The Gatorade State Girls Track & Field Athletes of the Year were selected based on athletic production and impact in the 2015-16 season. Each winner also demonstrated high academic achievement and exemplary personal character, including volunteerism, sportsmanship and community leadership.
For the complete list of Gatorade State Girls Track & Field Athlete of the Year winners, click here.
THE WINNER: Jada Baylark
School: Parkview Arts/Science Magnet (Little Rock, Ark.)
Athletic achievement: The sprinter, hurdler and jumper won three individual titles at the Arkansas Meet of Champions state meet this spring. Baylark captured the 100-meter dash with a time of 11.73 seconds, the 100-meter hurdles in 14.22 and the triple jump with a leap of 39 feet, nine inches. The 2016 Arkansas Democrat-Gazette Track & Field Prep Athlete of the Year, she also won the Arkansas State Heptathlon with 4,517 points and earned five individual titles at the Class 6A state meet, winning the 100 (11.86), the 200 (25.31), the 100 hurdles (14.34), the long jump (18-11.25) and the triple jump (39-0).
Academic excellence: Baylark has maintained a 3.57 GPA.
Exemplary character: A member of the Beta Club and the National Honor Society, she is a devoted parishioner at the Greater Archview Baptist Church and has volunteered locally on behalf of a homeless shelter.
“Jada Baylark is an exceptional athlete,” said Keith Dale, head coach at Bryant High. “She has a great future ahead of her. She is a first-class person who is very friendly, respectful and supportive of all the athletes.”
THE FUTURE: Baylark has signed a National Letter of Intent to compete in track and field on scholarship at the University of Arkansas this fall.