From many, there will be one. And while there’s still no guarantee contending athletes will win their own 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.
Sophomore sprinter, East Ridge (Clermont, Fla.)
Greatness Present: A little rain never hurt anyone. Especially Kaylin Whitney. As a freshman, the 5-foot-8 sprinter braved the pouring rain to sweep the 100- and 200-meter dashes at the 2013 Class 3A state championships. The rains fell again this past Saturday, and once more did nothing to stop the scintillating sophomore.
Bumped up to Class 4A and facing a pair of amazingly talented fields, Whitney swept the sprints for a second time at the state meet. In the 100-meter final, she broke the tape in 10.48 seconds—0.16 ahead of Krystal Sparling of St. Thomas Aquinas, who owns the best prep 100 time in the country this season. In the 200—a race featuring four of the seven fastest runners in the country—Whitney was again dominant, breaking the tape in 23.69 and 0.40 ticks ahead of Diamond Spaulding of St. Thomas Aquinas.
Currently, Whitney owns the nation’s No. 3 time in the 100 and No. 4 time in the 200 among U.S. prep competitors in 2014.
Greatness Past: In 2012, Whitney won the 100 and 200 at the USA Track & Field National Junior Olympic Championships, breaking records held previously by 2002 Gatorade National Girls Track & Field Athlete of the YearSanya Richards, a four-time Olympic gold medalist.
Greatness Future: Whitney will be a junior this fall.
Make no mistake: The Gatorade State Girls Track & Field Athlete of the Year races aren’t over, and the National AOY race is now heating up. Time remains for one standout student-athlete among thousands to rise to the top of our list.Check back for daily updates on the top contenders making their case.