Australia, and went undefeated on the 2018 ITU World Paratriathlon Series (WPS) circuit. Danz collected three WPS medals and a CAMTRI Paratriathlon American Championships victory, in addition to a bronze medal at the world championships. Sanborn recorded three top-10 finishes on the ITU Paratriathlon World Cup circuit, including a bronze in Magog, Québec.
The new resident-athletes also have notable resumes:
Melissa Stockwell (Chicago, Ill.)
Stockwell is a three-time ITU Paratriathlon world champion. She earned a bronze medal in paratriathlon’s debut at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, joining Seely and Danz in a U.S. podium sweep of the women’s PT2 division. A U.S. Army veteran, Stockwell was the first female American soldier in history to lose a limb in the Iraq War when serving in Baghdad in 2004. Her accolades also include one silver and one bronze medal in ITU Paratriathlon World Championship competition; six medals in ITU World Paratriathlon Series events; three U.S. national titles; two ITU Paratriathlon World Cup medals; and a 2008 Paralympic Games appearance in swimming.
Kendall Gretsch (Downers Grove, Ill.)
Gretsch is one of the most dominant athletes in the world in the women’s PTWC division. She maintained an undefeated streak in elite ITU paratriathlon competition from June 2014-July 2018, collecting three world titles, four national titles and two ITU World Paratriathlon Event victories along the way. Gretsch’s streak was only broken at the Sarasota-Bradenton ITU Paratriathlon World Cup in October, where she placed second to Brazil’s Jessica Ferreira in an adjusted duathlon format. Gretsch is also a winter Paralympian, claiming two gold medals in biathlon and cross-country skiing at the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games.
Kyle Coon (Carbondale, Colo.)
Coon has been a triathlete since 2015, but is relatively new to elite ITU competition. In 2018, Coon collected a silver medal in the men’s PTVI division at the Sarasota-Bradenton ITU Paratriathlon World Cup and placed fourth at the Sarasota-Bradenton CAMTRI Paratriathlon American Championships. He has completed three long-course (IRONMAN 70.3) and two ultra-distance (IRONMAN) triathlons. Coon’s best long-course finish came at IRONMAN 70.3 Boulder last year, when he won the men’s physically challenged division covering the 1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike and 13.1-mile run in 5 hours, 11 minutes, 9 seconds.
Stockwell, Gretsch and Coon will begin training with the squad in January 2019. The ITU paratriathlon season resumes in March 2019, with the Devonport ITU Paratriathlon World Cup on March 2 and the Sarasota-Bradenton CAMTRI Paratriathlon American Championships on March 9-10.
Click here for more information about the USA Paratriathlon Resident Program. To learn more about paratriathlon at the grassroots and elite levels, visit usaparatriathlon.org or contact USA Paratriathlon Program Senior Manager Amanda Duke Boulet at Amanda.firstname.lastname@example.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 events and connects with more than 400,000 members each year, making it the largest multisport organization in the world. In addition to its work at the grassroots level with athletes, coaches, and race directors — as well as the USA Triathlon Foundation — 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).