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Cheltenham Alumnus Rowland Simpson ’54 to Be Inducted into the PA High School Track and Field Hall of Fame

rowland simpsonRowland Simpson, a 1954 graduate of Cheltenham High School, has been selected for induction into the Pennsylvania High School Track and Field Hall of Fame. The three-sport star in cross country, basketball and track for the Panthers will be inducted on Saturday, May 28, 2022, during the PIAA Track & Field Championships at Shippensburg University.

Known to classmates and friends as “Rowlie” or “Mr. Lightning,” Simpson was an outstanding sprinter, whose accomplishments included:

  • Winning the PIAA State Class A 440-yard dash title from 1951 - 1953; 
  • Taking third in the PIAA State Class A 4x440 yard relay in 1951 and 1952;
  • Winning and setting District I Class A meet records in the 440-yard dash in 1951 (51.4), 1952 (49.7), and 1953 (49.2); and 
  • Winning the District I Class A 220-yard dash in 1953.

Following graduation from CHS, Simpson ran for Villanova. He passed away in 2019.

Cheltenham will have a Pennsylvania High School Track and Field Hall of Fame inductee in consecutive years after John Lewis (CHS ’15) and CHS Track and Field Coach Dr. Robert Beale were inducted in 2021. 

The PA HS Track and Field Hall of Fame was established in 1995 to honor the elite individuals in the state’s distinguished track and field history. A selection committee consisting of 30 coaches, officials and journalists collects and reviews information about nominees. Further research is conducted, and a new ballot is formed each summer. Selection committee voting takes place in the fall, and the newly elected members are inducted at the PIAA State Championship Meet.

Each year, 6-to-12 athletes, one coach, one contributor, and one distinguished alumnus are inducted. Athletes become eligible for nomination five years after their high school graduation. Once nominated, a candidate remains under consideration in perpetuity. The committee currently has information on more than 400 athletes, 100 coaches, and 50 contributors – more than a century’s worth of outstanding individuals – who have been nominated but not yet inducted. Those wishing to share details about deserving candidates are encouraged to submit a nomination through the Pennsylvania Track and Field Coaches Association website.