Local athletes flourish after Chicago win
McFadden and Romanchuk take 2nd in wheelchair race
A pair of Maryland wheelchair athletes — Tatyana McFadden and Daniel Romanchuk — took the top spots in the men’s and women’s races at the Chicago Marathon on Sunday.
A day later and nearly a thousand miles away, both took second place at the Boston Marathon, behind Swiss athletes Marcel Hug and Manuela Schar.
In roughly the past two weeks, the duo have competed in four wheelchair marathons, a dizzying clip brought on by scheduling changes because of the COVID-19 pandemic. They each took second place at the Berlin Marathon on Sept. 26, then McFadden took third and Romanchuk took second at the London Marathon on Oct. 3.
After Sunday’s wins in the Windy City, McFadden earned her second-place finish Monday with a time of 1 hour, 50 minutes, 20 seconds, and Romanchuk did so with a time of 1:25:46.
McFadden, 32, has spina bifada, a defect impacting the spine that left her without the use of her legs. Born in Russia, where she grew up in an orphanage, she was adopted and moved to the United States at age 6. A 2008 graduate of Atholton High School, the Clarksville resident was the youngest person
to compete for USA Track and Field at the Athens Games in 2004. She returned home with a silver and a bronze medal.
Since then, she’s racked up a total of 20 Paralympic medals and dozens of major marathon wins. On four occasions she won the Boston, Chicago, New York City and London marathons in the same year, according to her website.
Romanchuk, who grew up in Mount Airy,
was also born with spina bifada. The 23-yearold left the Tokyo Paralympics earlier this year with two medals — a gold and a bronze. Romanchuk, who already has seven major
marathon wins, is also the two-time defending champion of the New York City Marathon’s wheelchair race. That marathon is scheduled for Nov. 7.