By Tamas Mondovics

Paralympic Sport Tampa Bay (PSTB), a program of Hillsborough County Parks & Recreation, was pleased to announce its recent success at the annual Adaptive Sports USA Junior Nationals Disability Championships. The week-long competition held in Middleton, Wisconsin saw hundreds of athletes from all over the United States.

The numbers speak for themselves as PSTB athletes set 14 National Records aside from returning home with 60 medals that included 42 gold, 17 silver, and one bronze.

While the entire team merits the recognition, a couple of specific standout achievements includes PSTB’s Small Team Division (team size of two to five participants), which earned first place. Paralympic Sports Tampa Bay finished at the top of its team division for the third year in a row. 

PSTB athlete Beecher Bruno, 18, also came home with a special treat after he received the “Spirit of Excellence” Award for swimming.

During the event, Bruno earned 11 gold and three silver medals, including first place in five swim events; 50, 100, 200 yard freestyle, and 50 and 100 yard backstroke.

Danielle Kanas, 11, also came home with 15 gold medals she won in swimming and track and field events.

Eric Lowry, 16, Zach Woodke, 16, and Logan Krepop, 14, all earned seven, four and five gold medals respectively, aside from a number of additional silver and bronze medals in similar events.

The Adaptive Sports USA Junior Nationals is for athletes ages 6 to 22 with physical disabilities and is reportedly the oldest and largest continuously held competitive sports event in the country.

PSTB, which sees close to 300 athletes each week, provides year-round sports and recreation programs that promote physical activity, healthy lifestyles, and recreational and competitive sports opportunities for children and adults with physical disabilities.

According to Club Coordinator Andy Chasanoff, the mission of PSTB is to promote health, independence and personal growth for people with physical disabilities through sports.

“We are like a family,” Chasanoff said, adding that he is particularly proud of the children’s performance.

For more information and complete results, visit www.hillsboroughcounty.org.