U.S. Paralympics, a division of the United States Olympic Committee, announced today the 75 athletes selected as 2018 U.S. Paralympics Track & Field High School All-Americans, marking the largest class to be recognized since the award’s creation in 2010.
The list honors the top high school track and field athletes who have a Paralympic-eligible impairment based on their performances in the 2018 season. This year, 40 males and 35 females representing 28 states filled the ninth edition of the All-American list.
“The talent I’ve seen from our high school athletes since I’ve joined the program is very promising,” said Cathrine Erickson, high performance director for U.S. Paralympics Track & Field. “It’s encouraging to see the range of performances achieved at the high school, club and national levels, and the potential for where these athletes will take U.S. Paralympics Track & Field. Without a doubt, you will see several of these names on the roster for the Parapan American Games and world championships in 2019.”
Four athletes were honored as 2018 U.S. Paralympics Track & Field High School Athletes of the Year after standout performances this last year. On the track, Beatriz Hatz (Denver, Colorado) and Noah Malone (Fishers, Indiana) distinguished themselves with top performances in the club and high school ranks while in the field, Mikayla Chandler (Marion, Massachusetts) and Adam Kiel (Acworth, Georgia) took the top honors.
Male Track Athlete of the Year – Noah Malone
Malone has emerged as one of the most exciting newcomers of the 2018 class. At age 17, the high school junior has already turned many heads with his fast times. His personal best of 10.70 seconds in the 100 would have earned him the gold medal in the T12 classification at the 2016 Games. This year, he’s already performing on major stages. He finished two-tenths of a second away from a state championship in the 100, and he placed fourth in the 200 with a time of 21.71 seconds. Over the past two seasons, he’s become the top sprinter on Hamilton Southeastern’s high school team, setting school records in the 100 and 200. He also competed in four events at the AAU Junior Olympic Games with a best result of fourth in the 4×100 relay. This is his second time on the All-American list.
Over the years, the esteemed list has recognized young U.S. athletes who have gone on to compete at the Paralympic Games and set world records: Mikey Brannigan (East Northport, New York), David Brown (St. Louis, Missouri), Ray Martin (Jersey City, New Jersey), Chelsea McClammer (Richland, Washington), and Daniel Romanchuk (Mount Airy, Maryland).
The selection criteria looked at the top athlete performances in each event in 2018 as compared against the “A” standard for the U.S. Paralympics Track & Field National Team. The ranking list reflects those top performances in descending order based on the result as compared to the “A” standard by percentage. The general disability categories of athletes named to the All-American list are visual impairment (11-13), intellectual impairment (20), cerebral palsy (33-38), dwarfism (40), amputation/limb loss (41-46/61-64) and spinal cord injury (51-57).
Article By – Brian Reddick; – Fishers Senitinal, November 29, 2018