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Missouri Girls Track AOY: Tianna Valentine

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: Tianna Valentine

THE BASICS

School: Hazelwood East (St. Louis, Mo.)

Grade: Senior

Event(s): Sprints

Height: 5-foot-2

THE PILLARS

Athletic achievement: Valentine won the 100-meter dash with a time of 11:51 seconds and the 200-meter dash in 23.71 at the Class 4 state meet this spring. The 2012 St. Louis Post-Dispatch All-Metro Girls Track Athlete of the Year, she set a meet record in the 100 at the Kansas Relays, winning with a time of 11.66 seconds. Her effort in the 100 at the state meet ranked as the nation’s No. 27 time by a prep competitor at the time of her selection.

Academic excellence: Valentine has maintained a 3.1 GPA in the classroom.

Exemplary character: A devoted member of her church community, she has volunteered locally on behalf of multiple charity fund-raising initiatives and as a youth track and field coach.

THE PRAISE

“Tianna Valentine was the ultimate leader on my team,” said Hazelwood East head coach Linwood Barnes. “She was so hard-working at practice and it showed when she had to compete. Athletes like her don’t come around her often. She has a very bright future and I truly believe she will be in the 2016 Olympics.”

THE FUTURE: Valentine has signed a National Letter of Intent to compete in track and field on an athletic scholarship at the University of Kansas this fall.