Children's Lightning Wheels Takes Second Place at Adaptive Sports Junior Nationals

August 18, 2017

The Children’s Lightning Wheels Paralympic Sports Club (PSC), a program of Children’s Specialized Hospital competed at the 34th Annual Adaptive Sports Junior National Championship on July 15 through July 22, 2017. Ten athletes from the team traveled to Middleton, Wisconsin to compete in the Paralympic style competition in swimming, track and field, and powerlifting.  The athletes earned a total of 92 medals - 63 gold, 22 silver and 7 bronze and achieved a total of 40 personal bests which equated to a second place trophy in the large team division.

At the awards banquet, 17-year-old Isaac Sullivan received the Spirit of Excellence Award in Field, not only for his performance in the event, but for his determination, growth and knowledge of the discipline. The Jay Coyner Award was presented to 19-year-old Eva Niemeijer, who was selected as the athlete who best exemplified the qualities of Coyner, an athlete from Arizona who was tragically killed in an accident while returning home after practice.  Additionally, Aida Cairns, Nicholas DaPonte, Sarah Maher and Isaac Sullivan all competed and were medal winners in the first USA Track & Field Para Youth Championships.

“All of the events were very competitive which you would expect when over 175 athletes from across the country, who have met national qualifying standards, compete against each other.  The Children’s Lightning Wheels PSC athletes dug deep within themselves to rise to the challenge and by doing so had great success.  Needless to say, we the coaches, Julie Goerlich, Anne Marie Santos, Paul Kolterjahn and I were incredibly proud of what the athletes accomplished.  All of the hard work paid off” commented Trisha Yurochko, head coach.

The Children’s Lightning Wheels PSC welcomes those ages 6 – 22 that have a primary diagnosis of a physical disability and are interested in being part of an athletic team.  The program is not only an athletic team but also a place where the participants can build their confidence, independence and self-esteem as well as developing a healthy lifestyle and creating life-long friendships.

For more information on Children’s Lightning Wheels PSC, visit

Children’s Specialized Hospital is the nation’s leading provider of inpatient and outpatient care for children from birth to 21 years of age facing special health challenges — from chronic illnesses and complex physical disabilities like brain and spinal cord injuries, to developmental and behavioral issues like autism and mental health. At twelve different New Jersey locations, our pediatric specialists partner with families to make our many innovative therapies and medical treatments more personalized and children can achieve more of their goals.  To help, or find more information: call 888-CHILDRENS; visit; Facebook:; Twitter:; YouTube:; LinkedIn:'s-specialized-hospital