Congratulations to our very own Team USA member, McClain Hermes for her amazing debut at the 2017 World Para Swimming Championships in Mexico City. McClain started the competition strong securing the first silver medal for Team USA at the Francisco Marquez Olympic Swimming Pool, swimming the S11 100 free in a time of 1:19.67 before going on to set an American record and win the gold in the 400 free (5:46.00) in her world championships debut!
McClain’s journey was amazing, medaling in every event she swam for a total of 5 medals:
DAY 1: she secured the first SILVER for Team USA in the S11 100 free (1:19:67)
DAY 2: she captured a second SILVER in the S11 100 backstroke making a new American record with a time of 1:26.38
DAY 4: was a double medal day for McClain winning GOLD and setting another American record in the S11 400-meter freestyle (5:46:00) and BRONZE in the S11 50 free (37.74)
DAY 5: she closed out her debut with another BRONZE in the SB11 100m Breaststroke
This video was shot posted by Matt Hermes. It shows McClain receiving the GOLD and the national anthem playing in her honor!
McClain on her double-medal day. . .
“It feels really amazing because I’ve had a really hard past year. After Rio, I got really sick and went through a lot. It feels great to show that I can overcome something and perform really well.”
Congratulations to both the BlazeSports Varsity & Prep Wheelchair Basketball teams! Both are ranked in the Top 10 in the November Rankings for Junior Varsity and Junior Prep NWBA Divisions.
The BlazeSports Jr. Hawks Varsity team earned the rank of #2 in the Nation after going 5-0 and being crowned Varsity Champions of the 2017 Courage Kenny Classic. We’re only second to the TIRR Memorial Hermann Houston Junior Hotwheels (who we haven’t played yet). The RHI Racers, Minnesota Jr. Rolling Timberwolves and Utah Rush round out the top five of the Junior Varsity Division Rankings. The top 16 ranked teams for Varsity will earn an invite to play in the National Junior Wheelchair Basketball Tournament (NJWBT) at the 2018 National Wheelchair Basketball Tournament (NWBT) presented by ABC medical in Louisville, Kentucky, April 12-15, 2018.
The BlazeSports Prep team was ranked #10 in a highly competitive group. The #5 team is Lakeshore who we lost to in Overtime in Charlotte. The top ranked Prep Division team is the LWSRA Hawks – Prep of the Junior Prep Division followed by the Turnstone Flyers in the 2nd spot. The top five of the Junior Prep Division rankings follow with Minnesota Rolling Rowdies at No. 3, Charlotte Rollin’ Hornets Prep-Purple at No. 4 and the Lakeshore Sharks at No. 5. The top 16 ranked teams from Prep are initially offered an invitation to participant in the National Prep Wheelchair Basketball Tournament (NPWBT) at the 2018 NWBT.
Five of our BlazeSports athletes have been named as 2017 U.S. Paralympic High School All-Americans! We are so proud of you!
Congratulations to our track and field athletes: Adam Kiel, Carson Lundhagen, Cathryn Gray and Jordan McGuire for being recognized as 2017 U.S. Paralympic Track and Field High School All-Americans! Only 71 high school athletes in the entire U.S. were recognized as High School Track and Field All-Americans based on their performance. (Jordan was recognized in Shot Put; Adam was recognized in Long Jump; Cathryn was recognized in Discus and Javelin; Carson was recognized in Long Jump and Shot Put.)
And congratulations to our swimming athlete, McClain Hermes, for making the 2016-17 Scholastic All-America team! In order to be considered for the Scholastic All-America Team, swimmers must maintain a 3.5 GPA for the current academic year and swim a time equal to a 2016 Winter Junior Championships qualifying time in any event during the qualification period.
Thank you to the outstanding BlazeSports staff, coaches and volunteers who have helped grow our track and field program to this level of success and accomplishment!
BlazeSports America is honored to be the recipient of the United States Olympic Committee’s 2017 “Rings of Gold” award for Outstanding Sports Program — FOR THE SECOND YEAR IN A ROW! Last year BlazeSports was recognized for our outstanding Youth sports programming and this year we were honored for the impact our Veterans adaptive sports program is making. No other organization has ever been a “Rings of Gold” honoree twice! We are honored beyond measure to be recognized by the US Olympic Committee in this way for our continuous improvement in program quality, training and education, and positive impact on the people we serve. The 2017 “Rings of Gold” award was presented at the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Assembly in Colorado Springs, CO, October 13th.
The US Olympic Committee “Rings of Gold” award annually recognizes a sports program dedicated to helping athletes develop their Olympic or Paralympic dreams, and reach their highest athletic and personal potential. THANK YOU to all the athletes, families, staff, coaches, volunteers, partners, board members and supporters who have helped us continually improve what we do and how we do it so we can deliver on our mission of changing lives through sports and recreation!
2016 was the realization of a dream. 20 years after the 1996 Paralympic Games were held in Atlanta, Georgia, BlazeSports America continues to deliver every day on our mission to change the lives of individuals with physical disabilities through adaptive sports and recreation. Thank you for being a part of our journey and a partner in helping us transform thousands of lives in such important ways.
BlazeSports America’s mission is to change the lives of children and adults with physical disabilities through adaptive sport and recreation. Since the organization’s start in 1996 following the Atlanta Paralympic Games, more than 997,000 people have been reached worldwide with over 21 million hours of adaptive sports programming and leadership.
This is just a drop in the bucket when looking at the broad scale of how much of an influence BlazeSports America has had on so many youth, parents, veterans, and volunteers.