Alex attended Edinboro College in Pennsylvania where he studied Social Work and played on their Wheelchair Basketball team all four years. He lost his right leg to a serious infection when he was just two years old, and has been playing adaptive sports now for most of his life. He has completed a master’s degree program in the school of Social Work at UM, and is looking forward to using his knowledge of adaptive sports to help build our program here while continuing to compete.
Caiden endured a spinal cord injury at the age of 15, leaving him with partial paralysis from the waist down. He began an intensive studies program through Andrew’s University shortly before his injury, and continued to excel in his high school years after. He was originally introduced to adaptive sports about a year post-injury, but did not begin playing wheelchair tennis until shortly before his time at Michigan began in the fall of 2019. He is now a Junior studying Communications & Media.
Cathryn Gray has cerebral palsy and is an internationally ranked adaptive track and field athlete in the F35 class and a 4.0 student. She has been designated a US Paralympic High School All American in track and field and also Women’s Sports Foundation National Ambassador/Travel and Training Grant recipient. She has competed in Spain in the World Paralympic Games, was the only female named as a US Paralympic Track and Field All American, in addition to being the 2017 javelin and discuss national champion. She currently holds the national record for javelin. 2019 All American.
Hello my name is Chris. I am a second year graduate student studying sports management. I have played wheelchair tennis since I was in high school and my passion is growing opportunities and access for people with disabilities. I'm a current USTA Midwest committee member for the wheelchair committee. I also coach able-bodied and wheelchair tennis. I have been working with the adaptive sports and fitness team since the summer before starting school and I'm excited to continue that work as an internal business operations intern.
Leo Merle is an adaptive track and field athlete currently training for a spot on the U.S. Paralympic Track and Field Team in Tokyo. Studying in the dental program, Leo is the president of Michigan’s first-year dental class. Leo picked up track and field in search of a lightweight sport. By eighth grade, Leo enjoyed running more and more, becoming involved in cross country as well. Besides track and field and cross country, Leo has previously been involved in basketball, baseball, soccer, lacrosse and competitive shotgun clay target shooting.
Madeline graduated from Zeeland West High School with a 4.28 GPA. Madeline is currently enrolled at Michigan’s college for Literature Science and the Arts with plans to pursue a degree in biochemistry. She also has Cerebral Palsy. Although she participated in cheerleading and running groups in middle school, her high school did not offer adaptive athletics, leaving her unable to compete nor pursue athletic endeavors. She is excited to be able to reconnect with old passions at the University of Michigan and re-establish her love for running.
I am an intern in communications and development where I facilitate partnerships and relations with donors, sponsors and relevant organizations through newsletters, personal letters and various media. Adaptive sports and fitness have been an integral part of my life the last few years and I am glad that I am able to contribute to the progression of this program towards success and learn some valuable skill sets along the way through this role.
Spencer Heslop is the son of Daron and Kerry Heslop; Brother to 5 incredible siblings and 3 brothers in law, and Uncle to 7 adorable nieces and nephews. He graduated from the University of Illinois where earned a Bachelor of Science in Integrative Biology before going on to serve a voluntary two year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and is currently enrolled in the School of Public Health pursuing a Masters in Epidemiology.
Jacob is an avid runner and exercise advocate. He got his bachelor's degree in kinesiology from Calvin College where he was on the cross country and track teams. His career goal is to coach cross country and track on the collegiate or professional level.
I am a Junior pursuing a Bachelor's of Science in Psychology at the University of Michigan. After working with the program for the past few months and gaining a deeper appreciation for adaptive athletics, I look forward to helping the program as they broaden access to opportunities both at the University and beyond.
I am a rising senior studying Movement Science with an interest in working with children and adults with physical and developmental disabilities. . I am applying to Occupational Therapy school this fall! In my spare time, I love to travel and hammock in the Arb!
My name is Sara and I am the Marketing Strategist for ASAF. I’m a junior majoring in Biology, Health, & Society and I plan on obtaining a dual MPH MBA degree after graduating. I look forward to bringing my experience with marketing and communicating equity and inclusivity to ASAF.