The 2014-15 American Family Insurance ALL-USA Girls Track and Field teams are coordinated by Fred Baer, the founder of Track and Field Writers of America. Girls selections are made by Mike Kennedy, the high school editor of Track and Field News.
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Name: Candace Hill
School: Rockdale County (Conyers, Ga.)
Ready for an encore after her breakthrough 100 meter high school record, Candace Hill of Rockdale County (Conyers, Ga.) has edged four other record breakers for athlete of the year honors on the 2014-2015 American Family Insurance ALL-USA Girls Track & Field Team.
As just a sophomore this year, Hill became the first high school girl to officially break 11 seconds in the 100 meters, running a wind-legal 10.98 at the Brooks PR Invitational in Seattle on June 20. The 16-year-old also set world youth and American junior (under age 20) records. A week earlier she had grabbed attention on the East Coast, winning the high school Dream 100 at the international adidas Grand Prix meet in New York in 11.21.
She will be on a world stage this week – a headliner at the IAAF World Youth Championships in Cali, Colombia (July 15-19). Hill won both the 100 and 200 meters at USATF’s recent World Youth Trials in Lisle, Ill. after repeating as Georgia state champion in both events. Her 200 best is 23.05, set at the Georgia state meet.
On making the world team, Hill said, “It has been my goal since the beginning of the season and finally making it is just so incredible.”
She won Georgia state titles in state-record times in the 100 and 200. She won the 100 in 11.34 and the 200 in 23.05 seconds at the state 6A meet.
Hill, who started running on her middle school track team in the seventh grade, won the Georgia state titles in the 100 and 200 meters last year as a freshman and also took both events at the New Balance Nationals in Greensboro, N.C. She had bests in 2014 of 11.44 (11.14 wind-aided) in the 100 and 23.14 in the 200. The previous 100 meter record at her school, a former mill town of 15,000 located about a half hour southeast of Atlanta, was 12.00. She attends classes at Rockdale Magnet School for Science & Technology in a building located next to the Rockdale County High campus and has a (weighted) 4.6 grade point average.
The only high school girl to run a faster 100 under any conditions last year was 2014 athlete of the year (and now pro) Kaylin Whitney of East Ridge, Clermont, Fla.), who lowered the high school record to 11.10. Whitney turned professional this season and set a World Youth (age 16-17) record of 22.47 in the 200 meters last month, finishing fourth in open competition at the USATF Championships.
Hill has been undefeated in the 100 throughout her brief high school career. She has lost just once in the 200 – in her first race as a freshman.