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Kell High School Standout Named 2012-2013 Gatorade Georgia Girls Track & Field Athlete of the Year
CHICAGO (June 19, 2013) — In its 28th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with USA TODAY High School Sports, today announced Kendell Williams of Kell High School as its 2012-13 Gatorade Georgia Girls Track & Field Athlete of the Year. Williams remains the only Gatorade Georgia Girls Track & Field Athlete of the Year to be chosen from Kell High School.
The award, which recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the track, distinguishes Williams as Georgia’s best high school girls track & field athlete. Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Girls Track & Field Athlete of the Year award to be announced in June, Williams joins an elite alumni association of state award-winners in 12 sports, including Allyson Felix (2001-02, Los Angeles Baptist, Calif.), Derek Jeter (1991-92, Kalamazoo HS, Mich.), Candace Parker (2001-02, Naperville Central HS, Ill.), Abby Wambach (1997-98, Our Lady of Mercy, N.Y.), Mark Sanchez (2004-05, Mission Viejo HS, Calif.), Lolo Jones (1997-98, Roosevelt HS, Ia.) and Bianca Knight (2006-07, Ridgeland HS, Miss.).
The 5-foot-9 senior won three individual Class 4A state championships this spring and led the Longhorns to a second-place finish as a team. The state’s three-time returning Gatorade Girls Track and Field Athlete of the Year, Williams won the 100-meter high hurdles with a time of 13.23 seconds, cleared 5 feet, 8 inches to win the high jump and leapt 20-9.75 to capture the long jump. Her winning 100 hurdles time ranked as the nation’s No. 1 performance among prep competitors in 2013 at the time of her selection, while her effort in the long jump ranked No. 2. Williams set the national high school record in the pentathlon at the New Balance Indoor Nationals, and broke the U.S. prep record in the heptathlon at last summer’s World Junior Championships. She also won the 100 hurdles at the New Balance Outdoor Nationals this season.
Williams has maintained a weighted 3.75 GPA in the classroom. She has volunteered locally on behalf of a school group that helps feed the homeless, and she participates in group activities with orphaned children in Cobb County.
“Kendell leads by example with her hard work and consistency,” said Kell High head coach Andi Jenkins. “Her accomplishments stand alone, but she is one of the most humble athletes I have ever met.”
Williams has signed a National Letter of Intent to compete in track and field on scholarship at the University of Georgia this fall.
The Gatorade Player of the Year program annually recognizes one winner in the District of Columbia and each of the 50 states that sanction high school football, girls volleyball, boys and girls cross country, boys and girls basketball, boys and girls soccer, baseball, softball, and boys and girls track & field, and awards one National Player of the Year in each sport. The selection process is administered by the Gatorade high school sports leadership team in partnership with USA TODAY High School Sports, which work with top sport-specific experts and a media advisory board of accomplished, veteran prep sports journalists to determine the state winners in each sport.
Williams joins Gatorade Georgia Girls Track & Field Athletes of the Year Chalonda Goodman (2008–09 & 2007-08 Newnan), and Brittany Long (2006-2007, Therrell) among the state’s list of former award winners.