From many, there will be one. While there’s no guarantee contending athletes will win their state at this point in the season, a number of elite performers are making a case for Gatorade National Girls Track & Field Athlete of the Year consideration. Here’s the scoop on the latest top candidate.
Senior distance runner, Grosse Pointe South (Mich.)
Greatness Present: It’s being called the greatest 1,600-meter race in Michigan history, and the point is hard to argue.
Meier, twin sister Haley Meier and West Bloomfield star Erin Finn ran stride-for-stride for three laps during Saturday’s Division I state title race. Hannah, however, pulled away on the final backstretch and shattered her own state record with a time of 4:39.23 — tops in the nation this season and the No. 6 performance in U.S. prep history.
Haley’s time of 4:42.43 also broke the old record (4:42.60), and Finn settled for third in 4:45.37. Those efforts respectively rank No. 3 and No. 9 nationally among prep competitors this spring.
A short time later, Hannah defended her 800-meter title with another state record time of 2:06.35, the nation’s second-best prep time of the season. Meier finished a long, tiring day with four gold medals, also anchoring the 4×400- and 4×800-meter relays to victory.
A week earlier, Meier ran the U.S. No. 2 mile (4:40.48), finishing behind North Carolina’s Wesley Frazier at the adidas Dream Mile.
Greatness Past: Meier entered her senior season with nine career state titles, including three straight in the 800 meters. She finished second in the 1,500 meters at last year’s Junior Nationals and second in the mile at this winter’s New Balance Indoor Nationals.
Greatness Future: Meier has signed with Duke.
Make no mistake: The Gatorade State Girls Track & Field Athlete of the Year races aren’t over, and the National AOY race is heating up. Time remains for one standout student-athlete among thousands to rise to the top.Check back daily for updates on the top contenders making their case.