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.
Senior sprinter, St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)
Greatness Present: The fastest times in the country aren’t being clocked at state championship meets or major invitationals. They’re happening at St. Thomas Aquinas track practices.
While junior teammate Krystal Sparling owns the nation’s fastest 100- and 200-meter dash times among U.S. prep competitors in 2014, Ellis has laid claim to the country’s top 400-meter effort. The senior’s time of 53.09 seconds at a Class 4A regional championship meet this past weekend is 0.28 faster than the nation’s next-best prep performer.
Earlier this season, Ellis ran a leg on the national record-setting 4×200-meter relay squad, and also took a lap on the U.S. No. 1 4×400 relay. She still has time to challenge the state 400-meter record of 22.51, which belongs to another former Aquinas star—Sanya Richards, distinguished as the only Florida athlete to win Gatorade National Girls Track & Field Athlete of the Year honors (in 2002).
Greatness Past: Ellis has won three consecutive Class 4A state titles in the 400, and will go for a fourth on May 3.
Greatness Future: Ellis has signed with USC.
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.