Records fall on final day of US Track and Field National Championships

One world, American and four Americas records highlight day three in Minnesota. 22 Jun 2015
A picture of a man on the starting block

Blake Leeper of the United States lines up on the starting blocks prior to the Men's 400m T44 heats at the London Paralympics

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There was no short of excitement on Sunday (21 June) morning as numerous records were set at Hamline University, closing out the US Paralympics Track and Field National Championships.

One world, American and four Americas records highlighted day three of competition as over 200 of the nation’s best para-athletes hopefuls gathered in St. Paul, Minnesota, for the opportunity to represent Team USA at August’s Parapan American Games and October’s IPC Athletics World Championships.

Michael Brannigan (3:48.85) blazed through 1500m to set a unofficial world record and American record in the T20 class. Brannigan, an autistic athlete who competes in the intellectually impaired division, shattered the previous mark set in 2003 by Poland’s Rafal Korc by over five seconds.

“I felt physically and mentally strong,” Brannigan said. “I’m excited and just enjoying the moment.”

Minnesota-native Josh Cinnamo (13.71m) of the F46 class set an Americas record in the men’s F38/40-47 shot put. Cinnamo broke his own personal best and Americans mark from May’s Desert Challenge Games, which doubled as an IPC Athletics Grand Prix event, by .08 metres. F44’s David Blair took the title with a throw of 14.36m.

Blake Leeper earned his first title and an Americas record this weekend in the men’s T43-44 400 after falling short of the podium’s top step in the 100m and 200m. Leeper, a T43 athlete and 2012 Paralympian in this event, won in convincing fashion by running a 47.90, almost two seconds ahead of his next competitor.

In the women’s discus F11-12/37-38/40-41/43-44, Natalie Bieule defended her first national title from 2014 in the F44 class with a toss of 28.30m to claim the Americas record previously set at the Athens 2004 Paralympic Games by Cuba’s Noraivis de La Heras Chibas. Kate Callahan (24.85m) also set the regional mark for F42. Stephanie Timmer (28.56m), who competes in the F12 class, won the title.

Athletes who added the title of 2015 national champions to their name include: Raymond Martin in the men’s 400m and 1,500m T51/52, Tatyana McFadden in the women’s 500m and 1,500m T53/54, Aaron Pike in the men’s 1,500m T53/54, David Brown in the men’s 400m T11/12, Brian Siemann in the men’s 400m T53.

“When we get to nationals, the top guys are almost not trying to beat each other but really working together to hit a faster time,” Pike said. “We just want to make it in the top three but obviously it’s icing on the cake to win the race and call yourself a national champion.”

Full results from this weekend’s Para track and field nationals can be found at

Teams for August’s Parapan Am Games in Toronto and October’s World Championships in Doha, Qatar, will be named based off performances from this weekend’s track and field national championships. For more information on US Paralympics Track and Field and selection procedures, visit the