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photo: Mario Cantu/CIMAGES
U.S. Athletes Earn 7 Titles, 14 Medals at PATCO Paratriathlon Championships
DALLAS — Seven U.S. elite paratriathletes raced their way to division titles on Sunday at the PATCO Paratriathlon Pan American Championships, the final event of the continental championship weekend.
Competing on a 750-meter swim, 20-kilometer bike, 5-kilometer run course, nearly 70 paratriathletes sought top finishes in each of the five categories based on physical impairment. Topping the podium in their respective divisions for the U.S. were Kendall Gretch (PT1, Chicago, Ill.), Hailey Danisewicz (PT2, Chicago, Ill.), Mark Barr (PT2, Houston, Texas), Allysa Seely (Glendale, Ariz.), Jamie Brown (Carlsbad, Calif.), Patricia Walsh (PT5, Austin, Texas) and Aaron Scheidies (PT5, Seattle, Wash.).
U.S. paratriathletes earned a total of 14 medals in the event, which includes a podium sweep in the women’s PT1 division.
The competition showcased an international field including Brazilians, Canadians and Mexicans as athletes prepare for the sport’s debut in the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Paralympic Games.
“The competition is getting way better these days. You don’t know where people are going to come from,” said Scheidies, who has been competing in triathlons for 14 years. Scheidies has been targeting the Paralympic Games since it was added to the program in December 2010, and he plans to commit to triathlon full-time as Rio approaches. “Either way it’s going to be a race to the finish,” he said. “It’s going to be exciting.”
Gretch, the PT1 champion, cites Sunday’s PATCO Championships as her first major competition in two years in the sport, having crossed over from swimming. Her goals also revolve heavily around Rio 2016 and a Paralympic Games berth. “I hope to get as far as I can,” she said. “If not Rio, then maybe Tokyo in 2020.”
Sunday’s event in Dallas was the first elite paratriathlon event of the year hosted in the U.S. Athletes will head to Chicago for the ITU World Paratriathlon Chicago, presented by Dare2tri, on June 28, where the elite paratriathlon race will serve as the opening event for the ITU World Triathlon Chicago weekend.
Dallas and Chicago are also part of the four-race Can-Am Paratriathlon Race Series, which aims to provide domestic competitive opportunities for athletes in North America. Series champions will be determined after ITU events in Magog, Quebec, and Kelowna, British Columbia, later this year.
More on paratriathlon can be found at usatriathlon.org/paratriathlon.
Dallas PATCO Paratriathlon Pan American Championships
750m swim, 20k bike, 5k run
U.S. Finishers — Click here for complete results
1. Kendall Gretch (Chicago, Ill.), 1:32:47
2. Mary Kate Callahan (Chicago, Ill.), 1:39:52
3. Diana Helt (Chicago, Ill.), 1:40:06
4. Ashley Cooper-Heath (Kingsland, Ga.), 1:47:33
2. Geoffrey Kennedy (Rio Grande, Puerto Rico), 1:10:28
3. Justin Meaders (Keller, Texas), 1:18:03
5. Joseph Beimfohr (Wesley Chapel, Fla.), 1:49:48
1. Hailey Danisewicz (Chicago, Ill.), 1:42:56
1. Mark Barr (Houston, Texas), 1:21:42
2. Sean Vangerena (Orlando, Fla.), 1:25:52
4. Brian Norberg (Chicago, Ill.), 1:30:35
8. Jacob Pruett (Phoenix, Ariz.), 1:47:47
1. Allysa Seely (Glendale, Ariz.), 1:41:07
1. Jamie Brown (Carlsbad, Calif.), 1:13:24
4. Christine Wodke (Milwaukee, Wis.), 1:52:46
2. Chris Hammer (Cheney, Wash.), 1:09:11
6. Jose Ramos (Arlington, Va.), 1:18:51
7. Thomas Cain (Santa Paula, Calif.), 1:19:22
8. Jonathan Disbro (Reno, Nev.), 1:19:39
10. Michael Johnston (San Diego, Calif.), 1:23:26
12. Craig Vogtsberger (Traverse City, Mich.), 1:25:30
12. Jeffrey Nolan (Goose Creek, S.C.), 1:26:45
1. Patricia Walsh (Austin, Texas), 1:18:41
3. Amy Dixon (Greenwich, Conn.), 1:36:03
1. Aaron Scheidies (Seattle, Wash.), 1:08:57
5. Jeremy Winters (Murfreesboro, Tenn.), 1:22:58
6. Brandon Adame (Houston, Texas), 1:29:47
About USA Triathlon
USA Triathlon is proud to serve as the National Governing Body for triathlon, as well as duathlon, aquathlon, aquabike, winter triathlon, off-road triathlon and paratriathlon in the United States. Founded in 1982, USA Triathlon sanctions more than 4,300 races and connects with nearly 500,000 members each year, making it the largest multisport organization in the world. In addition to its work with athletes, coaches and race directors on the grassroots level, USA Triathlon provides leadership and support to elite athletes competing at international events, including International Triathlon Union (ITU) World Championships, Pan American Games and the Olympic and Paralympic Games. USA Triathlon is a proud member of the ITU and the United States Olympic Committee (USOC).