For the first time in its 31-year history, the 2013 C.R.A.S.H.-B.’s World Indoor Rowing Championships featured Boston public schools students in its adaptive events on Sunday at Boston University’s Agganis Arena.
Two Brighton High students, Ricky Mejia and Elvon Pemberton, who train at Community Rowing in Brighton, finished fifth and sixth overall respectively in the intellectual disability category.
Elvon is developmentally delayed with a seizure disorder while Mejia is on the Autism spectrum.
"I came in fifth place, I tried to go for No. 1 but I couldn't," Mejia said during a telephone interview on Monday.
Mejia's grandmother, Ann Natalie, also attended the event. She said she was impressed by athletes in wheel chairs, with crutches and who only had the use of one arm.
"It was really inspiring," she said. "We were sitting in the front row and I couldn't believe the people that participated. ... How inspiring. People think they can't do things but to see people on those machines and using their bodies like that was amazing. It was very inspiring to see that."
Ellen Minzner of Community Rowing said it is one of the few sports with an open championship.
"So Ricky and Elvon were racing in the same category with Paralympic Resource Network athletes and hopefuls," Minzner said via email. "The intellectual disability category will be included in the 2016 Paralympic games, and so these two students are the right age to be identified for future teams and competition."
The students were coached by Jason Meade, who is an adaptive physical education teacher for Boston through Community Rowing.
For more information and full results from Sunday's event visit http://www.crash-b.org/
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