Missouri man killed in Colo. climbing accident was tennis star

Friday, August 16, 2013 | 2:41 p.m. CDT; updated 7:03 p.m. CDT, Friday, August 16, 2013

SPRINGFIELD — A 20-year-old climber killed in a fall at Rocky Mountain National Park was a two-time Missouri state tennis champion and a state record-holder.

The National Park Service said Friday that Paul Nahon, of Springfield, died Thursday in Colorado after falling about 150 feet from the Narrows on the Keyhole Route on Longs Peak, which is more than 14,000 feet tall. The route had ice in several spots.

Park officials said he survived the fall, but bystanders reported Nahon had multiple injuries. An off-duty park volunteer and his climbing party performed CPR.

Nahon, a 2011 graduate of Glendale High School in Springfield, won state tennis titles in 2010 and 2011 and also holds the record for most tennis wins in Missouri Class II high school history with an overall record of 117-7.

Glendale won three conference and district championships during Nahon's time, The Springfield News-Leader reported.

Nahon recently had transferred to Colorado College for the upcoming semester.

Springfield school board member Gerry Lee said Nahon was very talented.

"He was a tremendous athlete, tremendous student and a great kid," Lee said. "It's a great family. This is tragic."

Matt Pearce, the assistant superintendent in nearby Republic, was the principal at Glendale when Nahon was there. He said Nahon had a bright future ahead of him.

"I want to wish his family and friends lots of prayers and sympathy," he said. "It's a devastating loss to lose someone at such a young age."

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