U.S. Paralympics Track & Field names 2022 National Team
by Kristen Gowdy
Sam Grewe competes in high jump, an event in which he won the gold medal, in Tokyo. (Photo: Joe Kusumoto)
COLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO – U.S. Paralympics Track & Field today announced the 44 athletes named to its 2022 national team. The roster is comprised of 26 men and 18 women, all of whom competed at the Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020.
Headlined by multi-medalists and up-and-coming stars, the national team will compete this season with its focus set on August’s 2022 World Para Athletics Championships in Osaka, Japan.
“We are excited about the experience that our athletes bring to this year’s team,” Sherrice Fox, director of U.S. Paralympics Track & Field, said. “Every single one of them competed in Tokyo, and having 44 returning Paralympians sets a high standard for the season. All of them are already leaders, and we can’t wait to see what they bring to the sport in 2022 and beyond as we look to Paris in 2024.”
On the track, 20-time Paralympic medalist Tatyana McFadden (Baltimore, Maryland) and one of the breakout stars of the Tokyo Games Nick Mayhugh (Manassas, Virginia) make their return after leading Team USA with a combined seven medals in Tokyo. McFadden and Mayhugh also teamed up with Noah Malone (Fishers, Indiana) and Brittni Mason (Cleveland, Ohio) for gold in the mixed 4x100m relay, one of the most memorable moments of the Games.
Malone, who runs for Indiana State University as one of the nation’s only legally blind Division I track athletes, also brought home two silvers in his Paralympic debut. Mason had a similar debut, adding two silvers to her mixed relay gold. Both sprinters will look to continue their success as members of the 2022 national team.
McFadden and Daniel Romanchuk (Mount Airy, Maryland) headline a group of wheelchair racers that make the national team roster following a successful 2021 season that included Paralympic golds and major marathon titles. Romanchuk picked up his first two career Paralympic medals in Tokyo – gold in the 400m and bronze in the marathon – before podiuming in all five major marathons in which he competed in the two months following the Paralympics. McFadden also medaled in all five major marathons to close out 2021.
Fellow wheelchair racers Raymond Martin (Jersey City, New Jersey) and Cheri Madsen (Nebraska City, Nebraska) both became 10-time Paralympic medalists in Tokyo, and both will return for the 2022 season. Martin has medaled in every Paralympic event he’s ever entered, picking up three more in his third Paralympic campaign in Tokyo. Madsen, meanwhile, nabbed a silver and bronze in Tokyo, her fourth Games. The 45-year-old competed in the 1996 and 2000 Games, and then came out of retirement for Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020 in part so her children, who were too young to remember the first stage of her career, would have memories of her competing.
Susannah Scaroni (Tekoa, Washington) returns to the 2022 team after winning her first two Paralympic medals in Tokyo, including gold in a dominant women’s 5000m T54 performance. Scaroni, primarily a distance wheelchair racer, was injured in a training accident after the Games and missed most of the 2021 marathon season and will be looking for a comeback in 2022. Four-time Paralympic medalist Alexa Halko (Williamsburg, Virginia), two-time medalist Gianfranco Iannotta (Garfield, New Jersey) and 2020 Paralympians Hannah Dederick (Mead, Washington), Eva Houston (Omaha, Nebraska) and Brian Siemann (Champaign, Illinois) round out the wheelchair racing contingent on this year’s national team.
A specialist in the 400m, Breanna Clark (Los Angeles, California) begins her 2022 campaign after cruising to her second Paralympic gold medal in the women’s 400m T20 in Tokyo, setting a world record in the process. Fellow sprinters and Paralympic medalists Kym Crosby (Yuba City, California), Jaleen Roberts (Kent, Washington), Hunter Woodhall (Syracuse, Utah), Jarryd Wallace (Athens, Georgia) and Deja Young (Mesquite, Texas), as well as Paralympians Femita Ayanbeku (Boston, Massachusetts), Beatriz Hatz (Lakewood, Colorado), Tanner Wright (Fort Worth, Texas) and Sydney Barta (Arlington, Virginia) join Clark on the national team. Barta was recently named one of U.S. Paralympics Track & Field High School Athletes of the Year after the 17-year-old made her debut in Tokyo.
Distance runners Liza Corso (Newmarket, New Hampshire), who raced her way to an unexpected silver medal in the women’s 1500m T13 in her Paralympic debut and also runs for Division I Lipscomb University, and Paralympic champion Michael Brannigan (Northport, New York) round out the track athletes named to the 2022 national team.
High jump Paralympic champions Roderick Townsend (Stockton, California) and Sam Grewe (Middlebury, Indiana), as well as discus gold medalist Jeremy Campbell (Perryton, Texas) headline a field roster that will look to replicate its success in Tokyo. Townsend and Paralympic rookie Dallas Wise (Columbia, South Carolina) went 1-2 in the men’s high jump T47, with Townsend setting a world record in the event. He followed it with a silver in the men’s long jump T47 to continue his career as one of the most dominant jumpers in Paralympic history. Wise, who just transferred to the University of Southern California to continue his Division I collegiate track and field career, joins Townsend on the 2022 national team.
Grewe, meanwhile, nearly set a world record of his own en route to his first Paralympic gold medal in Tokyo. Grewe will have a busy year in 2022, as he is also working toward his medical degree at the University of Michigan. He is joined by Ezra Frech (Los Angeles, California), another rising star in the sport, on the national team. The 16-year-old took fifth in his signature high jump event in Tokyo and earned U.S. Paralympics Track & Field High School Field Athlete of the Year honors.
Long jump specialists Lex Gillette (Raleigh, North Carolina), Trenten Merrill (San Juan Capistrano, California), Isaac Jean-Paul (Evanston, Illinois), Tobi Fawehinmi (Arlington, Texas) and Taleah Williams (Norfolk, Nebraska) were also named to the 2022 team. Gillette, along with guide and national team member Wesley Williams (Visalia, California), earned his fifth consecutive Paralympic silver medal in Tokyo and currently plans to go for his sixth medal in Paris 2024. Merrill and Jean-Paul also won their first Paralympic medals in Tokyo, bronzes in the men’s long jump T64 and men’s long jump T13, respectively. Jean-Paul also took fourth in the 100m T13.
Campbell leads a group of throwers that combined for five medals in Tokyo. Campbell’s gold in the men’s discus F64 was Team USA’s top Paralympic result in throwing. Cassie Mitchell (Warner, Oklahoma) won silver in the women’s club throw F51, while Hagan Landry (Delcambre, Louisiana), Justin Phongsavanh (Des Moines, Iowa) and Josh Cinnamo (San Diego, California) all debuted with bronze medals in their Paralympic debuts. Landry and Cinnamo each won their medals in shot put, with Landry competing in the F41 category and Cinnamo as an F46 athlete. Phongsavanh took home bronze in the men’s javelin F54, an event in which he set the world record while qualifying for the Tokyo team.
Throwers Jessie Heims (Swisher, Iowa) and Scot Severn (Caro, Michigan), who have made six Paralympic teams between them, round out the 2022 national team, which will compete in international events leading up to the 2022 World Para Athletics Championships.
For media inquiries and photo requests, please contact Kristen Gowdy at Kristen.Gowdy@usopc.org.
2022 National Team
Wesley Williams (Guide)