Sprinter Quincy Watts turned 17 on Friday and gave himself a little present.
Watts won his 200-meter semifinal in 20.83 seconds at The Athletics Congress junior track championships at the University of Arizona. Watts, a junior at Taft High, qualified for tonight’s finals.
Watts defeated California community college champion Ronald McCree of Long Beach City College. McCree was timed in 20.90. John Drummond of Odessa Junior College in Texas was the top qualifier with a time of 20.73.
“It was a little present,” Watts said. “I haven’t celebrated yet. I’m going to wait until I get home. I wasn’t worried about winning. I just wanted to make the finals.”
McCree, who ran at Madera High near Fresno last year, defeated Watts in the 100 in last season’s state high school championships, but Watts beat him in the 200.
The top two finishers in tonight’s finals qualify for the junior national team, but Watts said he will not compete on the U.S. team. He will spend the summer running for the West Valley Eagles club team.
“I already have a commitment to the Eagles,” he said.
Despite his victory, Watts lost an age-group record to Tucson high school sprinter Michael Bates, who broke Watts’ national sophomore record in the 200 with a 20.90 clocking. Watts’ record was 20.97.
Bates also surpassed Watts’ national season best in the 100 at 10.34. Watts, who decided to skip the 100 at the TAC meet, has a personal best of 10.36.
“I’ve been running all year,” Watts said. “I’m ready to start resting now.”
Pole vaulter Tom Parker of Notre Dame High cleared 15-3 to become one of 10 qualifiers for tonight’s finals. Parker passed at the first height of 14-11. Two qualifiers cleared 15-7.
Brooks Morris of Burbank missed his three attempts at 15-3 after passing at 14-11.