Mitchell, Townsend set world marks at US Paralympics track and field nationals

Mitchell sets her second world record in two days, whilst Townsend breaks the high jump world mark. 21 Jun 2015
Cassie Mitchell and Kerry Morgan of the USA after the women's 100m T52 final at the 2013 IPC Athletics World Championships in Lyon, France.

Cassie Mitchell and Kerry Morgan of the USA after the women's 100m T52 final at the 2013 IPC Athletics World Championships in Lyon, France.

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By US Paralympics

Cassie Mitchell was at it again on Saturday (20 June), setting another unofficial world record in the women’s 100m T51/52 race at the US Paralympics Track and Field National Championships at Hamline University.

The 2012 Paralympian for the T51 class set her second world mark in the first two days of competition, crossing the finish line at 25.77 seconds. She shaved less than three seconds off the previous record set by Canada’s Becky Richter last month. Mitchell won silver for this distance at the 2013 IPC Athletics World Championships in Lyon, France.

Accompanying Mitchell in rewriting the record books was Roderick Townsend who is a US Paralympics newcomer. Townsend, a T46 athlete and recent graduate of Boise State where he competed in track and field, leaped 2.07m in the men’s F12/42-47 high jump, taking .02 metres off the former mark. Three-time Paralympian Jeff Skiba pushed Townsend throughout the opening heights, taking second with a successful attempt of 2.04m.

“I never thought this would be something for me until I met Jeff Skiba,” Townsend said. “He introduced me to [Paralympics] and from that point on I’ve been doing what I’m doing. It’s been a great experience and I feel like I’m in a really good place.”

Townsend set an American high jump record with a 1.90 mark at May’s Desert Challenge Games, an IPC Athletics Grand Prix event, in Tempe, Arizona. He also won the men’s 100m taking gold in a windy men’s T45-47 100 race in 11.34.

“[The world record] means it’s really here,” Townsend said. “It’s just the beginning. I can’t wait to show everybody else what I have in store.”

It was a familiar face-off in the women’s 100m race with Tatyana and Hannah McFadden battling for the T54 title. Hannah pushed out to the early lead until Tatyana came from behind in the last 25 metres to capture the win in 16.53 seconds.

All eyes were on the men’s 100m T43/44 event as current world record holder Richard Browne shot out of the start to pull away from the talented pack of Jarryd Wallace (10.96), Blake Leeper (11.15), Jerome Singleton (11.33) for the title win with a time of 10.78 seconds, the fastest time in the world this year.

“It was probably my best start of the year, which I’m really proud of myself for because I’ve been struggling this year with my starts,” Browne said. “After about 50 metres, I got into my running and felt good. I’m really excited about my time since I’m only three-hundredths off the world record. I’m looking forward to World Championships and Parapan Ams.”

The day of sprints and field events included numerous other national champions, including three-time Paralympic gold medallist and world record holder Jeremy Campbell who took the men’s F11/12/37/42 discus with 57.23m.

Other day two champions included: David Brown (10.99) in the men’s 100m T11, Raymond Martin (16.93) in the men’s 100m T52, Kerry Morgan (20.99) in the women’s 100m T51/52, Angela Madsen (7.73m) in the women’s F33/34/53/57 shot put, Shaquille Vance (12.70) in the men’s 100m T42, April Holmes (13.64) in the women’s 100m T43/44 and many more.

Additionally, Americas records were set today by Rachel Kroener (5.90m) for the F34 class in the women’s shot put F33/34/52/57, Alexa Halko (18.60) for the T34 class in the women’s 100m T33/34 and Rachael Morrison (11.24m) for the F51 class in the women’s F51/52 discus F51/52.

Track and field national championships is the U.S. qualification opportunity for August’s Toronto 2015 Parapan American Games and October’s IPC Athletics World Championships in Doha, Qatar.

Competition concludes on Sunday (21 June) with a final morning session beginning at 09:00 at Hamline’s Klas track and field stadium.

For more information on the 2015 U.S. Paralympics Track and Field National Championships, visit Live results will be available at