Thursday marked the start of the wheelchair field competitions, with athletes eager to test their skills. Everyone was excited to learn that Keven Kennedy from Channel 12 news was at the event, taking photos and interviewing some of the athletes. The segment aired Thursday night at 10pm, but you can click the link below to see Rachel Kroener, George Anglin and Nishan Patel talk about the NJDC:
Even though they were getting interviewed, they didn’t lose focus. Rachel, a local athlete from Scottsdale and a member of Arizona Heat, amazed everyone when she set a new Americas record for discus by throwing 16.36m! Rachel isn’t a stranger to setting records and it’s one of her favorite things about competing. She attends other events throughout the year, like the Desert challenge (based here in Arizona) to sharpen her skills. Along with her new record she also holds the Americas record in javelin with a throw of 11.24m. She is always trying to break her own records: “I want to be the best!” Due to her hard work and determination, Rachel is a 2016 Paralympics hopeful.
Over in pit 8, George Anglin of Team DASA was setting his own personal best in shotput with a throw of 6.36m. “My favorite part of competition is finding out how good I am so I can improve for next time. If you want to succeed, push yourself.” George has been competing since he was 10 years old and at 20 years old only as a year left where he will be able to compete in Junior level events, so he will be training hard for the next few years to be able to compete in the 2016 Paralympics.
Check out the Field Results here: http://www.njdc2012.com/uploads/Results.Field__All_.pdf
Thursday night was the 1500m and 100m track events and the turnout was huge. Family, friends, athletes, vendors and local community members arrived, along with local paramedics from the city of Mesa. They were grateful to be able to experience a disability competition for the first time. “It’s been an eye-opening experience, I’ve never been to anything like it before,” said Jeff Stieber. Fortunately, their services were not required, but we thank them for their support nonetheless! The 100m is a fun quick race that every athlete at the NJDC seems to enjoy because there are about 20 heats. Faith Ryberg from Team Arizona heat was really excited about how she raced, saying, “I did really good! I definitely like the 100m better than the 200m.”
It’s not over yet! There are still two more days of track left, and many more competitions! Check out the Results from Thursday night’s races here: http://www.njdc2012.com/uploads/Results.Track__Day1_.pdf