A dedicated ESPNHS team managed the Gatorade State Girls Track & Field Athlete of the Year selection process, resulting in winners based on the program's three pillars: athletic production and impact in the 2012 season, high academic achievement and exemplary personal character.
For her 50 fellow Gatorade State Girls Track & Field Athletes of the Year winners, click here.
THE WINNER: Jennifer Cannon
School: Tennessee (Bristol, Tenn.)
Athletic achievement: Cannon won three individual state championships this spring and led the Vikings to a second-place finish as a team at the Class AAA state meet. She won the pentathlon with 3,788 points, the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 14.17 seconds and the 300-meter hurdles in 43.09. Cannon also placed second in the long jump with a leap of 18 feet, 2.5 inches and third in the 100-meter dash in 12.44. The owner of nine school records, she placed second in the heptathlon at this month’s New Balance Outdoor Nationals with 4,801 points.
Academic excellence: Cannon has maintained a 4.0 GPA in the classroom.
Exemplary character: She has volunteered locally with the Special Olympics, as a peer tutor with Tennessee High’s special needs students and as a youth track coach and mentor.
“Jennifer Cannon is an awesome talent,” said Bob Bingham, head coach of rival Dobyns-Bennett (Kingsport, Tenn.). “She almost won the state meet for her team by herself. She combines class and dignity with her prodigious talent to be a champion.”
THE FUTURE: Cannon has signed a National Letter of Intent to compete in track and field on scholarship at Vanderbilt University beginning this fall.