Pinellas Athlete of the Year: Katie Barnett, Sr., Admiral Farragut
Why we picked her: The field event specialist defended her Class A state title in the triple jump, clearing 11.75 meters (38 feet, 6.75 inches). She also finished second in the long jump in 5.52 meters (18 feet, 1.5 inches), ran third leg on the winning 4x100 relay (48.90 seconds) and ran second leg on the third-place 4x400 relay (4:03.89). Barnett contributed to 34 of the Blue Jackets' 54 points to help the team finish as the state runnerup.
Memorable moment: The triple jump stood out because it was Barnett's second straight title. But she said her highlight this season was the 4x100 because it was a race Admiral Farragut was not expected to win this seaso. "I think everyone was surprised, including ourselves," she said.
Did you know? Barnett spent about 50-60 hours volunteering at the Red Cross, Ronald McDonald House and the Turkey Trot the past two years. Some of those hours were required by the school. Others were on her own. In her spare time, the environmental engineer major cleans up trash at the beach and local parks.
What's next: Barnett, the school's valedictorian, finished with a 4.5 weighted grade-point average and scored 31 on the ACT. Her accomplishments in the classroom and on the track are big reasons why she was able to sign with Princeton. She will compete mostly in the long and triple jumps. Barnett does not report until Aug. 30 and will spend the summer in the weight room and cycling to stay in shape.
North Suncoast Athlete of the Year: Natalie Abernathy, So., Land O' Lakes
Why we picked her: Abernathy won conference, district and region titles in the 1,600 and 3,200. At the Class 3A state meet, Abernathy finished sixth in the 3,200 with a personal-best 11 minutes, 10.56 seconds and placed ninth in the 1,600 in 5:20.63. Earlier in the year, Abernathy recorded her personal best in the 1,600 with a 5:14.66 finish at the Steinbrenner Invitational.
Memorable moment: It was tough for Abernathy to choose a favorite moment because she had so many great highlights. A few at the top of the list included winning region titles in both distance races and running against some of the state's best at IMG Academy. Abernathy said one of her most satisfying moments was helping the Gators' 4x800 relay team qualify for state.
Did you know? Abernathy also plays full time on the outstanding Land O'Lakes soccer team, all while juggling the intense demands of her school's International Baccalaureate program.
What's next: After dropping her times almost 30 seconds from last year in the 1,600 and 3,200, Abernathy hopes to continue the trend in her final two years of high school. At next year's state meet, she hopes to grab top-three finishes in both events.
Scott Purks | Special to the Times
Hillsborough Athlete of the Year: Bailey Hertenstein, Jr., Riverview
Why we picked her: Hertenstein won Class 4A state titles at both 1,600 and 3,200 in blazing times of four minutes, 54.55 seconds and 10:30.89, respectively. Hertenstein also placed third at state in the 800, finishing in 2:11.81.
Memorable moment: Hertenstein basically cruised to victory this year in the 1,600, which was a welcomed turn of events after a hair-raising victory the year before at state. With one lap to go in last year's final, Hertenstein fell flat on the track, picked herself up and chased down the leaders from a full 35 yards behind. "This time the strategy was to get out and lead even though the wind was tough," Hertenstein said. "It was a good strategy."
Did you know? With a year remaining in high school, Hertenstein already is a five-time individual state champion, winning two state titles in the 1,600, a title in the 3,200 and two individual state cross country championships.
What's next: In her senior year, it is highly conceivable that Hertenstein could claim state victories in cross country, the 1,600, 3,200 and 800. That would give her nine state titles in four years.
Scott Purks | Special to the Times
Coach of the year: Arron Prather, Admiral Farragut
At the Class A state, Prather led the Blue Jackets to a runnerup finish, the highest among bay area girls teams. Admiral Farragut also set three school records at the meet.
High jump: Delany Barnard, Jr., Tampa Prep: Won Class A title and had area's top mark at 1.67 meters (5 feet, 4.7 inches)
Pole vault: Morgan Brown, Jr., Calvary Christian: Won second straight Class A state title, clearing 3.41 meters (11-2.25 feet).
