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Two Brighton students compete in adaptive rowing event

Posted by Justin Rice  February 18, 2013 02:45 PM

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Brighton High student Elvon Pemberton competes in the 2013 C.R.A.S.H.-B.’s World Indoor Rowing Championships at Agganis Arena. For the first time in its 31-year history, the event featured BPS students in its adaptive events. (Courtesy photo)

For the first time in its 31-year history, the 2013 C.R.A.S.H.-B.’s World Indoor Rowing Championships featured Boston public schools students in its adaptive events on Sunday at Boston University’s Agganis Arena.

Two Brighton High students, Ricky Mejia and Elvon Pemberton, who train at Community Rowing in Brighton, finished fifth and sixth overall respectively in the intellectual disability category.

Elvon is developmentally delayed with a seizure disorder while Mejia is on the Autism spectrum.

"I came in fifth place, I tried to go for No. 1 but I couldn't," Mejia said during a telephone interview on Monday.

Mejia's grandmother, Ann Natalie, also attended the event. She said she was impressed by athletes in wheel chairs, with crutches and who only had the use of one arm.

"It was really inspiring," she said. "We were sitting in the front row and I couldn't believe the people that participated. ... How inspiring. People think they can't do things but to see people on those machines and using their bodies like that was amazing. It was very inspiring to see that."

Ellen Minzner of Community Rowing said it is one of the few sports with an open championship.

"So Ricky and Elvon were racing in the same category with Paralympic Resource Network athletes and hopefuls," Minzner said via email. "The intellectual disability category will be included in the 2016 Paralympic games, and so these two students are the right age to be identified for future teams and competition."

The students were coached by Jason Meade, who is an adaptive physical education teacher for Boston through Community Rowing.

For more information and full results from Sunday's event visit http://www.crash-b.org/

Justin A. Rice covers Boston Public school athletics. He can be reached at jrice.globe@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeJustinRice or @BPSspts.

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Several reporters, editors and correspondents contribute updates, news and features to the BPS Sports Blog:
  • Justin A. Rice -- A metro Detroit native, Rice is a Michigan State University (Go Spartans!) and Northeastern University graduate. Rice lives in the South End with his dog and wife, who unfortunately attended the University of Michigan ... his wife, that is. He curates the BPS Sports Blog and is always looking to write about city athletes with great stories. Have an idea? He can be reached at jrice.globe@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeJustinRice or @BPSspts.
  • Ryan Butler -- A Rhode Island native and avid Boston sports fan, Butler played basketball, baseball and football throughout his time in Barrington Public Schools. Now currently in his middler year at Northeastern University, he joins Boston.com as a correspondent for the site's BPS coverage. Have a story idea? Contact him at butler.globe@gmail.com. Follow him on his Twitter @butler_globe.
Also expect updates from Boston.com High School sports editor Zuri Berry and the Globe staff.