USA Goalball Teams Capture Gold and Silver at Trakai Tournament
May 24, 2021
USA men's team defeats defending Paralympic champion Lithuania on home court.
TRAKAI, Lithuania (May 24, 2021) – With just 93 days until the Paralympic flame is lit in Tokyo, the USA Men’s and Women’s Goalball teams, whose training center is located at Turnstone Center in Fort Wayne, IN, are serving notice that they look to repeat their podium finishes from four years ago in Rio.
The USA Men’s 1 team defeated defending Paralympic champion Lithuania on their home court to capture the gold medal at the Trakai Tournament. Tournament top scorer Calahan Young (Irwin, Pa.) led the way in the 15-13 victory in Sunday’s final. Other team members were Matt Simpson (Smyrna, Ga.), Daryl Walker (Jacksonville, Fla.) and Tyler Merren (Coral Springs, Fla.). The team was guided by Head Coach Keith Young, Assistant Coach James Wallace and Trainer Katie Ferraro.
Other nations participating in the men’s tournament were Belgium, Poland and a second squad from the U.S. comprised of Zach Buhler (Marion, Ind.), Cody Carmicle (Colburn, Ind.), John Kusku (Commerce Township, Mich.) and Sean Walker (Winchester, Va.). That American foursome lost a heartbreaker to Poland in overtime of the bronze-medal match, 10-9.
In the women’s competition at the three-day event, the U.S. reached the gold-medal final against one of the two squads from Russia, but lost an 11-6 decision. Team members were Mindy Cook (Columbus, Ohio), Lisa Czechowski (Boonton, N.J.), Amanda Dennis (Peachtree City, Ga.), Marybai Huking (Salt Lake City, Utah), Eliana Mason (Beaverton, Ore.) and Asya Miller (Portland, Ore.). The team was guided to the silver medal by Head Coach Jake Czechowski, Assistant Coach John Potts and Trainer Jennifer Brown.
Other countries in the women’s tournament included Israel and Spain.
ABOUT TURNSTONE: Founded in 1943, Turnstone’s mission is to empower people with disabilities to achieve their highest potential by providing one of the most comprehensive offerings of services and programs to people with disabilities and their families under one roof in the United States. Thanks to generous support and compassionate staff, Turnstone’s legacy of advocacy and innovation continues to contribute to a world that accepts and values people based on their abilities. Turnstone’s scope of impact has evolved to include being a member of United States Olympic family as one of the United States Olympic Committee’s designated Training Sites and home to USA goalball through a partnership with the United States Association of Blind Athletes. www.turnstone.org | Twitter: @TurnstoneCenter | Facebook: Turnstone Center for Children and Adults with Disabilities | Instagram: @TurnstoneCenter
ABOUT U.S. ASSOCIATION OF BLIND ATHLETES: Since its founding in 1976, USABA, a community-based organization of the United States Olympic Committee, has reached more than 100,000 blind individuals. The organization has emerged as more than just a world-class trainer of blind athletes, it has become a champion of the abilities of Americans who are legally blind. In addition to providing grassroots and development opportunities in multiple sports, USABA serves as the high-performance management organization for the Paralympic sport of goalball in the U.S. Through a partnership with Turnstone Center, USABA established the first-ever long-term goalball resident program in the country where members of U.S. Men’s and Women’s Goalball National Teams train full-time. USABA’s mission: to empower Americans who are blind and visually impaired to experience life-changing opportunities in sports, recreation, and physical activity, thereby educating and inspiring the nation. www.usaba.org | Twitter: @USABA | Facebook: United States Association of Blind Athletes
CUTLINE: The USA Men’s and Women’s Goalball teams pose on the court with their medals and trophies at the Trakai Tournament in Lithuania. Left to right: Lisa Czechowski, Matt Simpson, Asya Miller, Daryl Walker, Eliana Mason, Calahan Young, Mindy Cook, Tyler Merren, Amanda Dennis and Marybai Huking.