Sage Watson (Canada) and Carlos Villarreal (Mexico) will bring home some hardware after the Arizona Wildcats both won gold medals Thursday evening in the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima, Peru. 

Watson, a former Wildcat, had always been successful as a specialist in the 400-meter hurdles, but she never won a gold medal in a professional event since 2015. Representing Canada in the 2019 Pan American Games, Watson took home gold after running 55.16 seconds to win the women's 400-meter hurdles. 

Watson outlasted United States' Anna Cockrell and Jamaica's Rushell Clayton, and was originally disqualified from the race before the decision was appealed. Watson won the appeal and was then elevated back to a gold medal winner. 

Up next, Watson will compete in September's IAAF World Championships in Qatar.

Villarreal, a cross country and track star from Rio Rico, represented Mexico and won gold in the 1500-meter with a time of 3:39.93. The 22-year-old is set to be a redshirt senior at the UA. 

Watson and Villarreal weren't the only Wildcats to be successful at the Pan American Games. Standout junior Jordan Geist, representing the United States, brought home the silver medal in shot put (20.67m) Wednesday. Geist became the first collegian to win a medal at the games this year. 

Contact sports content producer Justin Spears at 573-4312 or On Twitter @justinesports

Sports producer

Justin writes stories and produces digital content about UA football and basketball and high school football. A Tucson native, Justin graduated from the UA in 2017 and is the host of the Wildcast Podcast and a radio host on ESPN Tucson.