Spokane, WA—Saul Mendoza (7-time winner and course record holder) and Ariadne Hernandez (4-time winner) will lead a 5-member team from Mexico on the rolling hills of Bloomsday this Sunday. Along with teammate and master’s racer Aaron Gordian, the Mexicans could sweep three of the five wheelchair trophies. Alfonso Zaragoza (men’s open) and Jorge Luna Zepeda (master’s) round out this very strong southern invasion. Eric Kaiser and David Bryant, both from California, are the competition for Gordian and Zepeda in the master’s race.
Challenging Saul and Ariadne are a team of six young men and women from the University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona. Lead by their coach, native Spokanite Tyler Byers, Austin Snyder and Kyle Mutz will try to break Saul’s hold on the Bloomsday title. Hernandez meanwhile, will have to fend off U of A racers Shirley Reilly, Jennifer Goeckel and Jaclyn Daya for the women’s trophy.
Also, a team of 7 young disabled athletes, coached by St. Luke’s Rehabilitation Institute’s Teresa Skinner, will turn out for the race this year. Most, like Susannah Scaroni and Bob Hunt are juniors, ages 13 through 18, but Amber Lynn Weber has not even reached the junior level age group yet.
Santiago Sanz, a T-2 Quad from Spain, hopes to beat Canadian, Clayton Gerein (9-time winner) and knock over his personal Bloomsday demon. In 2004, his rookie year here, Santiago had equipment problems at mile 2 and, uncharacteristically, he was never a factor in the race.
The T-1 division, those athletes with the highest level of spinal cord injury, will see Mark Greenley try to dethrone perennial winner Jimbo Boyd for the title.
# # #