Michael Brannigan broke the T20 1500 metres world record on the closing morning of the US Paralympics Track and Field National Championships at Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Brannigan, an autistic athlete who competes in the intellectually impaired divison, shattered the previous mark set by Poland’s Rafal Korc in 2003 by more than five seconds, with a time of 3min 48.85sec.
“I felt physically and mentally strong,” said Brannigan.
“I’m excited and just enjoying the moment.”
Minnesota-native Josh Cinnamo of the F46 class set an Americas record in the men’s F38/40-47 shot put with a throw of 13.71 metres.
Cinnamo broke his personal best from May’s Desert Challenge Games by eight centimetres as F44’s David Blair took the title with a throw of 14.36m.
Blake Leeper earned his first title and an Americas record in the men’s T43-44 400m after falling short of the podium’s top step in the 100m and 200m.
Leeper, a T43 athlete and London 2012 Paralympian in the event, won in convincing fashion with a time of 47.90sec, almost two seconds ahead of his nearest challenger.
In the women’s F11-12/37-38/40-41/43-44 discus, Natalie Bieule defended her first national title in the F44 class with a toss of 28.30m to claim the Americas record previously set by Cuba’s Noraivis de La Heras Chibas at Athens 2004.
Kate Callahan also set the regional mark for F42 by throwing 24.85m, as Stephanie Timmer, who competes in the F12 class, won the title with a 28.56m throw.
Among the other national champions crowned were Raymond Martin in the men’s T51/52 400m and 1500m, aswell as Tatyana McFadden in the women’s T53/54 400m and 1,500m, and Aaron Pike in the men’s T53/54 1500m.
“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,” said Pike.
“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.”
David Brown triumphed in the men’s T11/12 400m, while Brian Siemann took the men’s T53 400m crown.
Full results can be found by clicking here.
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