This Sunday, July 25 at 5:30 EST (and covered on USA Network), Morgan Pearson '11 represents the United States when he steps up to the starting line at Odaiba Marine Park during the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
The Olympic triathlon includes a 1,500-meter swim, 40-kilometer bike ride and 10K run. Pearson will compete in both the men's individual triathlon and the mixed relay four days later. "For me, (the Olympics) was the pinnacle of sports," Pearson recently told Daily Record reporter Jane Havsy. "I grew up as a swimmer. I was running. The sports I was always participating in went to the Olympics....You watch it on TV, and it's only once every four years, so it's more elusive than most things."
Pearson grew up as a competitive swimmer, ocean lifeguard during summers at the Jersey Shore and a standout runner at Delbarton where he earned four Varsity letters. He was the New Jersey state champion in the 3,200 as a senior and earned All-American honors in the outdoor two-mile run. He won the Penn Relays 3,000-meter run, which he cites as the biggest moment of his high school career.
Pearson competed one season at Duke, his parents’ alma mater, on the cross country and track & field teams and led the Blue Devils at the N.C. Central Dual Meet, finishing first, and he earned top honors at the James Madison Invitational. He went on to run cross-country and track & field at the University of Colorado at Boulder, where he was a seven-time All-American. He entered the elite triathlon through USA Triathlon’s Collegiate Recruitment Program, which identifies top college swimmers and runners who offer the potential and drive to excel as triathletes.
After winning the overall title at the USA Triathlon Age Group Sprint National Championships in 2017, Pearson debuted as an elite triathlete in 2018. He trains in Boulder, CO where he is coached by Dean Golich. In 2020, he placed eighth as the top U.S. man at the 2020 World Triathlon Championships in Hamburg, Germany, and was part of the silver-medal-winning U.S. team at the 2020 World Triathlon Mixed Relay Championships in Hamburg, Germany. In 2021, he qualified for the 2020 U.S. Olympic Triathlon Team with a bronze-medal performance at the World Triathlon Championship Series Yokohama on May 15 and became the first U.S. man in history to win multiple World Triathlon Championship Series medals, earning silver in Leeds on June 6.
He told Havsy, "I always knew I had it in me to go for a medal," he said. "Those two (WTS) races really showed it's not just self-belief. It's actually real. It's my goal to go for a medal. I'm not putting too much pressure on myself. I just started the sport in 2018. ... It's still a dream and a goal, and you work toward it every day. You always go for the win."
The Delbarton community salutes our Green Wave Olympian Morgan Pearson for his athletic accomplishments, and will be rooting for him and his fellow United States Olympians as they compete in Tokyo. Go USA!
(Photo credit: Tommy Zaferes, World Triathlon)
Morgan Pearson '11 Competes in Olympic Triathlon on July 25