Ten athletes added to U.S. Paralympics Track & Field National Team for 2023 season
by Kristen Gowdy
Yen Hoang competes at the Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020. (Photo: Joe Kusumoto)
COLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO – U.S. Paralympics Track & Field today made 10 additions to its national team roster heading into 2023. The 50 athletes and three guides on the 2022 roster all retained national team status and will maintain their spots for the upcoming season.
The new national team members range from Paralympians to athletes making their national team debuts who are seeking their first major international team berth.
“As a program, we’re excited about the growth many of these athletes have shown this past year,” Sherrice Fox, Director, U.S. Paralympics Track & Field, said. “By meeting our national team standards, they have proven to us that they can compete with the best both domestically and internationally. As we turn our focus to world championships in Paris this summer, we are looking forward to seeing what they bring to the table.”
Headlining the 10 additions are Paralympic champion David Brown (St. Louis, Missouri), as well as Paralympians Yen Hoang (Vancouver, Washington), Joel Gomez (Encinitas, California), Cody Jones (Simi Valley, California) and Erin Kerkhoff (Coralville, Iowa).
A three-time Paralympian, Brown won the 100-meter T11 gold medal at the Paralympic Games Rio 2016. He is also the first totally blind athlete to run the 100-meters in under 11 seconds. The five-time world championships medalist was also recently named to the first-ever USA Blind Soccer Men’s National Team.
Hoang, Kerkhoff, and Gomez each made their Paralympic debuts in Tokyo, where they all recorded at least one top-10 finish. Hoang competes for the University of Illinois’ wheelchair athletics program and is coming off a successful marathon season. Also an NCAA athlete, Kerkhoff is a redshirt sophomore on the University of Northern Iowa’s roster, where she earned all-conference honors last season. Jones competed at the Rio Paralympics, where he finished eighth in javelin F38.
2022 U.S. Paralympics Track & Field High School All-Americans Aubrey Jumper (Mountain Top, Pennsylvania) and Catarina Guimaraes (Cranford, New Jersey) join the 2023 national team after successful seasons at the high school level. Guimaraes has competed at the elite international level previously, having won two bronze medals at the 2019 Parapan American Games.
Rounding out the additions to the 2023 roster are first-time national team members Beth Grauer (Hoisington, Kansas), Devin Huhta (Battle Mountain, Nevada), and Matthew Paintin (Littleton, Colorado). Both Grauer, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran, and Huhta, who holds an American record, compete in throws. Paintin represented Team USA at the 2019 Para World Junior Championships and is the world record holder in the 1500-meter T35 event.
U.S. Paralympics Track & Field also added several members to its national team midseason last year. 2020 Paralympians Rayven Sample (Jamestown, New York), Erik Hightower (Phoenix, Arizona), and Jenna Fesemyer (Ravenna, Ohio), as well as newcomers Noelle Malkamaki (Decatur, Illinois), Samantha Heyison (Adamstown, Maryland), and Alicia Guerrero (Wapato, Washington) each hit national team qualifying standards in 2022 to earn spots on the roster. A full national team roster is listed below.
Major competitions for U.S. Paralympics Track & Field athletes in 2023 include the World Para Athletics Championships, U.S. Paralympics Track & Field National Championships, and the 2023 Parapan American Games in Santiago, Chile. For updates and results from these and other competitions, please follow U.S. Paralympics Track & Field on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
For media requests and photo inquiries, please contact Kristen Gowdy at Kristen.Gowdy@usopc.org.
2023 U.S. Paralympics Track & Field National Team