When Donovan Simmons arrived on the New Jersey track and field scene, little was known about the sprinter. One year later, he’s become the fastest guy in Somerset County.
The Maryland native moved to New Jersey last year, and took everyone by surprise by winning the 100, 200 and 400 dashes at the Somerset County Championships. With his popularity gaining, the Bound Brook High School senior is ready to take on the role of “marked man.”
“Last year was a huge surprise to me,” Simmons said. “I’m going to expect a lot of competition and do what I do best and come out and do what I did last year.”
Last year’s triple-victory at the Somerset County meet was one for the books. Simmons opened by clocking 11.07 in the 100, crossing comfortably ahead of the field. Then came a furious comeback in the 400, as he charged past Franklin’s Lee Rutledge down the stretch for a 49.84 triumph. In the 200 he rallied late once again to break the tape in 22.40.
His success has come as a surprise to many in the area, but Bound Brook coach Bethany Wagner believes that the best is yet to come.
“Donovan’s addition to the team was a pleasant surprise to say the least,” Wagner said. “Donovan is great to have on the team, not only because of his talent, but his way of encouraging his teammates to run with him to help them learn and get better.”
Simmons will look to carry his successes to the upcoming winter track season
“I’m going to be doing the 400, the 55, the 800 and possibly the high jump,” Simmons said, “It’s not difficult because I do all my races the same. I just focus on the task at hand and I just pace myself. I have been training on my own and in practice but I think I’m ready for it.”
He has some lofty goals.
“For this season I just want to perform at a better state,” said Simmons, “I’m hopefully hoping to take counties in the 55, the 400 and the 800, which is new to me, and I want to improve on all of my performances.”