Yesterday, the United States Olympic Committee announced that Mikey Brannigan and Tatyana McFadden had been given USOC’s Best of April honors.
Brannigan was awarded the honor after breaking two world records in athletics in April at the at the University of California-San Diego Triton Invitational and Penn Relays. The first record was set on April 23 at the Triton event in the T20 1,500 meters where he had a time of 3:51.35. His second world record was set in the T20 5,000 meters at the Penn Relays on April 29. At that event, he had a time of 14:33.58.
McFadden was awarded the honor after winning two wheelchair marathons. The first victory occurred at the Boston Marathon on April 18, where she had a time of 1:42:16. A week later, McFadden was in London for the London Marathon/ IPC Athletics Marathon World Cup. Her victorious time was 1:44:14.
19-year-old East Northport, New York native Brannigan has been competing in athletics since he joined Rolling Thunder Special Needs Program when he was eight years old. Since then, the autistic runner has gone on to win a number of honors on both the disability and non-disability side of athletics. In 2015, he was named Sports Illustrated‘s February High School Athlete of the Month. He is the reigning world champion in the 1,500 meters after winning at last year’s IPC Athletics World Championships. He is also the reigning American national champion in the event, and claimed victory in the event at last year’s Parapan American Games in Toronto.
Clarksville, Maryland resident McFadden is a five-time Paralympian who should have her sixth appearance at the Games in Rio. She has claimed three gold medals, all in London. One was the T54 400 meters, another in the T54 800 meters an the last in the T54 1,500 meters. A two sport athlete, she won silver at the Sochi Paralympics in the women’s 1km Nordic sprint event.