McWaters achieving success

Published 6:53 am Wednesday, June 1, 2011

More than seven years after a car accident left him paralyzed, Jonah McWaters returning to the field of athletic competition. A former three-sport letterman at Pike Liberal Arts School, McWaters is now studying sports management at Troy University and training with Coach Bob Lambert to compete for a bid to the Paralympic Games in London. (Photo/Jaine Treadwell)

The results of the Dixie Games in Tampa in May are now official and Pike County athlete Jonah McWaters won both of his events in his classification.

McWaters is a graduate assistant strength and conditioning coach at Troy University.

Bob Lambert, former Troy University track and field coach, said McWaters achieved a personal best in the javelin with a toss of 56 feet, 5 inches.

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Lambert works as a volunteer coach at the university and is working with McWaters in preparation for his Paralympics quest.

“Jonah’s discus throw of 67 feet 5 inches was good enough to win also but fell short of the 75 foot, 8 inch-throw that he achieved at the Morehouse Relays in Atlanta in March,” Lambert said.

“Jonah will be using his two best marks to register for the U.S. Paralympic Track and Field Championships to be held in Miramar, Fla., June 14-18.

“At Miramar, Jonah will also receive his permanent classification which will tell us, Jonah and me, what marks we need to aim for in Jonah’s quest to make the 2012 U.S. Paralympic team.”

Lambert said he and McWaters met the No. 2 executive of the U.S. Paralympic Program in Tampa and she was impressed with McWater’s performance.

“She is helping Jonah with his registration and classification schedule at Miramar and she also encouraged him to get a passport since she thinks that he has, ‘definite potential to be a team member,’” Lambert said.

McWaters is continuing to train five days a week. He throws twice a week and works in the weight room three days a week.

“His javelin is improving by leaps and bounds and, hopefully, we’ll get him over 60′ by Miramar,” Lambert said. “He’s nursing a slight shoulder injury right now which is keeping him from working on the discus, but by the time we go to Florida that should be completely healed.”

An account has been set up at TB&T to support McWaters’ Paralympic training expenses. Donations may be made to TB&T into the account of “Jonah McWaters Paralympics.” Corporate sponsorships are another avenue of support for McWaters.

For more information, call 670-5712.