PITTSBURGH – The USA Track & Field Foundation has awarded grants totaling $225,000 to 55 elite track & field athletes announced Foundation Executive Director Tom Jackovic and Chairman Bob Greifeld.

After the successful performance by Team USA at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, athletes have begun their next four-year training cycle, leading up to the competition at the Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2020. Athletes will also be focusing on qualifying for the IAAF World Championships in London this August. Financial support from the USATF Foundation significantly enhances each grantee’s approach to training, medical care and competition travel as they strive to represent the USA in London and Tokyo.

“One of the missions of the Foundation is to provide financial assistance in the form of grants to elite and soon-to-be elite male and female athletes based upon both performance and need. We are extremely pleased with the final results of the highly contested 2017 grants program which presented the Elite Athlete Development committee with difficult choices. Our continuing goal is to increase our grant program’s reach each year through fund raising activities in order to promote and support track & field from youth programs through the ultimate goal of representing the USA and being an Olympic medalist,” stated Foundation Director Wayne Vandenburg.

Recently the USATF Foundation announced a major gift from Foundation Director Stephen Schwarzman in the amount of $2.5 million to support elite athletes. These 55 Elite Athlete Grants are separate from that program. The Stephen Schwarzman Grants will be awarded later in the season after the USATF Outdoor Championships in Sacramento. Athletes that have applied for an Elite Athlete Development Grant will also be considered in the applicant pool for the Stephen Schwarzman Grants later this year.

55 dedicated athletes will be awarded Elite Athlete Development Grants from the Foundation.

The 15 athletes to receive funding in the amount of $5,000 are:

Amanda Eccleston – 1500m
Chris Benard – Triple Jump
Chris Carter – Triple Jump
Darrell Hill – Shot Put
Deanna Price – Hammer Throw
Felisha Johnson – Shot Put
Gwen Berry – Hammer Throw
Jeremy Taiwo – Decathlon
Johnny Dutch – 400H
Kelsey Card – Discus
Mason Finley – Discus
Ryan Crouser – Shot Put
Sam Kendricks – Pole Vault
Tia Brooks – Shot Put
Whitney Ashley – Discus

The 35 athletes to receive funding in the amount of $3,000 are:

Andrea Geubelle – Triple Jump
Andrew Evans – Discus
Autumne Franklin – 400H
Barbara Nwaba – Heptathlon
Benjamin Blankenship – 1500m
Brittany Smith – Shot Put
Charlene Lipsey – 800m
Chaunte Lowe – High Jump
Chrishuna Williams – 800m
Christina Epps – Triple Jump
Christina Manning – 100H
Colby Alexander – 1500m
Conor McCullough – Hammer Throw
Cyrus Hostetler – Javelin
Erica Bougard – Heptathlon
Erik Sowinski – 800m
Hannah Carson – Javelin
JaCorian Duffield – High Jump
Jarret Eaton – 110H
Jeneva Stevens – Shot Put
Jeshua Anderson – 400H
Johnny Gregorek – 1500m
Kara Winger – Javelin
Kristen Hixson – Pole Vault
Liz Podominick – Discus
Logan Cunningham – Pole Vault
Maria Michita – Race Walk
Michael Hartfield – Long Jump
Najee Glass – 400m
Quanera Hayes – 400m
Ricky Babineaux – 400H
Sam Mattis – Discus
Shaquille Walker – 800m
Tavis Bailey – Discus
Tevin Hester – 200m

Also receiving an Elite Athlete Development Grant as a part of the USATF Foundation’s Adopt an Athlete Program are the following five athletes:

Amanda Bingson – Hammer Throw – $10,000
Amber Campbell – Hammer Throw – $10,000
Bobby Curtis – Marathon – $10,000
Britney Henry – Hammer Throw – $10,000
Stephanie Schappert – 1500m – $5,000

Additionally, all of these athletes will have the opportunity to appear at various schools and community venues across the country in the USA Track & Field Foundation’s Run With US! program. In each Run With US! event, Olympic athletes and Olympic hopefuls inform kids on what it means to be a professional athlete and how setting goals and making healthy choices have impacted their lives. The program provides an opportunity for the athletes to give back to their community.