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Monday, July 20, 2015: R-H's Watson wins 800 at World Youth Championships

   Leading off today: Sammy Watson's amazing year has been capped by a world championship in her best track and field event.

   The Rush-Henrietta rising junior won the gold medal Sunday in the girls 800-meter race during the ninth IAAF World Youth Championships in Cali, Colombia. The winning time was 2:03.54 as Watson fought off Gadese Ejara of Ethiopia (2:03.67).

   Watson sat third as the leaders came through the first lap in 1:03.06. She launched her move with 200 meters to go and created enough separation to hang on for the victory.

   Some 90 minutes later, she ran a 53-second anchor for Team USA in the mixed-gender (two boys, two girls) 1,600 relay that coasted to victory in 3:19.54.

   The World Youth Championships meet is the IAAF's biennial meet for competitors who are 17 years old or younger, one notch below the World Junior Championships.

   Watson had set a PR of 2:04.27 in the US trials for the WYC meet. She cruised through the first two rounds in Cali with heat wins in 2:06.05, and 2:10.89. Her gold-medal time puts her at No. 2 on the all-time New York list for sophomores behind Mary Cain (2:03.54). Cain's high school-age performances while competing unattached and as a professional are the only other marks ahead of Watson overall.

   All-state LB picks SU: Isaiah McDuffie, a linebacker who was first-team all-state last season in Class B as a sophomore for Buffalo Bennett, has committed to play football at Syracuse University in September 2017, reported.

   McDuffie reportedly does not yet have any other college offers.

   Following up: A federal judge in California last week dismissed a lawsuit alleging FIFA, the U.S. Soccer Federation and other organizations in the sport had not done enough to reduce the risk of injury from concussions.

   The seven soccer players named as plaintiffs had no right to bring the suit, in part because they had failed to show injuries or imminent danger of injury, or that the defendants were to blame, U.S. District Judge Phyllis Hamilton ruled.

   Hamilton dismissed the suit against FIFA outright, citing jurisdiction. She allowed the plaintiffs to amend their suit against the other organizations, saying they would have to provide additional evidence, including specific facts supporting injury claims and a causal link to the defendants.

   The 2014 lawsuit sought to force soccer governing to alter rules regarding player substitutions to ensure injured players can be taken out of games and limit headers for players 17 and younger, among other changes. It also sought medical monitoring for anyone who has played soccer since 2002 under one of the organizations.

   Coming Tuesday: The results of the seventh annual Kerr Cup All-Sport Championship will be announced on our website tomorrow at 11 a.m. football site

   We will be unveiling a first-time overall champion in the combined boys/girls scoring.

   On the move: Lockport AD Pat Burke has retired after 20 years on the job. The former Lions basketball and baseball star from the mid-1970s was a boys basketball coach and AD at Barker and coached Wilson Central to a NYSPHSAA baseball championship in 1983. Burke also served as assistant principal, AD and girls basketball coach at Medina from 1988-95 before arriving at Lockport.

   Jason Wait spent his first season as a high school football coach as the offensive coordinator at Bishop Grimes last fall, has been promoted to head coach. Wait, 36, replaces Anthony Talarico, who coached two seasons.

   Grimes went 7-3 last season in Section 3's developmental league for struggling small-school programs.

   LaTerrance Reed, the NYSSWA's Class A basketball co-player of the year last winter as a Canisius senior, will attend Salisbury (Conn.) Prep in the fall. The point guard averaged 19 points, five rebounds and five assists for the Crusaders, who won the Federation Class A championship in Albany.

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