The 2017 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, high school editor of Track and Field News.
Criteria included ranking on USA TODAY Sports and Track and Field News national lists and the number of top performances along with head-to-head competition during the regular season and in major postseason meets.
The honorees are divided based on event. Follow the links below for each group; athletes are listed alphabetically. Races in meters unless noted. Field events are listed in feet and inches.
Girls Track & Field Athlete of the Year: Sydney McLaughlin, Union Catholic
Girls Track & Field Coach of the Year: Joe Lee, Bullis School
LOOKBACK: 2016 ALL-USA Girls Track and Field Team
YEAR IN REVIEW
Before Sydney McLaughlin arrived, the national record in the 400 hurdles was 55.20 by 1988 Olympian Leslie Maxie of Mills (Millbrae, Calif.) and had lasted 32 years — since 1984.
The hurdles, in 2017, featured the fastest ever high school times in all three events.
Tara Davis of Agoura (Agoura Hills, Calif.) ran the fastest high school 100 meter hurdles, a slightly wind-assisted 12.83, as part of her individual triple (including the long and triple jumps) at the California CIF state meet on June 3. Davis also had the second longest high school long jump under all conditions, 22-3 3/4.
The Georgia-bound senior placed fifth in the USATF championships at 21-9 1/2, missing a World Championships berth by 2 1/4 inches and one place. The USA has a wild card and three regular qualifiers (that include the last two Olympic champions).
Together, McLaughlin and Davis topped the 2017 high school lists in six regular individual events. (More on McLaughlin is in her Athlete of the Year profile).
UCLA-bound Alyssa Wilson of Donovan (Toms River, N.J.) set high school shot put records both indoors (57-5 1/2) and outdoors (57- 1 1/4). She was also the season leader in the discus throw (182-0), ranking No. 11 on the all-time list.
The other high school record breaker was Cal-bound Brie Oakley of Grandview (Centennial, Colo.), who ran two miles in 9:51.35 (the fastest time in the world this year by anyone — for a race contested primarily in the USA).
Two previous year high school record breakers returned to the ALL-USA team:
- Tia Jones, Walton (Marietta, Ga.) who set the 100 hurdles record of 12.84 in 2016;
- Madison Wiltrout, Connellsville, Pa., who set the javelin throw record of 185-8 in 2015 to make the team as a sophomore.
Others who made a dent in the all-time high school lists for their events included:
- Samantha Watson, Rush-Henrietta (Henrietta, N.Y.), No. 3 at 800 meters, 2:00.78;
- Rachel Baxter, Canyon (Anaheim, Calif), No. 3 in the pole vault, 14-4;
- Alexandra Harris (North Rockland (Thiells, N.Y.), No. 5 in the 3000 steeplechase, 10:25.80
- Markalah Hart, Northwestern (Miami), No. 6 in the 300 hurdles, 40.28;
- Jaimie Robinson, Homewood-Flossmoor (Flossmoor, Ill.), No. 7 in the triple jump, 43-10 1/2;
- Jasmine Moore, Grand Prairie (Texas), No. 8 in the triple jump, 43-7 1/4;
- The best “wind-legal” marks by Tara Davis ranked No. 3 all-time for the long jump, 22-1, and equal to No. 4 in the 100 hurdles, 12.95.
OFF TO PERU
High school athletes won nine women’s events, competing against college freshmen, at the USATF Junior Championships for athletes under age 20 in Sacramento, June 22-24.
The top two finishers in each event (aged 16-19) earned U.S. team berths for the Pan Am Junor Championships in Trujillo, Peru, on July 21-23.
Tara Davis was a double winner in the 100 hurdles and long jump.
Wilson won the hammer throw, also was second in the shot put, and fifth in the discus throw — where runner-up Pamela “Obi” Amaechi of Lincoln (San Francisco) was the top high school placer.
Symone Mason of Southridge (Miami) won the 200 meters and was second in the 100.
Other prep winners:
- Baxter in the pole vault (with Carson Dingler, First Presbyterian of Macon, Ga., second);
- Robinson in the triple jump (with Moore second);
- Caitlin Collier, Bolles (Jacksonville, Fla.) in the 800 meters;
- Jelena Rowe, Bloom Township (Chicago Heights, Ill.) in the high jump;
- Taylor Ewert, Beavercreek (Ohio) in the 10,000 meter walk. At age 15, however, she could be too young to compete in Peru. Ewert had earlier set a freshman class record in the 3,000 walk, winning the New Balance Nationals.