Former Gaucho captures American record

Former Gaucho captures American record

The Saddleback track & field program was in the news this week after the Capistrano Dispatch released a story about former Gaucho Trenten Merrill, who set an American record in the long jump.  Merrill is a Paralympian and won a silver medal at the World Championships, finishing fourth at the Rio Olympics.

Merrill set the new long jump record in the T/F44 classification with a mark of 7.02 meters in New Mexico last month.  The T/F44 classification is one of seven Paralympic sports classes applying to athletes with a single below knee amputation.

Merrill was on the Saddleback track & field team in 2011, both as a long jumper and running a number of sprints.  He left Saddleback after a year for Azusa Pacific University where he competed for the Cougars.

Merrill was struck by a car in 2005 when riding his bike in San Juan Capistrano, losing his right foot.  He competed in Rio in the Long Jump T44 Class, which is described as a single leg, below-the-knee amputee.

Here is the story from the Capistrano Dispatch.