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Two Iowa Women Qualify For 2020 Paralympic Games

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Mark Reis
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Mark Reis
Jessica Heims training on Wednesday, June 15, 2021 at the U.S. Paralympic Team Trials for Track and Field in Minneapolis.

The 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo begin on August 24, 2021, and four Iowans have qualified to compete. Jessica Heims of Swisher and Erin Kerkhoff of Solon will be representing team U.S.A on the track and field team. Heims and Kerkhoff were teammates on the University of Northern Iowa women's track and field team.

Heims graduated from Prairie High School in Cedar Rapids and competed in the 2016 Rio games. She is the U.S. record holder in the f-64 discus throw. She took first place in the Olympic trials and is currently ranked second in the world ahead of the games.

This will be Kerkhoff's first Paralympics. She is ranked fifth in the world in the t-13 400-meter dash. She will also run in the 100-meter dash where she's ranked ninth. She finished second in both events at the trials.

Heims and Kerkhoff join host Charity Nebbe on this edition of Talk of Iowa.

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Mark Reis
Erin Kerkhoff during training Thursday, June 17, 2021 at the U.S. Paralympic Team Trials for Track and Field in Minneapolis.

Guests:

  • Jessica Heims, recent UNI graduate and two-time Paralympic qualifier in the discus throw
  • Erin Kerkhoff, sophomore at UNI on the track and field team and Paralympic qualifier in the 100 and 400-meter dash
Charity Nebbe is the host of IPR's Talk of Iowa
Rick Brewer is a producer for IPR's Talk of Iowa and River to River