NORFOLK, Va. – Former Norfolk State track and field star and current Paralympic champion April Holmes won a pair of events over the weekend at the U.S. Paralympics Track and Field National Championships.
Competing in the T43/T44 classification, Holmes took first in both the 100 and 200 meter dashes in the championships held at Hamline University in St. Paul, Minn. She ran a time of 13.64 in the 100 meters to win by .76 seconds. Her time of 28.74 in the 200 meters was slightly more than a second faster than the next closest competitor.
The best Paralympic athletes throughout the United States were competing during the three-day event to represent the country in the Parapan American Games in August in Toronto and the IPC Athletics World Championships in October in Qatar. The Paralympic Games will be held in 2016 in Rio de Janeiro in conjunction with next summer's Olympic Games.
Classifications for the Paralympics are based off an individual's impairment.
A native of Florida, Holmes has competed in the Paralympics after an accident in 2001 left her with her left leg amputated below the knee. She won gold in the 100 meters at the 2008 Paralympic Games and bronze in the 2012 games. Holmes has won numerous medals in the 100, 200 and long jump during her 13-year career and set both American and International Paralympic Committee (IPC) records during that time.
Holmes also serves as a motivational speaker and runs the April Holmes Foundation, Inc. to assist people with physical and learning disabilities with scholarships and medical equipment.
For more on her journey, click here for a story from the NCAA after the organization presented her with the Inspiration Award last November.