Long jump: Jordyn Showers, Fr., Calvary Christian: Won Class A state title with a leap of 5.71 meters (18 feet, 9 inches).
Triple jump: Hannah Andrews, Sr., Boca Ciega: Took sixth at 3A meet and won region title with leap of 12.03 meters (39 feet, 4 inches).
Discus: Theadra Turaga, Sr., Bloomingdale: Fourth at 4A state meet with throw of 36.49 meters (119.9 feet)
Shot put: Alise Davis, Sr., Tampa Catholic: Fourth at 2A state meet with throw of 12.19 meters (40 feet)
100: LaSarah Hargrove, So., Gaither: Area's most consistent sprinter took second at 3A state meet in 11.90 seconds.
200: LaSarah Hargrove, So., Gaither: 3A state runnerup finished with a time of 24.05 seconds.
400: Savyon Toombs, Sr., Hillsborough: Second at 3A state meet with a time of 55.43 seconds.
800: Bryanna Rivers, Sr., Wharton: 4A state runnerup had area's best time in 2:10.51.
1,600: Jennifer Lima, Sr., East Lake: FSU commit was fourth at the 3A state meet in 5:02.75.
3,200: Jennifer Lima, Sr., East Lake: Distance specialist was third at 3A state meet and had area's best time (10.48) at FSU Relays.
100 hurdles: Alessa Sandusky, Sr., Gaither: 3A state champion with area's best time of 14.55 seconds.
300 hurdles: Alessa Sandusky, Sr., Gaither: District and region champ had area's fastest time (43.40) in the event.
4x100 relay: Hillsborough (Alexis Woodall, J'Nai Taylor, Jalexis Howard, Serena Jonas). Placed fifth at 3A state meet and had area's top time (47.76).
4x400 relay: Wharton (Aria Tate, Avonti Holt, Bryanna Rivers, Searra Woods). Finished third at the 4A state meet in 3:50.21.
4x800 relay: Steinbrenner (Ken'naria Gadson, Alexandra Straumann, Emily Petrus, Serena Gadson). Placed second at the 4A meet with time of 9:26.89.
High jump: Jacy Scharlow, Jr., Springstead
Pole vault: Katie Brantley, So., Seminole
Long jump: J'Nai Taylor, Sr., Hillsborough
Triple jump: Perry Rodgers, Jr., Riverview
Discus: Elyssa Paulding, Jr., East Bay
Shot put: Samantha Davila, Sr., Steinbrenner
100: Dianisty Bolden, So., Countryside
200: Savyon Toombs, Sr., Hillsborough
400: Ken'naria Gadson, Fr., Steinbrenner
800: Ken'naria Gadson, Fr., Steinbrenner
1,600: Alyssa Hendrix, Fr., Riverview
3,200: Alyssa Hendrix, Fr., Riverview
100 hurdles: Aria Tate, Sr., Wharton
300 hurdles: Kailiece Harris, Jr., Hillsborough
4x100 relay: Admiral Farragut (Sydni Bostick, Faith Nelms, Jolie Caya, Jazmine Alderman)
4x400 relay: Steinbrenner (Dana Elkalazani, Serena Gadson, Natalie Brown, Ken'naria Gadson)
4x800 relay: Wharton (Kayla McCullough, Rachel Lettiero, Rania Samhouri, Nia Rivers)
High jump: Kaitlyn Kirby, Sr., East Lake
Pole vault: Nicole Stambo, So., Berkeley Prep
Long jump: Kaitlyn Kirby, Sr., East Lake
Triple jump: Janay Shuler, Jr., Hillsborough
Discus: Alise Davis, Sr., Tampa Catholic
Shot put: Letrice Hall, Jr., Alonso
100: Jazmine Alderman, So., Admiral Farragut
200: Shaniya Benjamin, Fr., Alonso
400: Serena Gadson, Jr., Steinbrenner
800: Jennifer Lima, Sr., East Lake
1,600: Olivia Rovin, Sr., Shorecrest
3,200: Nadia Stratton, Sr., Plant
