It's time again for the Gatorade Player of the Year Awards for track and field. The girl's state wide announcements will be released on July 2, 2021. The winner of each state will be in consideration for the national POY award.
Before the season began, we rattled off a preseason list of names of who we thought would likely have a chance at winning the award (Girl's Preseason Gatorade Texas Track And Field POY Wat...) and all of the girls on that list had superb seasons and several of them are on our watch list now.
Based on 2021 track and field season performances, here are our list of athletes who could potentially win the award.
Yierra Flemmings - Cameron Yoe - The first thing one thinks of when they hear Cameron Yoe, is the outstanding history the school has on the gridiron. However, their star freshman runner had one heck of a freshman year.
Flemmings began her high school career in the fall, during the cross country season. She won the UIL 3A state cross country championships when she ran 11:48.49. That was just the start to a year in which we would learn a lot about one of the state's most versatile runners.
For anyone who would label her as a distance runner would soon find out she is anything but that. Flemings ended her freshman track season with a busy weekend in Austin. She competed in four individual events taking home a state championship in the UIL 3A 400m (54.98), runner-up in the 100H (14.19), third place finish in the long jump (17-10.5), and fourth in the triple jump 37-3.75).
Flemings is a long shot to win, but will definitely be an athlete to watch in the future.
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Smith went undefeated in the 100H and ran a 12.93 (w) SB as well as state and national leading marks.The University of Southern California signee ran a spectacular eight sub 14.00 races this season.
For good measure, Smith was the UIL 6A runner-up in the 300H with her 42.46 SB.
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Kennedy Wade - League City Clear Falls - Wade had a spectacular 2021 season, she ran PRs in the 200m (23.92), the 400m (52.72), and the 800m (2:10.27); qualifying for state in the latter two events. Wade wasn't just trying to qualify for state this year, she was trying to win; and she did.
The Texas A&M signee won the 400m and 800m at the Region 3-6A Championships and then won the 400m at the state meet where she added a second place finish in the 800m.
The 400m is where Wade excelled this season; at regionals is where she cemented herself in Texas history by running an all-time top 10 mark of 52.77 and followed it up later with an improvement 52.72 for the top time in the state and second best nationally.
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She earned a spot on this list by winning both the UIL 6A shot put (46-5) and discus (173-7) state championships.
The University of California signee was undefeated throughout 2021 in the shot put this season. Her 49-2 throw at the Region 3-6A meet ranks her second in the state and her state winning discus toss makes her Texas' best and the nation's second best on the season.
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Davis suffered an injury during the season that sidelined her for much of the season. She was able to make it back right before championship season, enabling her to run her way to state.
At the state meet is where she looked like herself again. The University of Southern California signee ran 11.27(w) and a wind legal 23.11 to win both UIL 5A titles.
An 11.54 at Region 2-5A makes her TX No. 4 in the 100m and her state race makes her TX No. 1/US No. 2 in the 200m in terms of wind legal/FAT times.