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: Ajeé Wilson
School: Neptune (N.J.)
Athletic achievement: The state’s 2009-10 Gatorade Girls Track & Field Athlete of the Year, Wilson won three individual state titles this spring and led the Scarlet Fliers to the Group III state meet. She won the 400-meter dash with a time of 54.88 seconds, 800-meter run in 2:10.72 and 1,600-meter run in 4:54.63. Wilson also anchored the winning 4x400-meter relay squad that broke the tape in 3:51.44. She clocked a 2:02.61 in the 800-meter run at the adidas Grand Prix, which at the time of her selection ranked No. 1 in the nation among high school competitors this spring and No. 12 in U.S. prep history. The returning USA Track & Field National Youth Athlete of the Year, Wilson won the 800-meter run at the 2011 IAAF World Youth Championships, the 2011 World Youth Track & Field Trials and at back-to-back New Balance Indoor Nationals.
Academic excellence: Wilson has maintained an A-minus average in the classroom and has served on her school’s character committee.
Exemplary character: In addition to donating her time locally to a soup kitchen and as a member of her church’s youth group, she has volunteered on behalf of The Jerry Lewis Muscular Dystrophy Association Telethon, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, the March of Dimes Foundation and the Boys & Girls Clubs of America.
“She has competed at an incredible level for years now, running as fast as many professional women -- even as fast as someone as high in the ranks as 2008 U.S. Olympian Jenny Barringer,” said Brendan McGoldrick, head coach at rival Red Bank Regional (Little Silver, N.J.). “All the while, she’s maintaining fantastic grades, a down-to-earth attitude and a genuinely likable character.”
THE FUTURE: Wilson has signed a National Letter of Intent to compete in track and field on scholarship at Florida State University this fall.