NEW YORK CITY – 2018 marks a unique year in the world of track & field – one where there is no World Championship or Olympic event for athletes to compete.  Given this circumstance, the USATF Foundation and Director Stephen A. Schwarzman view this as an important year for rising professional track & field athletes to rebuild, refocus, and set clear goals.  With hopes to assist these athletes in achieving their goals, the USATF Foundation and Chairman Bob Greifeld announced 25 Stephen A. Schwarzman grant awards in the amount of $35,000 each.

Last year, Stephen A. Schwarzman, Chairman, CEO and Co-Founder of Blackstone, became the largest individual donor to the USATF Foundation with an unprecedented $2.5 million donation in support of elite track & field athletes. This year, Mr. Schwarzman added an additional $250,000 to the grant pool to raise the amount of each individual Schwarzman grant to $35,000 in 2018. The $35,000 grants are the largest ever awarded by the USATF Foundation and are meant to provide financial support to the most promising track & field athletes as they train for the World Championships and Olympic Games.

“Stephen Schwarzman is ensuring these up and coming stars, who will compete in the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, have the tools necessary to develop over the next few years. He is demonstrating his passion for the sport with generous and tangible gifts to assist these athletes with their daily expenses of coaching, training, equipment, medical treatment, recovery, and travel,” stated Greifeld.

It is a remarkable yet difficult task for the USATF Foundation Elite Athlete Grant Committee to consider the overwhelming amount of applications received each year.  The committee tries to identify athletes who have podium potential that will be enhanced by financial support.

“It is an honor to increase my contribution this year in order to support these up and coming athletes as they work to achieve their performance goals. Their individual stories of commitment and dedication to the sport of track & field are an inspiration. I look forward to seeing these young athletes realize their potential as they grow and compete, both on and off the field,” stated Schwarzman.

The 25 talented athletes to receive funding in the amount of $35,000 each are:

Christian Taylor Triple Jump
Darrell Hill Shot Put
Deanna Price Hammer
Erica Bougard Heptathlon
Georganne Moline 400m Hurdles
Gwen Berry Hammer
Katie Nageotte Pole Vault
Kendall Ellis 400m
Kenny Selmon 400m Hurdles
Keturah Orji Triple Jump and Long Jump
Maggie Ewen Shot Put, Hammer, and Discus
Mason Finley Discus
Paul Chelimo 5000m
Paul Dedewo 400m
Phyllis Francis 400m
Raven Saunders Shot Put
Reggie Jagers Discus
Ronnie Baker 100m
Ryan Crouser Shot Put
Sandi Morris Pole Vault
Shadrack Kipchirchir 10000m
Shakima Wimbley 400m
T. J. Holmes 400m Hurdles
Tori Franklin Triple Jump
Zack Bazile Long Jump