Athlete of the Week: Central’s Watson caps career with state title
WOODSTOCK — Even days later, Kila Watson still has a hard time believing Saturday’s Group 2A state track and field championship in the discus was real.
“It’s such an awkward feeling since it’s something I’ve been working for, for so long,” Watson said in a phone interview Tuesday. “I’m just so excited and overwhelmed.”
Watson, The Northern Virginia Daily’s Athlete of the Week for the week of May 29-June 4, won the discus state title with a throw of 125 feet, and three inches. The throw also tied the state meet record.
She said that even though she wasn’t able to break the record she was more than happy to be able to share the record.
“(Central throws) coach Mike Yew said ‘records will come and go, but a championship is forever and no one can take that from you,'” Watson said. “And being able to even tie a state meet record that still was pretty amazing for me.”
Watson not only threw a 125-03 on her second throw of the preliminary round, but she also had three other throws that were 120 feet or better.
She had tough competition in the event as Giles’ Jocelyn Midkiff threw a 125-02 on her third throw of the preliminary round.
However, Midkiff wasn’t able to get another throw over 119 feet.
“It was a little nerve-wracking, because (Midkiff) was behind me and I beat her by one inch. She sure gave me a run for my money,” Watson said. “It helped push me, and I just knew that however I finished is how it’s going to be and I’m just going to give it my all that I can now.”
Yew said that Watson’s form was great on Saturday.
“She was getting to the front of the circle and she was finishing,” Yew said. “Kila is very strong and her finish was really good Saturday. She was just really keeping the discus back and flowing through and getting her weight through and finishing.”
Watson also had an all-state performance in the shot put on Friday. She threw a personal record 35 feet and seven inches to finish tied for fifth in the state.
She said performing so well in the shot put, helped give her even more confidence for the discus, which is her stronger event.
“I came in ranked a lot lower than what I ended up getting,” Watson said. “It set a really good pace for the weekend. I was just so excited the whole time.”
Watson’s performance over the weekend also helped her earn a spot on a college team.
She said that the Radford University track and field coach came to watch her at the state meet, and told her they have a spot for her on the team.
“I’m hoping to see a lot of new things, and I can’t wait for that opportunity,” Watson said. “I’m so thankful that I get to continue my track career, and that I get to do it at the next level.”
On Monday night Watson received another special honor as the school retired her uniform at the Central Athletic Banquet.
“I was really surprised,” Watson said. “There was a lot of mixed emotions and happiness and my mom was really emotional too. I still can’t believe that they retired my uniform.”
Watson steadily progressed each season, having placed fourth in the state meet in the discus as a junior and ninth as a sophomore.
She said winning the state title was a perfect way to end her high school career, and she was proud of her accomplishments.
“I moved across the country from California to Virginia my freshman year. I would have never thought that I was going to leave a mark like this on this school,” Watson said. “But now four years later — its been a long journey. And I’m just so happy that I have the opportunity to throw for Central and to be an alumni from Central High School.”