Thompson’s Franklin wins New Balance Nationals, Pelham’s McGough finishes in top 25

Published 10:46 am Monday, March 11, 2024

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By ANDREW SIMONSON | Sports Editor

BOSTON – After coming close last season, Thompson’s Bradley Franklin took his place atop the nation’s best indoor track athletes.

Franklin won first place in the boys 60-meter hurdles at the New Balance Nationals, which took place in Boston from March 7-10.

He sprinted to first place in the finals with a time of 7.61 seconds, which is a personal record for Franklin and the eighth-fastest time in U.S. history.

To win the event, the Thompson senior had to beat out some of the top runners from across the nation who descended on Boston in hopes of claiming the national title.

However, Franklin’s continued improvement in the event helped secure himself the championship to bring home to Alabaster.

He set the pace in the prelim heats with a time of 7.76 seconds, which beat out Yashahya Brown and Dai’vontay Young, both of whom came within 0.02 seconds of Franklin’s time.

Afterwards, he stormed ahead in the semifinals with a time of 7.66 seconds, beating his previous time by a full tenth of a second and topping the next closest runner Young by 0.06 seconds.

From there, he improved yet again in the finals by 0.05 seconds to claim the championship.

The win adds yet another honor to Franklin’s indoor track and field resume. He finished the 2023-24 indoor season undefeated in the 60-meter hurdles for the Warriors, going 7-0 and claiming his second-straight Class 7A state championship in the event.

Last season, he finished in sixth place at the New Balance Nationals in the boys 60-meter hurdles as just a junior, setting the stage for his victory in his senior season in 2024.

Franklin is also the reigning 7A champion in the boys 110-meter hurdles and 300-meter hurdles in outdoor track and field.

He capped off the 2023 outdoor season with a fifth-place finish in the 110-meter hurdles at the Brooks PR Invitational in June against some of the best runners in the country.

Franklin will now look to defend his outdoor state championships ahead of the start of his collegiate track and field at Samford next winter.

Franklin wasn’t the only county runner to post a strong performance at nationals as Pelham’s William McGough competed in the boys 60-meter dash.

Pelham’s William McGough finished in the top 25 in the 60-meter dash at the New Balance Nationals thanks to a personal record. (File)

McGough finished in 25th place out of 279 runners in the preliminary heats with a time of 6.91 seconds.

That run was a personal record and came in just shy of advancing to the 23-man semifinals but nonetheless established him as one of the top 25 runners in the 60-meter dash in the country.

McGough finished the indoor season as one of the top runners in the state of Alabama as he never finished worse than fourth in any of the five races he finished in the 2023-24 season.

After setting his previous personal record of 6.96 seconds at the Hump Day Octameet, McGough finished in third place in the Class 6A state championships in the boys 60-meter dash with a time of 6.97 seconds.

That set the stage for McGough to beat his personal record by 0.05 seconds at the New Balance Nationals to finish off his senior indoor season.