XENIA — Girls track coach and very proud mom, Robin Norman, learned that her daughter — Xenia Christian High School sophomore runner Grace Norman — set an American record for T44 classified para athletes in the 800-meter run earlier this year.
Grace turned in a time of 2:29.43 in the 800-meter final on May 1-2 at the Wayne Invitational in Huber Heights, breaking a 12-year-old record.
“The old American record for the T44 class was 2:42,” Robin Norman explained in an email. “However on Monday, I sent in the Proof of Performance record for Grace’s 800-meter race at the OHSAA District track meet which will set the actual record at 2:26.87.”
At Districts, Grace Norman represented Xenia Christian High, and was the only para athlete competing in the Division III 800-meter final. She finished third in the eight-runner final with that 2:26.87 time, after advancing through a field of 20 competitors in the Division III preliminaries at Troy High School last month.
The T44 classification is for single below-knee amputee track and field athletes.
Grace’s record was listed in the June issue of the U.S. Paralympic Committee among a list of new record holders.
“We were pleasantly surprised to see Grace’s name in the listing for new American Records,” Robin Norman said.
Grace Norman was unavailable for comment. She flew to San Mateo, Calif. on Wednesday afternoon to compete in the U.S. Paralympic National Championships, which will be held June 20-22 at San Mateo College. The Xenia Christian Ambassador will compete in the 200-meter race on Friday, the 100-meter dash on Saturday, and then the 400-meter race on Sunday.
“Then, once she returns from California, she will be home for two days and then head to Chicago for the ITU World Triathlon Chicago,” Robin Norman said. “The USAT Paratriathlon Committee gave Grace a start position for the Elite Paratriathlon, and she will be on the USA Team for this event.”
According to the event’s chicago.triathlon.org website, paratriathletes will complete a sprint-distance course, which includes a 750-meter swim, 20-kilometer bike and 5-kilometer run.
Currently, Grace Norman has the second-fastest time among T44-classified athletes in the Chicago paratriathlon field.