Hamline University to host 2015 U.S. Paralympics Track & Field National Championships

St. Paul, Minnesota to hold event for first time 19-21 June 18 Mar 2015
A picture of a woman in the wheelchair on a track celebrating with her hand up

Tatyana Mcfadden of the United States celebrates as she wins gold in the Women's 800m T54 Final at the Paralympic Games in London

ⒸGetty images
By US Paralympics

US Paralympics has announced Hamline University as the host site for the 2015 US Paralympics Track & Field National Championships, 19-21 June, in St. Paul, Minnesota.

The event will take place in Minnesota for the first time and serves as a selection event for athletes competing at August’s 2015 Parapan American Games and October’s 2015 IPC Athletics World Championships. International classification will take place from 17-18 June.

“Hosting the national championships in Minnesota will be an exciting atmosphere ahead of the Parapan Am Games this summer and Rio in 2016,” said Cathy Sellers, high performance director for U.S. Paralympics track & field. “This next year will be a make-it-or-break-it time for our athletes, and we’re eager to see who stands out at nationals. Fostering the most competitive environment is imperative for preparing for Rio, and we’re confident Hamline University will deliver that.”

Hamline University and Meet Minneapolis will co-operatively host the championships with approximately 200 top US athletes expected to compete. Tatyana McFadden, who became the first woman to win an unprecedented six events at the 2013 IPC Athletics World Championships, is anticipated to highlight a talented roster at this year’s trials. McFadden, an 11-time Paralympic medallist, set new world records in the 1,500m and 5,000m T54 races and won her second-straight marathon grand slam in 2014.

“It has been a great experience working with US Paralympics and learning about all the great work they do with these truly inspirational athletes,” Scott Romane, executive director of Sports Minneapolis said. “We look forward to continuing to work together on a very successful track and field national championships here in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area, and celebrating the athletes’ journeys to reach the championships!”

Potentially joining McFadden at the meet is Raymond Martin, the first man to win five individual titles in the 2013 World Championships. Martin bested his own 200m T52 world record at the 2014 Desert Challenge Games in Mesa, Arizona and took gold in the 100m, 800m and 1500m events at the same meet.

Other reigning world champions anticipated to compete at nationals include: Richard Browne, men’s 100m and 200m T44; Jarryd Wallace, men's 200m T44; Joshua George, men's 800m T53; Jeremy Campbell, men's discus F44; Lex Gillette, men's long jump T11; Cassie Mitchell, women's shot put F52/53; Browne, Jerome Singleton, Blake Leeper and Wallace also won the men's 4x100m relay T42-46 title.

"We are excited and honoured to host this great event at Hamline University," Hamline athletics director Jason Verdugo said. "It's a testament to the quality of the track and field facilities at Klas Centre and to our outstanding track and field staff."

The 2013 IPC Athletics World Championships in Lyon, France, was one of the US Paralympics Track & Field National Team’s most successful competitions to date. During the nine days of competition, Team USA won 52 medals - 17 gold, 18 silver and 17 bronze - to finish one medal shy of winning the overall medal count. US team members also set four world records at the event.

The Parapan American Games will take place 1-5 August in Toronto, Canada, followed by the 2015 IPC Athletics World Championships in Doha, Qatar, from 22-31 October.