Written by SportsDayDFW.com
SportsDay's 2014 Girls All-Area Track and Field Team
NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR
DAJA GORDON, Hampton Prep, Fr.
At state meet: Gordon left Austin with three medals, including gold in the 100 meters (11.97) and 4x400 relay (3:57.12). She and the 4x100 relay (47.39) won silver while breaking the previous Class 2A state meet record.
Notable: Don’t be misled by Hampton Prep’s 2A classification. Gordon posted the area’s fourth-fastest time, in all classifications, with an 11.60 in the 100. It’s the fastest time by a freshman in the state this season. Gordon also helped Hampton Prep, a South Dallas charter school, to its first team championship.
COACH OF THE YEAR
BEVERLY HUMPHREY, Lancaster
At state meet: Humphrey led Lancaster to its state-record 11th team title with 70 points. Ten Lancaster girls qualified for state.
Notable: Lancaster had a streak of 15 consecutive regional championships snapped this season, but Humphrey and her team made up for it in a big way at state. Lancaster’s 70 points easily outpaced the 48 of second-place Texas City. Humphrey is a former track standout herself. She was part of Lincoln’s gold-medal winning 4x400 relay in 1974 and then starred at Prairie View A&M.
Members (in racing order): Destiny Washington, Alicia Harris, Alexis Flores, Janae Garrett
At state meet: This was the race that propelled Lancaster way ahead of the field en route to its state-record 11th team title. The 1:38.57 it ran for gold was a season best.
CEDAR HILL’S 4x400
Members (in racing order): Victoria Jackson, Sha’Nia Williams, Dawnshae Evans, Danyel White
At state meet: Cedar Hill ran a 3:44.57 to win gold. It was the fastest time this season in the Dallas area and the fourth-fastest in the nation.
DANYEL WHITE, Cedar Hill, So.
At state meet: White won gold in the 200 meters by running a season-best 23.60 seconds. She also anchored the 4x400 to a gold medal.
Notable: The sophomore sprinter was the area leader in the 200 and second in the 400. She also ran with the 4x100 and 4x200 relays, both of which ranked second in the area.
KIRA WHITE, DeSoto, So.
At state meet: The young sprinter won gold in the 100 meters with a time of 11.66 seconds. She also ran on the 400-meter and 800-meter relays that finished eighth and seventh, respectively.
Notable: White and teammate Alexis Duncan were the only area 5A athletes to qualify for state in three events.
ELIZABETH OSONDU, Flower Mound, Sr.
At state meet: Osondu ran a season-best time of 54.93 seconds to win silver in the 400 meters.
Notable: The senior won the 400 at the District 5-5A meet, won it again at the area meet and took second at regionals.
CAMRY GRIGSBY, DeSoto, Sr.
At state meet: Won silver in the 800 meters with a time of 2:11.26 and anchored the 4x400 relay that finished sixth.
Notable: Grigsby ranked second in the area in the 800, trailing only state champion and athlete of the year Aaliyah Miller.
NATALIE RATHJEN, Highland Park, Sr.
At state meet: Rathjen set a new Class 4A state meet record in the 3,200, finishing in 10:23.92. She also won bronze in the 1,600.
Notable: Rathjen is one of the most accomplished distance runners to come out of the area. She’s a two-time cross country state champion and was named the Gatorade cross country runner of the year.
SAFIYA-HANA BELBINA, Flower Mound, Jr.
At state meet: Belbina took fourth place in the Class 5A 3,200 meters, four seconds shy of a medal. She took seventh in the 1,600.
Notable: Belbina is the fastest Class 5A two-miler in the area. She finished in fourth at the state cross-country meet.
ALEXIS DUNCAN, DeSoto, So.
At state meet: Duncan won gold in the 100 hurdles and also qualified qualified as part of DeSoto’s 4x100 and 4x200 relays.
Notable: Duncan saved her best for the end of the season, running a season-best 13.36 at the Region I meet before a gold-medal worthy 13.39 at state.
TIONA OWENS, Roosevelt, Sr.
At state meet: Owens qualified in three events, capturing gold in the 300 hurdles with a time of 44.34. Owens took fifth in the 100 hurdles and seventh in the long jump.
Notable: Owens was one of two 3A Dallas ISD athletes to qualify for state, and she was the only one to medal.
CHRISTINA HARRIS, Bishop Lynch, Sr.
At state meet: The senior blew away the field for golds in both the shot put (40-1 ¼) and discus (129-10).
Notable: Harris, who will attend West Point in the fall, has won gold in both throwing events each of the last three years.
JACQUETTA CANNON, Lancaster, Sr.
At state meet: Cannon won silver in the shot put (43-1 ½) and bronze in the discus (122-6) for state-champion Lancaster.
Notable: Cannon, the area leader in the shot put, won the District 15-4A meet, the area meet and the 4A Region II meet.
DESIREE FREIER, Justin Northwest, Sr.
At state meet: The senior Arkansas signee pole vaulted 13-6 to capture gold for the third consecutive year.
Notable: Freier owns the state meet record (13-9), the national indoor record (14-2 ¾) and national outdoor record 14-3 ¼).
DIAYJA SHEPPARD, Arlington Bowie, Sr.
At state meet: Sheppard won gold in the high jump with a season-best jump of 5-9.
Notable: The senior was making her second consecutive trip to state. She took eighth last year in the high jump at 5-4.
KIANA HAWN, Forney, Sr.
At state meet: Hawn won a silver medal in the long jump (19-4 ¼) and successfully defended her gold in the 100 hurdles (13.82).
Notable: The Baylor signee won seven medals in three years at state track: three golds, three silvers and a bronze.