The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

Current, former Illini to join US Paralympic track & field 2024 national team roster

On Wednesday, U.S. Paralympics Track & Field announced its 2024 national team roster. Of the 61 named athletes, seven are former or current Illini.

The highly anticipated roster comes at the beginning of a Paralympic year, with the 2024 Paralympic Games scheduled to begin in Paris on Aug. 28.

The seven Illini present an experienced group, having all made previous Paralympic appearances, with three being former Paralympic gold medalists. The group consists of five wheelchair racers in the T54 classification, as well as one T34 and one T53.

On the women’s side, Susannah Scaroni will return to the national team after her gold medal win in the women’s 5,000-meter T54 at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics. Scaroni additionally took home the bronze in the women’s 800-meter T54 and placed sixth in the women’s marathon T54.

Scaroni will be joined by fellow women’s T54 wheelchair racer Tatyana McFadden, who will look to add to her total of 20 Paralympic medals in Paris this year. McFadden most recently took a gold medal for her performance in the 4×100 mixed relay in Tokyo, as well as a bronze in the women’s 5,000-meter T54.

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Eva Houston and Hannah Dederick will return to the national team after big performances on the world stage in 2023.

Both are Paralympians from Tokyo 2020 — Houston is coming off a bronze medal finish in the women’s 800-meter T34 at last year’s world championships and a fourth-place finish in the women’s 100-meter T34. Dederick comes off a sixth-place finish in the women’s 100-meter T54 alongside a seventh-place finish in the women’s 800-meter T54.

On the men’s side, six-time Paralympian and University graduate Aaron Pike is reappearing on the roster for the men’s wheelchair track and field team after past impressions on the track in the biathlon and the marathon. Pike took two silver and two gold medals at the 2023 International Ski Federation’s Para Nordic Skiing World Championships while taking bronze at the 2022 Chicago marathon.

Brian Siemann, a native of Savoy, Illinois, is returning to the national team roster after two bronze medal performances at the 2023 world championships in the men’s 400- and 800-meter T53. Siemann is a three-time Paralympian with a multitude of top-10 finishes in mid-distance and sprinting events.

Daniel Romanchuk rounds out the Illini appearances on the 2024 national team roster. Romanchuk returns to the Paralympics after his gold medal win in the men’s 400-meter T54 in Tokyo 2020, alongside his bronze medal win in the men’s marathon T54.

Four of the Illini alumni have already qualified for this year’s Paralympic games. McFadden, Romanchuk, Pike and Scaroni have qualified for the marathon with their performances at the TCS New York City Marathon last November.

Romanchuk and Scaroni both secured medal spots at the race — second and third place, respectively — with Pike taking fourth and McFadden placing sixth. The four former Illini became the first Americans to be named to the U.S. roster for the 2024 Paralympics.

 

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About the Contributor
Maaike Niekerk, Arts & Entertainment Editor
My name is Maaike Niekerk, and I am a sophomore majoring in English with minors in music and journalism. I began working with The Daily Illini during the fall semester of my freshman year as a buzz staff writer, and joined the editorial team last summer. I love bringing live event coverage to you from Champaign-Urbana’s vibrant music scene and sharing stories of local artists and musicians. Outside of The Daily Illini, you’ll find me performing at every football game with the Marching Illini or cycling with the 2024 Illini 4000 bike America team.
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