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SportzBuzz - August 2023

Todd
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Karson Gordon

NATIONAL CHAMPION It was a spectacular summer for Episcopal Knight Karson Gordon, who won the national championship in the triple jump at the Nike Outdoor Nationals and then later was named the Gatorade Texas Boys Track & Field Player of the Year. Gordon is also a star quarterback for the Episcopal football team. (Photo: Dee Blevins)

It was a sensational leap forward for Episcopal Knights triple jumper Karson Gordon who was named the Gatorade Texas Boys Track & Field Player of the Year this summer. In winning the award, the Knights rising senior also became the first-ever Gatorade Track and Field Player of the Year winner from Episcopal High School.

“When I saw the email about 6 a.m. that I had won the award, I practically jumped out of bed. I was incredibly excited,” said Gordon. “It’s a special honor for me and my family and just really shows that all the hard work pays off. My dad was a triple jumper in high school and went to state with a jump of 49 feet, 7 inches. So, I ended up picking up the event when I was in seventh grade and I’ve been going at it ever since.”

The prestigious Texas Gatorade award came just three weeks after Gordon won the national championship in the triple jump by finishing first at the Nike Outdoor Nationals with a spectacular leap of 51 feet, 4.25 inches. “It’s the biggest stage in track and field with all the top high school jumpers in the nation competing, so to win the meet was pretty amazing,” said Gordon. “I also beat out the top graduating seniors who were a year ahead of me, so it was definitely a proud moment.” 

“It was truly amazing,” said Episcopal track and field coach Isaiah Coleman. “Karson was leading the competition almost the entire way then got surpassed on one of the final round of jumps. But, to then follow back up by re-taking the lead showed amazing composure.”

“The triple jump is an extremely taxing event on the body and the thing that makes Karson so unique and special is his rare mixture of patience, composure, technique, and speed. It pretty much separates him from the rest of the pack. I like to say that not only is Karson a national champion, he’s also an undefeated national champ by having won every one of his meets this season.”

During this past track and field season, Gordon’s personal-best mark of 51 feet, 5.75 inches at the Texas Relays in Austin ranked number one nationally among all high school competitors while also setting a meet record at the tradition-rich meet. Then, with Gordon leading the way, Episcopal won its first SPC boys track and field championship since 2015. Along with dominating the triple jump, Gordon ran a leg on the Knights winning 4x100 meter relay team while he also finished second in the 200-meter dash. “We had a really young team with me only being a junior along with two sophomores and a freshman, so the other great thing is that the future looks bright for us. Our team also competed in some national meets and did well, so I’m excited about next season.”

First things first, immediately ahead for Gordon is the upcoming football season, where Gordon suits up as a star quarterback for the Knights, having already committed to play football and track and field at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas (UNLV).  

“Karson had offers from major colleges at big-time conferences across the country,” said Episcopal head football coach Steve Leisz. “He’s not only a great athlete, but also an outstanding leader who really cares about the team and our offense. For Karson to be the kind of football player he is on and off the field and then win a national championship in track and field is simply amazing.”

In winning the Gatorade award, Gordon was also cited for his high academics and exemplary character, having volunteered locally for Navigate Life Texas, which provides sports opportunities for those with physical and intellectual challenges. 

“It’s very important to me and a priority of mine to give back to the community. That’s just the way my parents raised me,” added Gordon, who at only 17 years of age is mature beyond his years. “I wouldn’t be who I am without the people around me. Any time I can volunteer or mentor younger kids and serve as an inspirational figure to build their lives on, then I’m going to do so.”

“As good as his athletic talent, Karson is an even better human being,” added Coleman. “While he’s had a lot of success, Karson does his best to assure his teammates in both track and field and football are also successful.” 

Editor’s note: Todd Freed is the host and executive producer of H-Town High School Sports, which airs Saturday at 10:30 p.m. on CW39 and Monday-Thursday on AT&T SportsNet SW. To submit high school sports news for possible inclusion in SportzBuzz, please email [email protected].

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