Series of US wins at home athletics Grand Prix

Bad weather could not stop David Prince, Shirley Reilly and David Brown from taking victory alongside a clutch of their teammates in Tempe, USA. 16 May 2015
Three members of USA's athletics team - Jarryd Wallace, David Prince and Jerome Singleton - pose for a photo.

David Prince (left), Jarryd Wallace (centre) and Jerome Singleton pose after racint the men's 200m T44 final at the 2013 IPC Athletics World Championships in Lyon, France.

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Shirley Reilly also claimed a convincing win as she triumphed in the women’s 800m T53 (2:03.75), finishing ahead of US teammate Yen Hoang and Canada’s Jessica Frotten, whilst the USA’s young track star Alexa Halko clocked 2:19.62 over two laps in the T34 class.

US world silver medallist David Prince clinched victory in the men’s 200m T43/44 to get the better of his US relay teammate, world bronze medallist Jerome Singleton on the opening day of competition at the IPC Athletics Grand Prix in Tempe, USA.

Heavy rain and thunderstorms caused disruption to a number of scheduled events on Friday (15 May) at the Sun Angel Stadium in Arizona, but it was not enough to stop Prince, 31, securing his win in 22.80 to finish 0.89 seconds ahead of Singleton, with American Kionte Storey third.

US sprinter David Brown cruised to victory in the men’s 200m T11/12 in a time of 23.21 – well outside his world record mark of 22.41 but a straightforward win for the 22-year-old.

Shirley Reilly also claimed a convincing win as she triumphed in the women’s 800m T53 (2:03.75), finishing ahead of US teammate Yen Hoang and Canada’s Jessica Frotten, whilst the USA’s young track star Alexa Halko clocked 2:19.62 over two laps in the T34 class.

Halko, 14, notched up another impressive performance in the women’s 200m 33/34/51/52 where she managed 35.08, with Canada’s experienced Paralympian Michelle Stilwell (T52) second in 35.74.

Susannah Scaroni also underlined the strength of US middle distance wheelchair racing as she led the way in the women’s 800m T54, crossing the line in 2:02.32. 17-year-old Jessica Larsen finished in second place.

In the men’s 800m T52/53 the USA’s Brian Siemann (T53) clocked 1:47.07 to take the win ahead of Colombia’s Edisson Andres Martinez. There was no surprise as multiple Paralympic and world champion Raymond Martin headed up the T52 racers – the 21-year-old clocked 1:55.25, finishing well clear of Mexico’s Leonardo de Jesus Perez (T52).

Mexican Juan Pablo Cervantes Garcia (T54) won the men’s 800m T34/54 (1:44.77) ahead of Colombia’s Javier Rojas Diaz (1:45.67, T54) with US T34 racer Troy Pruitt finishing in 1:51.80. Pruitt was also in form in the men’s 200m T33/34/51/52, clocking 29.66 to take the top spot ahead of Mexico’s Salvador Hernandez Mondragon.

The USA’s Michael Murray (T20) topped the podium in the men’s 800m T13/36/37/38/20 in 2:07.90 and Colombia’s Marcela Gonzalez got the better of the USA’s Ivonne Mosquera-Schmidt in the women’s 800m T11/12 clocking 2:25.23, more than 15 seconds clear of the rest of the field.

The USA’s Kyle Whitehouse (T38) won the men’s 200m T35/36/37/38 in 24.20; Kym Crosby (T13) won the women’s 200m T13/35/36/37/38 in 25.91; and the men’s 200m T13/45/46/47 also went the USA’s way, thanks to a 25.13 performance by Michael Kacer (T46).

There were further sprint victories for the US as Ben Brown won the men’s 200m T53 in 29.39. William Woods was first over the line in the men’s 200m T42 (25.27) and Colin Mathieson won the men’s 200m T54 (26.52).

Frotten won the women’s 200m T53 in 34.78 in her second victory of the day.

US seven-time Paralympic medallist Cheri Madsen meanwhile showed that experience counts as she won the women’s 200m T54, finishing in 30.81 – well clear of 19-year-old compatriot Hannah McFadden who crossed the line in 32.80 to take second place.

Canada secured glory courtesy of Marissa Papaconstantinou (T44) in the women’s 200m T43/44/45/46. The 15-year-old clocked 28.52 to get the better of the USA’s former world champion April Holmes.

Costa Rica’s Henry Cardenas Cerdas (T12) clocked 19:23.39 in the men’s 5,000m T11/12/13/37 and the US Virgin Island’s Ivan Espinosa (F37) was second in 21:45.11.

Many of the day’s field events were postponed due to bad weather, rescheduled for Saturday 16 May, but some events were completed before heavy rain caused excessive flooding. Arizona athlete Rachael Kroener (F34) managed a field event double, winning the javelin F33/34 with a best of 12.31m as well as the shot put F32/33/34 with a final throw of 5.29m.

There was a win for Canada in the women’s discus F11/12/37/38 as Jennifer Brown (F38) threw 30.15m.

Mexico were on form in the men’s javelin F33/34/53/54 as Luis Felix (F54) saved his best until last with 24.26m, Alan Efrain Noriega Quinones (F54) threw 19.51m and Erick Ortiz Monroy (F53) managed 17.60m. The USA’s Scott Severn (F53) managed 14.93m in his final attempt.

In the men’s javelin F11/12/13/37 the USA’s Cody Jones (F38) threw 41.77m, with Justin Ferra (F37) second with 38.64m; Colombia’s Rodrigo Larrahondo (F12) managed 34.44m and his compatriot Eduardo Contreras (F11) registered a best of 33.66m.

Johnnie Williams III (F56) came out on top in the men’s javelin F55/56 throwing 27.85m and there was another victory for the USA out in the field as Damien Orslene (F34) won the discus F33/34 with 26.60m.

The IPC Athletics Grand Prix in Tempe, USA – the sixth in the series of nine Grand Prix taking place around the world this year – continues on Saturday 16 May.