MIDDLEBURY — Northridge High School senior Sam Grewe has been named the 2016 U.S. Paralympics Track & Field High School Field Athlete of the Year after winning a silver medal in the high jump at the 2016 Rio Summer games.
Grewe was also named to the U.S. High School All-American team for the third straight year by U.S. Paralympics. He was one of 11 high school students on the U.S. team in Rio, four of whom won medals.
"This a great award and I'm very honored to win it,'' Grewe said. "I had no idea I was even up for it and didn't know I had won until my coach texted me and then tweeted it on Wednesday. I'm just very happy to have won.''
Grewe posted a personal-best jump of 1.86 meters – just over six feet – to earn the silver medal for Team USA in September. Mariyappan Thangavelu of India took home the gold with a jump of 1.89.
Last October, Grewe won a gold medal at the IPC Athletics World Championship in Doha, Qatar, just four years after losing his right leg to cancer. He jumped a then-personal best of 1.81 meters, which was 20 centimeters better than his previous best.
"Winning the award is another reminder that all the hard work I put in was well worth it,'' Grewe said. "It's just a great feeling to win an award like this and I appreciate the Paralympics honoring me.''
After winning his silver medal, Grewe said he planned to take some time off from his intense training to let his body heal. Upon returning to Middlebury, he did just that, until returning to the gym earlier this month.
However, injuries to his knee and leg have been slow to heal.
"I'm not doing any jumping just yet, but it's good to get back in the gym and work with the weights,'' Grewe said. "The doctors believe I have tendinitis in my knee and that's a concern of course. Every time I think it's better, I'll do certain workouts and it flares up again, so I'm not sure what we'll be doing in the near future to try and get things right.''