Kennedy wins title with record performance

Monday, July 3, 2006

The Zalma native won championships in the discus and the shot put in dwarf-only competition.

Jill Kennedy won two more national championships this weekend at the U.S. Paralympics Track and Field National Championships in Atlanta, Ga., and she set a world record in the process.

Kennedy, a Zalma native now living in Charlottesville, Va., topped her own world record in the discus for the F40 classification on Friday. Kennedy, who competes in the dwarf-only class, posted a mark of 63 feet, 3.8 inches, to win the title. Her previous mark was 63 feet, 1 inch.

She added the championship in the shot put on Saturday with a throw of 19 feet, 2.7 inches.

The national championships, which ended Sunday at Lakewood Stadium in Atlanta, are the lone qualifier for the International Paralympics Committee World Championships. That event is set for Sept. 3 through 10 in Assen, The Netherlands.

Kennedy, who attended Southeast Missouri State and now is a freelance drafter, is a veteran of international competitions. She competed in weightlifting events at the Paralympic Games in Sydney, Australia, in 2000 and won two bronze medals -- in the javelin and the discus -- at the 2004 Paralympic Games in Athens, Greece.

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