U.S. Paralympics Track & Field Announces 2023 Parapan American Games Roster
by Kristen Gowdy
COLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO – U.S. Paralympics Track & Field today announced the 60 athletes – 35 men, including two guides, and 25 women – selected to represent Team USA at the 2023 Parapan American Games, which will be contested Nov. 17-26 in Santiago, Chile.
The U.S. will be anchored by 16 athletes who competed at the Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020, and 14 who are coming off this summer’s 2023 World Para Athletics Championships in Paris, France.
Per the team’s selection procedures, athletes who earned a medal at the 2023 world championships in an event on the Paris Paralympic Games program are not eligible to be selected for the Parapan American Games team, with the exception of discretionary spots awarded to worlds medalists for the purpose of development.
Three athletes who found the podium in Paris over the summer will return to the international stage for the Parapan American Games. In his worlds campaign, Paralympian Tanner Wright (Fort Worth, Texas) raced to silver in the men’s 400-meter T46 competition, the first worlds medal of his career. He will be joined on the Parapan American Games stage by fellow world championships medalists and Paralympians Josh Cinnamo (San Diego, California) and Erin Kerkhoff (Coralville, Iowa). Cinnamo and Kerkhoff each earned bronze in Paris – Cinnamo in the men’s shot put F46 and Kerkhoff in the 200-meter T13.
Paralympian Beatriz Hatz (Lakewood, Colorado) recorded a best finish of fourth place in the women’s long jump T64 in Paris and will make her second career Parapan American Games appearance. Long jumpers Tyson Gunter (McCammon, Idaho) and Ryan Medrano (Savannah, Georgia) will join Hatz as members of both the 2023 world championships and Parapan American Games teams. A sprinter and jumper, Medrano’s best result in his world championships debut was fifth in the men’s 400-meter T38, while Gunter, a long jump specialist, finished seventh in the T13 competition in Paris.
Making his Parapan American Games debut is shot putter Devin Huhta (Battle Mountain, Nevada), who will round out the best year of his career in Chile. In 2023, the T12 thrower also made his first national team roster and competed at his first world championships, where he finished sixth. Huhta’s worlds teammate Cody Jones (Simi Valley, California), will join him in throws. Jones, a 2016 Paralympian, finished sixth in the men’s javelin F38 in Paris.
Distance runners and world championships teammates Joel Gomez (Encinitas, California) and Leo Merle (Folsom, California) will take to the Parapan American Games stage for Team USA in Chile. Gomez is a 2020 Paralympian who placed sixth in the 1,500-meter T13 race in Paris, while Merle ran a personal best in the 1,500-meter T38 competition for a fourth-place finish in his worlds debut.
Rounding out the contingent of 2023 worlds athletes competing in Chile are sprinters Hannah Dederick (Mead, Washington), Matthew Paintin (Littleton, Colorado) and Marshall Zackery (Ocala, Florida). Dederick’s top finish in Paris was sixth in the women’s 100-meter T54, while Paintin and Zackery placed fifth and sixth, respectively, in the men’s 200-meter T35 race.
Other 2020 Paralympians who will return to the international stage include Sydney Barta (Arlington, Virginia), David Brown (St. Louis, Missouri), Jonathan Gore (Fayetteville, West Virginia), Jessica Heims (Swisher, Iowa), Justin Phongsavanh (Des Moines, Iowa), Rayven Sample (Jamestown, New York) and Taylor Talbot (Ontario, Oregon). Team USA’s full roster can be found below.
Taking place once every four years, the Parapan American Games bring together North and South American countries for a multi-sport competition less than a year out from the Paralympic Games. The 2023 edition will feature 18 sports.
For media requests and photo inquiries, please contact Kristen Gowdy at Kristen.Gowdy@usopc.org.
2023 U.S. Parapan American Games Roster
Je’Von Hutchison (guide)
Treyton Stuckey (guide)
*Added to the roster after the initial team announcement was made.