INDIANAPOLIS – Carolina Elite’s Bryce Love, of Raleigh, N.C.,has been named the 2009 Youth Athlete of the Year by USA Track & Field’s Youth Committee. Love will be honored on Saturday, December 5, at the Jesse Owens Awards and Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Indianapolis, Ind. The event is held in conjunction with USA Track & Field’s 2009 Annual Meeting.
Love’s record-breaking ways began at the 2009 North Carolina USATF Junior Olympics, held June 26-28, at North Carolina A&T’s Irwin Belk Stadium, in Greensboro, N.C., when he set records in winning the midget boys 200 and 400 meters.
Love recorded national record breaking times of 23.57 seconds in the 200m, and 52.16 over 400m. The previous records of 23.74 and 52.90 were set by Xavier Jones in 2007. In addition to this outstanding single day performance, he also ran a windy 11.68 (+2.2mps) to win the 100m.
“I am honored and blessed to receive this prestigious award,” said Love. I thank USA Track & Field (USATF) for this recognition. I have participated with USATF since I was 8 years old. I was inspired as I stood by the track and watched the older athletes run phenomenal times. I set goals and worked hard to do my best. This award is special. I’d like to thank my family, team, coaches and community for their continued support.”
Love concluded his track season by running national record breaking times of 11.64 in the 100m, 23.37 in the 200m and 50.75 in the 400m dash. It was the first time a midget boy has set three national records in one year.
At the Russell Blunt East Coast Invitational, Love blazed to a national record-setting 11.64 in the 100m, taking .05 off the previous record of 11.69 set by Darian Trout-Brown in 2008. Just days later, on day four of the USATF National Junior Olympic Outdoor Track & Field Championships at N.C. A&T State University, Love ripped to a national youth record 51.76 in 400m prelims and, but for a bit too much wind, he would have laid claim to the national youth 100m record as well. Aided by a just-over-the-allowable 2.4 meters-per-second breeze, Love dashed to an 11.59 in the heats.
The next day, Love zipped to a 23.37 into a headwind in the 200m to trim .01 off his own national youth mark of 23.38 that he had set in the qualifying heats. He ended competition at the USATF Junior Olympics with a win in the 100m at 11.79 into a stiff wind, and then made the best of terrible weather conditions to rip his own 400m record to shreds, slicing more than a second off the time he turned in Friday in the prelims in crossing the line in 50.75.
“Bryce is a shining star for the USATF youth program,” said USATF Youth Athletics Committee Chair Lionel Leach. “We are proud that he got his start in the USATF youth programs and will eagerly be watching his progress as he moves on to the high school and collegiate levels.”
For more information on the USATF Annual Meeting, visit www.usatf.org.