Colorado Featured Athletes

Colorado Athlete Derek Mondt

DEREK MONDT

Age:  21
City:  Briggsdale

Born into this great state of ours just before the turn of the millennium, Derek was given a normal early life, besides a surgery or two to length his tightening heel cord, and a speech therapist through kindergarten. His athletics career truly began in his senior year of high school after going all out on a regional 800m run and leading the track for 700m before burning out on the last 100 and taking his highschools record. Six years previous of small town rural sports had not prepared him for what would be his first fraye into the world of adaptive then Paralympic sports. He had learned of the Colorado’s state track meet offering an adaptive 100 and 200 meter runs, which lead him into contact with the wonderful Mr. Southall, which lead him and his supporting family to his first junior nationals, many new faces and names most of which he gets the greatest pleasure if calling friend. He did well enough in his adaptive sports actions, and a Desert Challenge to get a call from Mrs. Cathy Sellers and inquired of his availability for the 2017 Notwil World Juniors. He returned with many names to faces and a few friends, alongside with a gold medal. 

Now to tell you about this great mile high state, from the beauty of the Rockies that can only truly be appreciated by being in them to the wonderfully hand painted sunsets. There’s truly a reason to keep moving in Colorado, whether you find any of our many miles of trails, paths and parks, stop off at a local eatery or try some of the Rockies most inventive choices of drinks and soda, many small town restaurants are happy to serve your family. A particular favourite of mine resides off Old Wadsworth in Arvada, Fuzzy’s Taco shop, a small chain Mexican restaurant that serves a fine variety of Mexican dishes, after you are done there take a walk south til you find the Scrumptious store front, head in and check what your sweet tooth fancies and try a soda from the Rocky Mountain Soda Company. Now that your fun in Arvada is done, hit up the Denver museum or Zoo wonderful attractions in the public spaces of Denver. Now it would appear as it’s getting close to dinner time. What better way to have dinner than with a movie? There is this fun movie experience in southern Denver called the Alamo Drafthouse, it provides a full service dinner experience as well as a movie! Finally to round off your trip after all your track hours are in, travel to Casa Bonita for an amazing show and fine food before you fly home.

So as you have read you can see that your trip to Denver for the 2020 junior nationals will also have many memorable opportunities besides what we perform on the track!

Colorado Athlete Jack Williamson

JACK WILLIAMSON

Age:  8
City:  Sterling
Favorite Colorado Things: Professional sports teams, camping and being at the lake

Hi, my name is Jack Williamson! I’m 8 years old, and I live in Sterling, Colorado! I’d love for you all to join me at Junior Nationals in my home state of Colorado! I was born with Fibular Hemimelia, and my right leg was amputated when I was 10 months old. But that has never stopped me! I play all kinds of sports, especially soccer, baseball, basketball, track and field, and swimming.

My favorite part about living in Colorado is going to Rockies and Broncos games, camping, and going to the lake! I hope you all can join me at Junior Nations in Denver in July 2020!!

Colorado Athlete Lauren Gates

LAUREN GATES

Age:  20
Foxfield, CO

I played soccer for several years with able-bodied girls, until I was introduced to adaptive track and field through a chance meeting with Garrison Hayes and his dad. I ran my first 100m at the inaugural 5280 Challenge in 2013, and my first Junior Nationals was in 2014. It was NJDC back then, and I set five National U16 records their – most of which have since been broken.

I went to Stoke Mandeville, UK that year as part of the Adaptive Sports USA team competing at IWAS Junior World Championships, and won Silver in Long Jump. In 2015, the Championships were held in Stadskanaal, NL, and I won Silver in Discus and Bronze in the 200m. In 2016, I started high school, and was able to compete in Discus and Long Jump, in preparation for U.S. Paralympic Track and Field Trials for Rio, in Charlotte, NC. During the Trials, I ran the 100m, 200m, long jumped and threw discus, and I got bronze in Long-Jump. In 2017, I swam competitively for the first time for my High School team in Winter, and ran track in Spring. I was named a U.S. Paralympics Track and Field High School All-American for the third year – though, at this point, I was leaving the track to pursue swimming. In 2018, I swam my first Para races at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, in the Jimi Flowers Classic. Para Swimming is long course, not to my liking, but I won the S10 50m Butterfly. I was named by Colorado Swimming as the 2018 Emerging Swimmer With A Disability, and travelled to Athlone, Ireland with the Adaptive Sports team for IWAS; this time as a swimmer. I won Gold in 100m Freestyle and 100m Backstroke, and Silvers in 50m Freestyle and 50m Butterfly. I swam at U.S. Paralympic Swimming National Championships in Tucson, AZ, and finished my High School career. In 2019, I began attending CU Boulder, and am swimming recreationally.

I’ll be turning 20 this year, and am so thankful for the travel and competition opportunities Adaptive Sports USA gave me, and for the lasting friendships I’ve made. 

Colorado Athlete Matthew Paintin

MATTHEW PAINTIN

Age: 18
City:  Littleton
Favorite Colorado Things: The mountains, skiing and the weather!

Despite being born with triplegic Cerebral Palsy, I have played every sport imaginable; but, have mainly focused on soccer, basketball, and track up until high school.

In the summer of 2016, I ran in the Junior Nationals meet in Middleton, Wisconsin. During that run, I set multiple Junior Nationals records, and my Paralympic running career was born. Since then, I have competed against top national and international competition in several meets. While running at the Desert Challenge Games in Arizona, I set Men’s T35 Americas Records in the 800m and 1500m. Most recently, I was selected to represent Team USA at the Paralympic World Junior Championships in Notwill, Switzerland – where I competed in the 100m and 200m.