Earlier this morning, the Gatorade Company in collaboration with USA TODAY High School Sports announced Candace Hill of Rockdale County High School in Conyers, Ga., as its 2014-15 Gatorade National Girls Track and Field Athlete of the Year. The 16-year-old, who will begin her junior year this fall, recently became the first high school girl to break the 11-second barrier in the 100m at the Brooks PR Invitational last weekend, clocking an official time of 10.98 seconds.
With her record-setting performance, Hill now claims title to world’s fastest junior (under 20) in the 100m and ranked number 10 worldwide among women of all ages, including elites in the field. She beat her state record by 0.36 seconds and also won the 200-meter dash this season with a state-record time of 23.05 seconds.
“There’s been a lot of talk this spring about high school boys who have broken 4 minutes in the mile—and rightly so—it’s an exclusive club (of seven).” said Doug Binder, the editor-in-chief of Dyestat. “But the first high school girl to break the 11-second barrier in the 100 meters? That club has only one member, and it’s Candace Hill. At 16, her potential is enormous and she is still learning the extent of her prodigious talent.”
Not only is Hill an exceptional sprinter, she also excels in her studies with a weighted 4.61 GPA. She’s also a member of her school’s Junior Beta Club and serves as an ambassador on behalf of the Rockdale Magnet School for Science and Technology.
Hill was selected from more than 478,000 high school girls track and field athletes nationwide for the award. Her selection also sets her as a finalist for the Gatorade Female High School Athlete of the Year award to be presented at a special ceremony in July.
The Gatorade Player of the Year program also inducted Grant Fisher, the seventh high school boy to run a sub-4:00 mile from Grand Blanc High School in Michigan, as the Gatorade National Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year, and Anna Rohrer of Mishikawa High School as the National Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year in January of this year.