University Park, Pa. — Former Penn State student and current Athletic Department employee Maggie Redden (Jersey City, N.J.) qualified for the U.S. 2008 Beijing Paralympics track team on June 15 in Tempe, Ariz. Redden will run in the 100 meter, 200 meter, and 400 meter track events.
During her running at the U.S. Track Team Paralympic trials, Redden finished third place in the 100 and 200 meter events for the Americans, and finished fifth in the 400 meter event. The team will consist of 44 members, 27 men and 17 women.
"I have wanted to go to the Paralympics since I was younger," said Redden. "It means the world to me because it's been a dream of mine for years now."
Redden, who started wheelchair racing at the age of five, is currently ranked in the top 10 for the World Rankings. Last year, she participated in the 2007 Parapan American Games in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. There, she won a silver medal in the 100 and 200 meter races.
Redden is classified as T53 for her events. In her classification, the "T" stands for track, the "5" stands for wheelchair event, and the "3" stands for the overall physical strength of the competitor (out of a possible 4). Redden and the rest of the U.S. Track Team will compete at the same venues as the other Olympians from Sept. 6 through 17.
This year, over 4,000 athletes with a physical disability from around the world are expected to compete in the 2008 Paralympic games in Beijing. The United States will field a team of 206 athletes who will compete in 18 sports.
Although track is her main focus, Redden has participated in many other sports as well. She has taken part in tennis, skiing and scuba diving. Redden has a certification in scuba diving and a level one certification as a ski instructor.
Currently, Redden is staff assistant in the Penn State Athletic Communications office. She graduated in May of 2007 with a degree in communications.
For more about Redden, check out this multi-media profile prepared by a student from the College of Communications.
For more information about U.S. Paralympics teams, go to http://paralympics.teamusa.org.