U.S. Paralympics, a division of the United States Olympic Committee, announced today that the 2013 U.S. Paralympics Track & Field National Championships will be held at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, June 14-16. The competition is the final qualification opportunity for U.S. athletes vying for a spot at the 2013 International Paralympic Committee Athletics World Championships in Lyon, France.
"Not only does Trinity University have a fast track, they also have great facilities for our field athletes," said Cathy Sellers, USOC director of high performance for Paralympic track and field. "We're excited to bring our athletes to the great sports atmosphere of San Antonio before they take on the world in Lyon."
All-session passes for spectators ages 10 and up will be available for $10 at the spectator entrance of the Trinity University Stadium.
Approximately 200 track and field athletes are expected to participate in the competition including San Antonio's own Kate Callahan, who competed at the 2011 IPC Athletics World Championships, and 2008 Paralympic Games gold and bronze medalist Casey Tibbs, a Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy. Other Texans slated to compete are three-time Paralympic medalist Jim Bob Bizzell (Odessa, Texas), three-time Paralympic gold medalist Jeremy Campbell (Perryton, Texas) and Paralympian Tobi Fawehinmi (Arlington, Texas). Fawehinmi is a student-athlete at Mansfield Summit High School.
Eighteen U.S. track and field athletes combined for 28 medals at the London 2012 Paralympic Games with Campbell, Raymond Martin (Jersey City, N.J.), Tatyana McFadden (Clarksville, Md.) and Shirley Reilly (Tucson, Ariz.) all winning gold medals. Martin, named the 2012 Paralympic SportsMan of the Year by the USOC, led the way for Team USA with four gold medals while McFadden earned three gold medals. All four London 2012 gold medalists expect to compete at the 2013 U.S. Paralympics Track & Field National Championships.
Other top U.S. athletes expected to compete in San Antonio include two-time Paralympic medalist April Holmes (Kissimmee, Fla.), world record holder in the women's 100 meters T44; three-time Paralympic medalist Elexis Gillette (Raleigh, N.C.), world record holder in the men's long jump T11; two-time Paralympic medalist Blake Leeper (Church Hill, Tenn.), world record holder in the men's 100m T43; five-time Paralympic medalist Paul Nitz (Edina, Minn.), world record holder in the men's 100m T52; and Paralympic medalist David Prince (Marietta, Ga.), world record holder in the men's 400m T44.
At the 2011 IPC Athletics World Championships in Christchurch, New Zealand, Team USA won 34 medals, including nine world titles.
While the three day event serves as a qualifier for the U.S. team that will compete at the IPC Athletics World Championships July 20-28, the U.S. Paralympics Track & Field National Championships is open to athletes from other countries. At last year's trials in Indianapolis, Great Britain's Jonnie Peacock broke the longstanding world record in the men's 100m T44 with a time of 10.85.
Athletes with a physical disability or visual impairment who hold an IPC license and meet the minimum qualifying standards at a sanctioned track and field event between Jan. 1, 2012-June 9, 2013, are eligible to compete in San Antonio.
For more information, please contact Jamie Blanchard, U.S. Paralympics, at 719-866-2068 or firstname.lastname@example.org.