Adaptive Sports Scholars

Graduate Students

Man wearing a fabric mask in an athletic wheelchair on a tennis court in front of a tennis net.

Matt Fritzie After his injury he graduated from the University of Arizona studying biomedical engineering and then attended Notre Dame for a graduate program in technology entrepreneurship. He is currently working in clinical research in epidural stimulation for neurological recovery at Frazier Rehab in Louisville, KY. He is enrolled in the College of Kinesiology Master’s program in Movement Science. He has been playing wheelchair tennis for three years and is heavily involved in the USTA applying for grants and helping run wheelchair tennis programs in the Louisville region. 

Man wearing a fabric mask in an athletic wheelchair on a tennis court in front of a tennis net.

Spencer Heslop is the son of Daron and Kerry Heslop; Brother to 5 incredible siblings and 3 brothers in law, and Uncle to 7 adorable nieces and nephews. He graduated from the University of Illinois where earned a Bachelor of Science in Integrative Biology before going on to serve a voluntary two year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and is currently enrolled in the School of Public Health pursuing a Masters in Epidemiology.

Man wearing a fabric mask in an athletic wheelchair on a tennis court in front of a tennis net.

Chris Kelly is a graduate of Grand Valley State University. He is originally from the west side of the state of Michigan. He has Osteogenesis Imperfecta, a condition that causes him to have brittle bones, making him prone to frequent fractures. Due to this he is unable to play contact sports. He is enrolled in the Master’s in Sports Management through the College of Kinesiology. He is a decorated wheelchair tennis player and some of his accolades include a 1st place finish at the USTA Wheelchair National Championships in St. Louis in 2019.

Man wearing a fabric mask stands in front of a tennis net on a tennis court.

Coming from Folsom, California, Leo Merle is an adaptive track and field athlete currently training for a spot on the U.S. Paralympic Track and Field Team in Tokyo. Studying in the dental program, Leo is the president of Michigan’s first-year dental class. Leo picked up track and field in search of a lightweight sport. By eighth grade, Leo enjoyed running more and more, becoming involved in cross country as well. Besides track and field and cross country, Leo has previously been involved in basketball, baseball, soccer, lacrosse and competitive shotgun clay target shooting.

Man wearing a fabric mask in an athletic wheelchair on a tennis court in front of a tennis net.

Alex Saleh is a native of Livonia, Michigan, but due to the fact that there were no collegiate wheelchair basketball programs in the state, he attended Edinboro College in Pennsylvania where he studied Social Work and played on their Wheelchair Basketball team all four years. He lost his right leg to a serious infection when he was just two years old, and has been playing adaptive sports now for most of his life. He is enrolled in a master’s degree program in the school of Social Work, and is looking forward to using his knowledge of adaptive sports to help build our program here while continuing to compete and advance his own education.

Undergraduate Students

Woman wearing a fabric mask stands in front of a tennis net on a tennis court.

Cathryn Gray is from Atlanta. She has cerebral palsy and is an internationally ranked adaptive track and field athlete in the F35 class and a 4.0 student. She has been designated a US Paralympic High School All American in track and field and also Women’s Sports Foundation National Ambassador/Travel and Training Grant recipient. She has competed in Spain in the World Paralympic Games, was the only female named as a US Paralympic Track and Field All American, in addition to being the 2017 javelin and discuss national champion. She currently holds the national record for javelin. 2019 All American.

Man wearing a fabric mask in an athletic wheelchair on a tennis court in front of a tennis net.

Caiden Baxter is originally from Southwest Michigan. He endured a spinal cord injury at the age of 15, leaving him with partial paralysis from the waist down. He began an intensive studies program through Andrew’s University shortly before his injury, and continued to excel in his high school years after. He was originally introduced to adaptive sports about a year post-injury, but did not begin playing wheelchair tennis until shortly before his time at Michigan began in the fall of 2019. 

photo of Madeline Gustafson
Madeline Gustafson hails from Holland, Michigan. She graduated from Zeeland West High School with a 4.28 GPA.  Madeline is currently enrolled at Michigan’s college for Literature Science and the Arts with plans to pursue a degree in biochemistry. She also has Cerebral Palsy. Although she participated in cheerleading and running groups in middle school, her high school did not offer adaptive athletics, leaving her unable to compete nor pursue athletic endeavors. She is excited to be able to reconnect with old passions at the University of Michigan and re-establish her love for running.