Local Teen Named to USA Paralympic Swim Team's 'Emerging Athlete' Roster

Ahalya Lettenberger, a 13-year-old swimmer for the Wheaton Swim Club, is this year's emerging team's youngest member.

Credit: Wheaton Swim Club
Credit: Wheaton Swim Club
Ahalya Lettenberger, a 13-year-old swimmer for the Wheaton Swim Club, has been named to the USA Paralympics Swim Team roster as an Emerging Athlete

"This means that she will now be invited to training sessions targeted for National and Emerging Team Members, in Colorado Spring and now can shoot for National B Team Time Standards," according to the Wheaton Swim Club Facebook page.

Lettenberger is the youngest member on this year's emerging team, according to the Wheaton Swim Club's Facebook page. There are eight other members on the team, including Leslie Cichocki of Palo Hills. 

Lettenberger, a 7th-grade student at Hadley Junior High School in Glen Ellyn, is among 45 swimmers who will represent the United States at the 2014 Pan Pacific Para-Swimming Championship Team, which will be held Aug. 6 through 10 in Pasadena, Calif., according to the Team USA website. 

Lettenberger will also be the youngest member of the USA Swimming Pan Pacific Paraswimming Championship Team, according to the Wheaton Swim Club Facebook page. She earned a spot on the team based on her eighth-place World ranking in the 100-meter backstroke, according to the Wheaton Swim Club. 

The athletes were chosen based on performances at the 2014 U.S. Paralympics Swimming Spring National Championships/Spring CanAm, March 27-29, in Miami, according to the Team USA website. The 2014 Pan Pacific Para-Swimming Championships is the largest competition of the year for U.S. swimmers.

Lettenberger's inclusion to the 2014 "Emerging Team" for Paralympic athletes could mean more opportunities in the future for the local swimmer. 

"Once a new Paralympic-eligible athlete is identified as having high performance potential, the Emerging Sports Manager will facilitate appropriate communication between athlete(s) and local program(s) as well as with the appropriate Paralympic sport coaches and high performance directors," according to the Team USA website. "This will include connections to local training resources and participation in select emerging and/or national U.S. Paralympics Team camps and competitions as well as information regarding able-bodied competitions, events and other general sport program opportunities for developing and emerging athletes."

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