100 hurdles: Kaitlyn Kirby, Sr., East Lake
300 hurdles: Amanda Dumar, Sr., Berkeley Prep
4x100 relay: Alonso (Holliston Wagner, Idalys Acosta, Maya Singleton, Shaniya Benjamin)
4x400 relay: Hillsborough (Janay Shuler, Savyon Toombs, J'Nai Taylor, Kailiece Harris)
4x800 relay: Plant (Gillian Minnehan, Susanna Goeway, Grace Summers, Nadia Stratton)
Academy of the Holy Names: Megan Hughes (800), 4x800; Academy at the Lakes: Kendra Falby (long jump); Admiral Farragut: Jazmine Alderman (200), Faith Nelms (400), 4x400; Alonso: Alexis Evans (high jump), 4x400; Armwood: Makayla Williams (long jump, 100, 300 hurdles); Berkeley Prep: Chloe Davis (long jump, triple jump, 300 hurdles), Amanda Dumar (triple jump, 100 hurdles), Valentina Estrada (discus, shot put), Bridget O'Carroll (high jump), Nicole Stambo (triple jump), Rhea Thielbar (300 hurdles), 4x400, 4x800; Bishop McLaughlin: Mandi Mohr (shot put); Boca Ciega: Hannah Andrews (long jump), 4x100; Calvary Christian: 4x100; Canterbury: Meredith Adams (discus); Carrollwood Day: Hailey Crow (pole vault); Clearwater Central Catholic: Olivia Rodriguez (pole vault); Countryside: Dianisty Bolden (200); Fivay: Lindsay Christianson (long jump); Freedom: Breanna Snyder (pole vault); Gibbs: Ireoina Lightsey (200, 400), Saralynn Premer (pole vault), Rikaya Williams (discus); Hernando: Mariah Knieriem (high jump); Hillsborough: Daneesha Davidson (long jump, triple jump), Jamia Hickman (400), Serena Jonas (discus), Asia Mosley (shot put), J'Nai Taylor (200), Alexis Woodall (100 hurdles); Indian Rocks Christian: Ava LaBrant (pole vault) Ella Miranda (pole vault), 4x800; Jefferson: Eyekeyle Gardner (high jump), Erykah Jerome (400), 4x400; Lakewood: Shadine Henry (300 hurdles), Hannah McAuliffe (1,600, 3,200), Shakera Thompson (100); Land O'Lakes: Antonia Beason (high jump), 4x800; King: Micaela Torres (3,200); Middleton: Cindy Desir (800); Mitchell: Ariyanna Jurkowski (discus), Grace Phillips (800); Nature Coast: Jouie Miller (shot put), Crystal Ortiz (discus); Newsome: Emma Solis (800); Northside Christian: Natalie Chapman (300 hurdles), Lindsey Leadbetter (800), Ashley Russell (high jump), 4x400; Osceola: 4x800; Pasco: Sydney Rouser (100); Pinellas Park: Amaya Kier (300 hurdles); Plant: Laura Jones (3,200), Kiara Miles (100 hurdles), Gillian Minnehan (1,600); Robinson: Destiny Thomas (shot put); Seffner Christian: T'Erra Johnson (discus); Shorecrest: Renice Dacres (long jump), Olivia Rovin (800), 4x800; Sickles: Kitan Adeniji (triple jump); Spoto: Monyette Montgomery (long jump), 4x100, 4x400; Steinbrenner: Samantha Davila (discus) Sara Gofter (triple jump), Haley Hernandez (300 hurdles), Zayne Jack (100), Jennifer Teixeira (pole vault), 4x100; Sunlake: Lauryn Beacham (shot put), Arielle Boone (long jump, triple jump); Tampa Bay HEAT: 4x800; Tampa Catholic: Rachel Hagans (long jump, 100); Tampa Prep: Josie Garba (3,200); Weeki Wachee: Seytia Hill (discus); Wesley Chapel: Sydney Parker (100); Wharton: Avonti Holt (long jump, 200), Bryanna Rivers (1,600); Zephyrhills: Mya Neal (100 hurdles)