High School Rivals Tully (Schappert) & Simpson (Barringer) Win USA Championships

Nicole Tully (Schappert) and Jenny Simpson (Barringer) were rivals in high school. Simpson beat Schappert in the 2003 and 2004 flrunners.com Invitational Race of Champions. On Sunday, the final day of the USA Championships in Eugene, Oregon both claimed their spots on Team USA by winning the 5000m and 1500m runs respectively.

Tully, who was representing the NJNYC Track Club was competing in her second 5k ever as a professional. The prior being her 15:05 performance at Payton Jordan. Tully narrowly edged out Marielle Hall by one one-hundredth of a second 15:06.44 to 15:06.45, relying on a strong kick. Afterwards, Tully was greeted by sister Stephanie Schappert, a standout herself in her high school days now running at Villanova. She said it was cool to be a part of this race and was so pleased she had it in the last lap and was able come home strong and hold on in the last 30 meters.

POST-RACE TWITTER: "Sometimes life lives up to your wildest dreams and you even surprise yourself... Just a regular girl with nothing to lose." #usatfoutdoors

WATCH: Nicole Tully Post-Race Interview

Jenny Simpson called Tully's race am-a-zing and had this to say to her. "Congrats Nicole! Can't wait to see you this summer!" Simpson was equally impressive in her race, which played out to be a tactical 1500m. The defending 1500m champion at the 2014 USATF Outdoor Track and Field Championships, she was also the 2014 Diamond League winner in the same event. and received an auto qualifier to the World Championships. Simpson, a New Balance athlete edged out Nike's Shannon Rowbury 4:14.86 to 4:14.99 and planned to take this meet as a prep course for the 2016 Olympic Trials and Rio.

POST RACE TWITTER: "Successfully fought to defend my title!

WATCH: Jenny Simpson Post-Race Interview

If there is anyone to beat this season in the sprints, it's Justin Gatlin. Gatlin wants nothing more than a showdown with a healthy Usain Bolt in Beijing and if the two were to meet tomorrow I'd put my money on Gatlin. The Nike star ran 19.90 in the semifinals and follow that up with a a new Hayward Field record, meet record and fifth fastest 200m time ever of 19.57.

WATCH: Justin Gatlin Post-Race Interview

Kaylin Whitney sets World Youth Best 22.47 200m and finishes fourth overall to just miss out on Team USA. Whitney will represent the red, white, and blue in Canada at the Pan American Games.

WATCH: Kaylin Whitney Post-Race Interview

Florida Gators went 1-2-3 in the triple jump with alumni Omar Craddock and Will Claye going 1-2 and current UF standout and NCAA Champion Marquis Dendy finishing third.

WATCH: Omar Craddock Post-Race Interview

Other Florida related highlights:

  • Duane Solomon who trains with AR holder Johnny Gray out at UCF had a tough ending to his USA Championships. One of the top seeds headed into the final, Solomon went out hard , but fell back in the final 100, giving him a black out feeling over the final 50m and causing him to walk to the finish in 3:08.
  • Former Florida Gator and New Balance mid-distance runner Cory McGee finished 11th in the 1500 with a time of 4:18.55.

More Coverage