For a list of the other Gatorade State Girls Track & Field Athletes of the Year, click here
THE WINNER: Amelia Paladino
School: University (Morgantown, W.Va.)
Event: Middle-distance and distance running
Athletic achievement: The 2013-14 Gatorade State Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year, she won three individual state championships at the Class AAA state meet this spring and led the Hawks to a fifth-place finish as a team. Paladino set a state record in winning the 800-meter run in 2:08.49, which ranked as the No. 19 performance in the nation among prep competitors in 2014 at the time of her selection. She also won the 1,600-meter run and the 3,200-meter run at states. Paladino owns the state records in the 1,600, 3,200 and mile, and her top 3,200 time of 10:00.42 ranked No. 3 nationally. Her season-best mile time of 4:45.34 ranked No. 6.
Academic excellence: Paladino has maintained a weighted 4.27 GPA.
Exemplary character: A representative on the University High student council, she has volunteered locally at the West Virginia Public Theater and as a peer mentor.
“Her speed is amazing,” said Willie Ruffin, head coach of Capital. “I have watched her for four years just use a sprinter-form running style. It’s impressive to watch.”
THE FUTURE: Paladino has signed with West Virginia.