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: Lacey Dent
School: St. Paul’s Episcopal School (Mobile, Ala.)
Athletic achievement: Dent won five individual state titles this spring and led the Saints to a seventh consecutive Class 5A state championship as a team. The state’s two-time returning Gatorade Girls Track and Field Athlete of the Year, she won the 100-meter high hurdles with a time of 14.39 seconds and the 300-meter intermediate hurdles in 44.60. Dent captured the long jump (18 feet, 7.75 inches), the triple jump (39 feet, 11.75 inches) and topped the field in the heptathlon with a state record 4,881 points.
Academic excellence: Dent has maintained a 4.20 GPA in the classroom.
Exemplary character: A member of her school’s student government, she has volunteered locally on behalf of youth track programs and area homeless shelters.
“Lacey has been the most outstanding female track and field athlete I have coached in my 41 years at the high school level,” said St. Paul’s head coach Jim Tate. “There has not been a day since she first stepped on our track as a seventh grader that she hasn’t exhibited the determination and work ethic of a championship-caliber athlete.”
THE FUTURE: Dent has signed a National Letter of Intent to compete in track and field on scholarship at the University of Alabama this fall.