Two US rowers punched their tickets to the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games after the US Olympic and Paralympic Team Trials came to a close 24 April in Sarasota, Florida.
First off the starting line was men’s arms and shoulders single sculls (ASM1x), where Blake Haxton earned his first Paralympic Games berth, defeating Robbie Blevins in a time of 4:57.56.
Haxton will make his third major international appearance after placing fourth and fifth at the last two World Championships. A successful able-bodied rower in high school, Haxton has his legs amputated after suffering a flesh-eating bacteria infection. He will return home to Columbus, Ohio, to take his law school finals at Ohio State University before heading to Rio.
In the women’s arms and shoulders single sculls (ASW1x), Jacqui Kapinowski won the Paralympic berth over KateLynne Steinke, finishing 15.61 seconds ahead with a time of 6:15.91. Kapinowski is heading to her second Paralympic Games, but will be making her first appearance in rowing. She competed in curling at the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Winter Games, where she placed fourth. She has rowed for the national team in 2011 and 2015 and has won world championship bronze medals in para-triathlon (2013) and marathon racing (2007, 2008).