USA Triathlon Crowns PC National Champions
NEW YORK, N.Y. Thirty-one Physically Challenged athletes are headed to the World Championships after a brilliant, inspiring display at the 2006 USA Triathlon Physically Challenged National Championships at the Nautica New York City Triathlon on Sunday.
Over the past two years, the New York City Triathlon has become a favorite of PC athletes for its great atmosphere and Big Apple hospitality. Thirty-three PC athletes in all were competing including 17 of the 18 members of the USAT PC National Team in seven different classifications for both male and female. The following athletes earned national titles on the Olympic distance course:
Male Handcycle: Jeremy Newman (Selmar, Calif.)
Female Handcycle: Trish Downing (Denver, Colo.)
Male Below Knee Amputee: Paul Martin (Natick, Mass.)
Female Below Knee Amputee: Amy Winters (Meadville, Pa.)
Male Above Knee Amputee: David McGranahan (Sylvania, Ohio)
Female Above Knee Amputee: Sarah Reinertsen (Trabuco Canyon, Calif.)
Male Below Elbow Amputee: Richard Ingram (Dahlonga, Ga.)
Female Below Elbow Amputee: Carrie Davis (Spokane, Wash.)
Male Above Elbow Amputee: Willie Stewart (Redlands, Calif.)
Female Above Elbow Amputee: Suzanne Elbon (Athens, Ga.)
Blind: Aaron Scheidies (Seattle, Wash.)
Impaired: David Kyle (Athens, Ala.)
Any PC athlete finishing in under four hours earned a spot on Team USA for the 2006 ITU World Triathlon Championships in Lausanne, Switzerland in September.
A PC team representing Operation Rebound, an organization that provides post-rehabilitative support and mentoring to American soldiers and veterans suffering a permanent disability, took part in the triathlons relay division. Melissa Stockwells swim split of 13:27 was fastest of all 47 relay teams.
I think the athletes exceeded everyones expectations, said PC National Team Director Jon Beeson. We will be sending our biggest PC team ever to worlds. This is significant, especially with the event taking place in Lausanne. We need to show them that were ready for Paralympic inclusion. They will see us in action. Its huge for us.
Tom Reilly, USAT National Board member for Florida and member of the Physically Challenged Committee, added, “I am incredibly proud of the efforts of every member of our Physically Challenged team. They are truly role models for all of us. I have the utmost admiration and respect for each of the athletes.”
The New York City Triathlon also featured an Age Group race for 3,200 competitors and a pro race of 19 female and 14 male elite athletes. Greg Bennett was the top male finisher (1:43:43) and was followed by Leon Griffin (1:43:50) and Craig Alexander (1:45.17). For the women, Emma Snowsill of Australia grabbed her third race win in eight days with a time of 1:56:14. Snowsill won Saturdays Lifetime Fitness Triathlon after capturing the ITU World Cup in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada last Sunday. Samantha McGlone was second in New York (1:58:28), followed by Rebeccah Wassner in third (2:00:18).
Complete results can be found online at http://www.nyctri.com/Information/Results.cfm