Wounded warriors gain more than medals from Pacific Regional Trials swim competitions
Master Sgt. Sean Elton, assigned to the Warrior Transition Battalion at Joint Base Lewis-McChord reaches the finish line while competing in the men's 50-meter freestyle event at Richardson Pool, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, Nov. 6, during the 2017 Pac... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii (November 15, 2017) - Pacific wounded warrior athletes competing in Hawaii's first wounded warrior sports competition showed the world that injuries do not have to keep you from living active lifestyles. A first for many of the wounded, ill, or injured Soldiers and Veterans to compete professionally in adaptive sports, 11 competitors took home medals during the 2017 Pacific Regional Trials swimming events held at Richardson Pool, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, earlier this month.

"Being able to learn something new, it requires an open mind. It requires you to be very humble when you approach the water," explained Atiba Wade, Pacific Regional Trials head swim coach. "Once you realize that, and you start working with the water, and you have to receive instruction well, it's a very humbling process…you gain something from that which is a new skill; it's very empowering."

Wade, also head swim coach for Team Army during the Department of Defense (DoD) Warrior Games, has had the opportunity to coach all across the country and work with different swim teams.

"Everyone comes in with a different skill set and it's my job to make sure that I am getting the most out of every athlete that comes into the pool," he said.

In the next coming months, top competitors from all regional trials across the Army will be selected to compete at Army Trials for a chance to represent Team Army at the Warrior Games in 2018.

"This is amazing, I love it," said Master Sgt. Shaun Elton, wounded warrior athlete assigned to the Warrior Transition Battalion at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. "I'm grateful to be out here participating. Whether I make the event or not, it's a great experience for me."

The Pacific Regional Trials 2017 Paralympic-style swimming events included the 50-meter freestyle, 100-meter freestyle, 50-meter breaststroke and 100-meter breaststroke in both men's and women's categories.

Wounded warrior athletes compete in different classification categories based on functional abilities.

In swimming, the athletes' classification determines the way they will start the race, either from a diving position, seated on the platform or in the water.

PACIFIC REGIONAL TRIAL 2017: SWIMMING MEDALISTS

Women's 50-meter Freestyle - Open

Gold medalist - Spc. Angela Euson, Fort Lewis, Wash.

Women's 50-meter Freestyle - Upper Body Injuries (UPI/A)

Gold medalist - Spc. Brook Conley, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii

Women's 50-meter Freestyle - Spinal Cord Injuries (T-SCI)

Gold medalist -- Spc. Kaitlyn Quinn, Fort Lewis, Wash.

Women's 50-meter Freestyle - T-SCI

Silver medalist - U.S. Army Veteran Sandy Valdez

Men's 50-meter Freestyle - UPI/A

Gold medalist - U.S. Army Capt. (Ret.) Stephen Bortle

Men's 50-meter Freestyle - UPI/A

Silver medalist - U.S. Army Veteran William Swoveland

Men's 50-meter Freestyle - UPI/A

Bronze medalist - Chief Warrant Officer 2 Timothy Millard, Fort Lewis, Wash.

Men's 50-meter Freestyle - Lower Body Injuries (LBI/A)

Gold medalist - U.S. Army Veteran Felix Correa

Men's 50-meter Freestyle - LBI/A

Silver medalist - Staff Sgt. Carl Treen, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii

Men's 50-meter Freestyle - LBI/A

Bronze medalist - Staff Sgt. James Maarsingh, Fort Lewis, Wash.

Men's 50-meter Freestyle - T-SCI

Gold medalist - Master Sgt. Sean Elton, Fort Lewis, Wash.

Women's 100-meter Freestyle - Open

Gold medalist - Spc. Angela Euson, Fort Lewis, Wash.

Women's 100-meter Freestyle - UPI/A

Gold medalist - Spc. Brook Conley, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii

Women's 100-meter Freestyle - T-SCI

Gold medalist - Spc. Kaitlyn Quinn, Fort Lewis, Wash.

Men's 100-meter Freestyle - UPI/A

Gold medalist - U.S. Army Capt. (Ret.) Stephen Bortle

Men's 100-meter Freestyle - UPI/A

Silver medalist - U.S. Army Veteran William Swoveland

Men's 100-meter Freestyle - LBI/A

Gold medalist - Staff Sgt. James Maarsingh, Fort Lewis, Wash.

Women's 50-meter Breaststroke - Open

Gold medalist - Spc. Angela Euson, Fort Lewis, Wash.

Women's 50-meter Breaststroke - T-SCI

Gold medalist - Spc. Kaitlyn Quinn, Fort Lewis, Wash.

Men's 50-meter Breaststroke - UPI/A

Gold medalist - U.S. Army Capt. (Ret.) Stephen Bortle

Men's 50-meter Breaststroke - UPI/A

Silver medalist - Chief Warrant Officer 2 Timothy Millard, Fort Lewis, Wash.

Men's 50-meter Breaststroke - UPI/A

Bronze medalist - U.S. Army Veteran William Swoveland

Men's 50-meter Breaststroke - LBI/A

Gold medalist - Staff Sgt. James Maarsingh, Fort Lewis, Wash.

Men's 50-meter Breaststroke - LBI/A

Silver medalist - U.S. Army Veteran Felix Correa

Women's 50-meter Backstroke - Open

Gold medalist - Spc. Angela Euson, Fort Lewis, Wash.

Women's 50-meter Backstroke - UPI/A

Gold medalist - U.S. Army Reservist Sergeant 1st Class Heather Moran

Women's 50-meter Backstroke - T-SCI

Gold medalist - Spc. Kaitlyn Quinn, Fort Lewis, Wash.

Women's 50-meter Backstroke - T-SCI

Silver medalist - U.S. Army Veteran Sandy Valdez

Men's 50-meter Backstroke - UPI/A

Gold medalist - U.S. Army Capt. (Ret.) Stephen Bortle

Men's 50-meter Backstroke - UPI/A

Silver medalist - U.S. Army Veteran William Swoveland

Men's 50 meter Backstroke - LBI/A

Gold medalist - Staff Sgt. Carl Treen, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii

Men's 50 meter Backstroke - LBI/A

Silver medalist - Staff Sgt. James Maarsingh, Fort Lewis, Wash.

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