Lightning Strikes Again

STATE — Fifteen athletes and five coaches from the Children’s Lightning Wheels recently returned from the 2010 National Junior Disability Championships held in Chicago, Illinois.  There were over 230 athletes representing 36 teams from 32 states and Canada that competed for eight days in olympic/paralympic style events of track, field, swimming, table tennis, archery and weightlifting (bench press and power press).

The Children’s Lightning Wheels, a Paralympic Sport Club, sponsored by Children’s Specialized Hospital and part of the Kohl’s Kids Abilities program is an athletic team for children ages 5 – 22 years of age who have a physical disability.  Of the current 25 athletes on the team, 15 met the national and team qualifying standards to compete at the week-long event.

Those athletes  were: Phillip Bramwell (Boonton), Chelsea Crytzer (Parsippany), Alexandria DiPiazza (Reinholds, Pa.), Matthew Fertig (Branchburg), Lynne Ganley (Cranford), Caitlin Goerlich (Union), Michael John Harnett (Bayonne), Alexandra Kay (Brick), Stephen Koziel (Kearny), Stephen Machak (Pompton Plains), Eva Niemeijer (Maplewood), Craig Odem (Shamong), Lou Riccardi (Nutley), Bridgette Wise (Pipersville, Pa.) and Alexander Xue (Plainsboro).  Coaches were: Anne Marie Santos (Parsippany), Elke van Hooydonk (Brick), Phil Galli (Hillsborough), Paul Kolterjahn (Westfield) and Trisha Yurochko (Mountainside).  The team compiled a total of 98 gold, 36 silver and 7 bronze medals, set 13 national records and for their efforts received a second place award in the large team division.

Pictured in photo left to right : first row: Eva Nemeijer, Caitlin Goerlich, Chelsea Crytzer, Stephan Machak,; second row: Alexandria DiPiazza, Bridgette Wise, Matthew Fertig, Louis Riccardi, Phillip Bramwell; third row: Stephen Koziel, Lynne Ganley, Alexandra Kay, Michael John Harnett, Craig Odem, Alexander Xue; fourth row coaches: Paul Kolterjahn, Elke van Hooydonk, Phil Galli, Trisha Yurochko, Anne Marie Santos.

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