McFadden, Pike, Scaroni and Romanchuk Become First Athletes Named to Team USA for Paralympic Games Paris 2024
by Kristen Gowdy
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – Four of Team USA’s top marathoners became the first athletes selected by name to the Paralympic Games Paris 2024 roster for the U.S. after earning their spots via results from the TCS New York City Marathon on Nov. 5. The iconic marathon served as the U.S. Paralympics Track & Field marathon team selection event for Paris 2024.
Paralympians Daniel Romanchuk (Mount Airy, Maryland) and Susannah Scaroni (Tekoa, Washington) won the silver and bronze, respectively, to qualify in the top overall spot for Team USA, while six-time Paralympian Aaron Pike (Park Rapids, Minnesota) placed fourth and was the second American male finisher in the field behind Romanchuk. Rounding out the women’s marathon squad will be 20-time Paralympic medalist Tatyana McFadden (Baltimore, Maryland), who earns the second women’s spot with a sixth-place finish.
Per the team’s selection procedures, the top two American men and top two American women finishers are named to the Paralympic Team, provided that they rank within the top-20 of the World Para Athletics World Rankings in the T54 marathon event.
“As a program, it’s extremely exciting to have our first athletes named to the Paris team, and especially to see these four leading the charge for Team USA as we approach the Games next summer,” Sherrice Fox, Director, U.S. Paralympics Track & Field, said. “All four of them have been constants on our Paralympic teams over the past decade and beyond, and we are looking forward to watching them continue that legacy in Paris.”
One of the most prolific wheelchair marathoners in recent years, Romanchuk is set for his third Paralympic Games after a breakout Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 in which he won the men’s 400-meter T54 race and also claimed bronze in the marathon. The 25-year-old is the youngest-ever winner of the New York Marathon’s wheelchair event, in which he claimed victory in 2018. In his marathon career, which began in 2014, he also has won the London, Chicago and Boston Marathons.
Today’s silver medal finish came behind only Switzerland’s Marcel Hug. Romanchuk finished the race in 1:30.07 to punch his ticket to Paris.
“I’m so thankful for these opportunities I’ve had,” he said. “It’s nice to be able to have a little more of a solid plan for the next year. It’s really great to finish on a note like this for the season. I’m hoping to get some solid training in and make some equipment adjustments this winter and look toward the next year.”
Joining Romanchuk in Paris will be the two-time Paralympic medalist Scaroni, who, since winning her first Paralympic title in Tokyo, has been on a tear, piling up the most marathon wins of any Team USA athlete in women’s wheelchair racing.
After a training accident in which the three-time Paralympian was hit by a car in late 2021, she bounced back to win the 2022 Chicago and New York City Marathons and earned her first career Boston Marathon title in 2023. She is also dominant in the 5-kilometer race, the event in which she won her Paralympic gold in Tokyo.
Scaroni held the second-place position for the majority of today’s New York City Marathon, trailing only Swiss athlete Catherine Debrunner. She was passed only in the last miles of the race by Manuela Schar, who claimed silver. Scaroni snagged a podium spot with bronze in 1:48.14.
Being one of the first four athletes to qualify for Team USA for Paris 2024 was an honor, Scaroni said.
“It’s never easy to make the Paralympic Team, so it’s such a privilege,” she said. “The Paralympic movement, especially in this country, I feel the energy, I feel recognized, and it’s largely because of how well we’ve done showcasing Para athletes. It makes me excited for the next generation of Paralympians.”
One of the greatest wheelchair racers the sport has ever seen, the 20-time Paralympic medalist McFadden has officially qualified for her seventh career Paralympic Games roster after placing sixth in today’s marathon with a time of 1:53.31. The result earns her the opportunity to compete alongside Scaroni for Team USA in the women’s marathon in Paris.
For the 23-time world championships medalist who also has 24 World Major Marathon titles, qualifying for Paris was her primary objective for today’s race.
“I’m so excited,” McFadden said. “To be on the 2024 Paris Paralympic marathon team was really the big goal for today’s race. I’ve had a really great season. To come home with three world championship events in sprinting events and then make the marathon team is a really great package to bring home this year. Hopefully I can put everything together next year and bring home some medals in Paris.”
Rounding out the first four athletes named to Team USA for the 2024 Paralympic Games is Pike, who is also earning his seventh Paralympic berth. A dual-sport athlete who also competes in Para Nordic skiing, Pike has now finished in the top-five in his past four New York Marathon competitions after a fourth-place finish in the men’s race today.
In Tokyo, Pike finished sixth in the marathon, and earlier this year earned his first career world championships title in biathlon.
“It’s something you never take for granted,” Pike said. “It’s crazy to say it’s your seventh Games. I’m happy that the training is still inspiring. I’m pumped. It’s just really relieving to know that it’s done already and we can just focus on training.”
Pike has a quick turnaround before getting on snow to start his Para Nordic skiing season. He plans to head to Canmore, Canada, to join the national team in just a few days.
“As soon as I get on snow, it’s actually reenergizing for me,” he said. “I like having two sports, and I’m actually really excited to go jump on snow in a couple of days. Everyone thinks it’s crazy, but for me it’s refreshing. I always feel the same way in March when I get back in the chair. It just works for me.”
Other U.S. highlights in today’s competition included up-and-coming athlete Evan Correll (Waukee, Iowa), who placed sixth in the men’s event. Correll is set to make his international debut for Team USA later this month at the 2023 Parapan American Games in Santiago, Chile. Paralympian Jenna Fesemyer (Ravenna, Ohio) was eighth in the women’s race, followed by Michelle Wheeler (Boalsburg, Pennsylvania), Yen Hoang (Vancouver, Washington) and Hannah Dederick (Mead, Washington), who finished 11th, 13th and 14th, respectively. Coming off his first two career world championships medals on the track, three-time Paralympian Brian Siemann (Champaign, Illinois) recorded a strong ninth-place finish for the men, and Herman Garic (Utica, New York), Wyatt Willand (Northwood, Iowa) and Philip Croft (Spokane, Washington) were 11th, 12th and 13th.
The remaining U.S. Paralympics Track & Field roster slots for the Paralympic Games will be filled at this summer’s U.S. Paralympics Track & Field Team Trials, set for July 18-21. The Paralympic Games Paris 2024 run Aug. 28-Sept. 8 and are expected to feature more than 4,400 athletes.
For media requests and photo inquiries, please contact Kristen Gowdy at Kristen.Gowdy@usopc.org.