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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Bloomsday champion, Tekoa native Susannah Scaroni nominated for first ESPY award

Susannah Scaroni launches into the lead of the Bloomsday women’s wheelchair race on May 7.  (DAN PELLE/THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW)
By Madison McCord For The Spokesman-Review

It’s been a year to remember on the track and on the roads for Susannah Scaroni.

The Tekoa, Washington, native won her first Boston Marathon in the women’s wheelchair division, followed by repeating as Bloomsday champion in May. Those wins, along with a handful of others, have now put the 32-year-old into the national spotlight.

On Wednesday, Scaroni was named as one of four nominees in the “Best Athlete with a Disability” category in ESPN’s annual ESPY Awards. It is Scaroni’s first time being nominated.

“The crazy thing is they don’t tell you when you get nominated,” Scaroni said. “So I got a text Thursday morning from a friend congratulating me and I was beyond shocked.

“To be considered in the same group as the best athletes in the world is an honor I never could have imagined.”

Along with Boston, Scaroni also won the New York and Chicago marathons between 2022 and 2023 to claim three of the six World Marathon Majors events.

The next challenge for Scaroni will be making it to Los Angeles for the awards show on July 12. As of now, she’s planning to be in Paris for the World Para Athletic Championships – which begin on July 8.

“I’m giving myself a day to think about if I can make it work to still compete for some events in Paris and also make it back for the ESPYs,” she said. “The hard part is Worlds gives me points that go toward making the U.S. Paralympic team next year, but I am still figuring everything out because it would be incredible to be at the show.”

Scaroni is joined by fellow wheelchair racer Aaron Pike – the 2019 Bloomsday men’s wheelchair champion – snowboarder Zach Miller and sled hockey player Erica McKee. She said seeing Pike’s name on the nominee list was almost as exciting as seeing her own.

“I’ve known Aaron for 11 years and have gone to races all over the world with him, so I was thrilled that he also got his first ESPY nomination,” Scaroni said.

But for now, Scaroni’s focus remains on winning races – something she has done on a regular basis since bringing home her first Paralympic gold in Tokyo in 2021.

“I think the biggest key to success for me is just building a gap on the other racers and then turning it into a race against myself,” she said. “If I get stuck in a tactical race that comes down to a sprint, that’s not my strength. But ever since Tokyo, I’ve been trying to take things into my own hands.”

The ESPYs will be broadcast on ABC at 5 p.m. on July 12.