More than 130 athletes representing 23 teams from across the United States will converge on Fort Wayne’s Turnstone Center September 22-24 for the 2023 U.S. Association of Blind Athletes’ Goalball National Championships. Competitors include nine members of the 2020 USA Paralympic Goalball Team, many of whom trained at Turnstone Center as part of the USA Goalball National Team Resident Athlete Program.
The participating Paralympic athletes boast a combined 31 Paralympic Games appearances and 19 Paralympic medals. Members of the silver-medal-winning USA women’s team from the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games who will be taking to the court at Turnstone Center include Mindy Cook (Columbus, Ohio), Lisa Czechowski (Boonton, N.J.), Amanda Dennis (Peachtree City, Ga.) and Asya Miller (Portland, Ore.). Czechowski and Dennis will be teammates on the defending national champion New Jersey Honeybees team while Cook will suit up for the Ohio Monarchs and Miller for the Atlanta Blazers.
On the men’s side, Tokyo Paralympic teammates Zach Buhler (Huntington, Ind.), John Kusku (Commerce Township, Mich.), Tyler Merren (Greenville, Mich.), Matt Simpson (Smyrna, Ga.) and Daryl Walker (Sandy, Ore.) will all be in action on separate teams. Buhler will compete for the Manticores, Kusku for the defending national champion Omega squad, Merren for the West Michigan Growlers, Simpson for the Atlanta Force and Walker for King Cobras.
Round-robin pool play begins at noon on Friday and the tournament concludes on Sunday with the semifinals and medal matches. The women’s bronze medal game is slated for 11:00 a.m., followed by the men’s bronze medal game at 11:50 a.m., the women’s gold medal game at 12:40 p.m. and the men’s gold medal contest at 1:30 p.m. An awards ceremony will follow the men’s gold medal game and include a presentation of the men’s and women’s most valuable player awards. Admission is free for the entire weekend.
Schedule and results at goalballscoreboard.net.
Livestream on USABA YouTube channel.