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: Kennedy Blahnik
School: Algoma (Wis.)
Athletic achievement: Blahnik won two individual state championships this spring and led the Wolves to a third-place finish as a team at the Division 3 state meet. She set a state record in the shot put with an effort of 47 feet, 11 inches and launched the discus 146 feet, three inches. A two-time First Team All-State selection, Blahnik was undefeated in both her signature events in 2012. Her state meet shot distance ranked as the nation’s No. 16 throw by a prep competitor at the time of her selection.
Academic excellence: Blahnik has maintained a 4.0 GPA in the classroom.
Exemplary character: A devoted member of her church community, she has served as the treasurer and vice president of her graduating class and volunteered locally as a vacation bible camp counselor.
“Kennedy Blahnik is an exceptional track and field athlete in our area,” said Duane DuMez, head coach at Kohler (Wis.). “The fact that she is throwing this well at such a young age and has already broken state records is a remarkable accomplishment.”
THE FUTURE: Blahnik will begin her junior year of high school this fall.