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Watson wins national title in high jump; athletes compete at national events

From left, Simsbury High’s Kyle Paterson, Gabe Park, Dan Coyne and Tim Watson earned All-American honors for finishing fifth in sprint medley relay at the Nike nationals in Oregon. (Photo courtesy Simsbury High track and field)

Several area track and field athletes competed in the two national championship meets earlier this month in Phlladelphia and Eugene, Oregon.

The Nike national championship meet is held on the campus of the University of Oregon in Eugene while the New Balance national championship event is held at historic Franklin Field in Philadelphia on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania.

Simsbury’s Timothy Watson, who will attend Penn State in the fall, won the national championship in the high jump with a leap of 6-feet-11 at the Nike nationals in Oregon, beating A.J. McGlofflin of Spokane Valley, Washington, who cleared 6-9.

It’s the fourth straight championship win for Watson in the high jump, who won the New England championship (6-9), State Open title (6-10) and the Class L championship with his state record leap of 7-0 feet and ¾ inches.

Watson also earned All-American honors in a second event at the Nike nationals with Simsbury teammates Kyle Peterson, Dan Coyle and Gabe Park. The Simsbury squad was fifth in the sprint medley relay with a time of 3:35.85. The sprint medley consists of two legs of 200 meters, one 400 meter leg and one 800 meter leg.

Simsbury’s 4×100 relay team (Paterson, Park, Zach Tartaglia and Watson) also finished fifth in the Emerging Elite race at the Nike nationals with a time of 44.60.

At the New Balance nationals in Philadelphia, Simsbury’s 4×800 girls relay team of Grace Myers, Kate Martin, Abby Smith (BYU) and Olivia Birney (Yale) finished 18th in the championship race with a time of 9:38.29.

Birney was 24th in the 800 meter race with a time of 2:13.20.

Avon’s Carver Morgan was 48th in the one-mile with a time of 4:20.00.

Avon’s Carver Morgan (8) competes at the New Balance Nationals at Franklin Field in Philadelphia in the one mile. (Photo courtesy Peter Morgan)

In the Rising Star races, Simsbury’s Lucas Thompson, who will run at William and Mary in the fall, won his race in the 800 meters with a time of 1:54.58, beating Noah Brightman of Pawling, N.Y. by 0.07 of a second. And Simsbury’s 4×800 boys relay team of Rowan Gotshall (Westfield State), Kyle Jennings (Purdue), Liam McGoldrick (Colby) and Thompson placed 12th with a time of 8:06.56.

Gerry deSimas, Jr., is the editor and founder of The Collinsville Press. He is an award-winning writer and has been covering sports in Connecticut and New England for more than 40 years. He was inducted into the New England High School Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2018.

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