Gatorade® National Girls Track & Field Athlete of the Year: Kendell Williams

Georgia Standout Surprised with Elite Honor

Jun 27, 2013, 11:30 ET from The Gatorade Company

MARIETTA, Ga., June 27, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- In its 28th year of honoring the nation's best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with USA TODAY High School Sports, today announced Kendell Williams of Kell High School (Marietta, GA) as its 2012-13 Gatorade National Girls Track & Field Athlete of the Year.  Williams was surprised with the news at Kell High School this morning.

The award, which recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the track, distinguishes Williams as the nation's best high school track & field athlete.  A national advisory panel comprised of sport-specific experts and sports journalists helped select Williams from more than 450,000 high school girls track & field athletes nationwide. Williams is now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade Female High School Athlete of the Year award, to be presented at a special ceremony prior to The ESPY Awards in July.

The 5-foot-9 senior won three individual Class 4A state championships this spring and led the Longhorns to a second-place finish as a team. The state's three-time returning Gatorade Girls Track and Field Athlete of the Year, Williams won the 100-meter high hurdles with a time of 13.23 seconds, cleared 5 feet, 8 inches to win the high jump and leapt 20-9.75 to capture the long jump. Her winning 100 hurdles time ranked as the nation's No. 1 performance among prep competitors in 2013 at the time of her selection, while her effort in the long jump ranked No. 2. Williams set the national high school record in the pentathlon at the New Balance Indoor Nationals, and broke the U.S. prep record in the heptathlon at last summer's World Junior Championships. She also won the 100 hurdles at the New Balance Outdoor Nationals this season.

Williams has maintained a weighted 3.75 GPA in the classroom. She has volunteered locally on behalf of a school group that helps feed the homeless, and she participates in group activities with orphaned children in Cobb County.

"Kendell has had an outstanding year," said Steve Underwood, Editor. "She became the country's best 100-meter hurdler and maintained her status as the nation's best multi-eventer, including being one of the very best in the high jump and long jump. She's the national prep record holder in both the outdoor heptathlon and indoor pentathlon, and she's the only girl in prep history to run sub-13.30 for 100 hurdles, high jump 6 feet, and long jump 20 feet. Kendell is truly one of a kind."

Williams has signed a National Letter of Intent to compete in track and field on scholarship at the University of Georgia this fall.

"Without question, Kendell is deserving of recognition as the nation's best high school girls track & field athlete based on her performance on the track and the impact her accomplishments have had on Kell High School's success," said Gatorade Vice President, Global & Sports Marketing Andrea Fairchild.  "But she is also a shining example to peers and aspiring young athletes of what a leader and a student-athlete should be.  She represents everything we hope for in a Gatorade Player of the Year recipient."

The Gatorade Player of the Year program annually recognizes one winner in the District of Columbia and each of the 50 states that sanction high school football, girls volleyball, boys and girls cross country, boys and girls basketball, boys and girls soccer, baseball, softball, and boys and girls track & field, and awards one National Player of the Year in each sport. The selection process is administered by the Gatorade high school sports leadership team in partnership with USA TODAY High School Sports, which work with top sport-specific experts and a media advisory board of accomplished, veteran prep sports journalists to determine the state winners in each sport.

Former notable Gatorade National Players of the Year include:

  • Super Bowl Most Valuable Player Peyton Manning
  • WNBA all-time leading scorer and rebounder Lisa Leslie
  • NFL all-time leading rusher Emmitt Smith
  • Three-time beach volleyball gold medalist Kerri Walsh
  • Three-time 200-meter World Champion Allyson Felix

For more information on the Gatorade Player of the Year program, including nomination information, a complete list of former winners, and future announcement dates, visit the Gatorade Player of the Year Web site at, on Facebook at or follow us on Twitter at















Kendell Williams

Shelbi Vaughan

Amy Weissenbach

Ashton Purvis

Anna Jelmini

Chanelle Price


Kell, Marietta, GA

Legacy, Mansfield, TX

Harvard-Westlake, Studio City, CA

St. Elizabeth, Oakland, CA

Shafter, Shafter, CA

Easton Area, Easton, PA


Univ. of Georgia

Texas A&M

High School Senior

University of Miami

Arizona State University Grad.

University of Tennessee Grad.


Emily Pendleton

Woodmore, Elmore, OH

University of Michigan Grad.


Bianca Knight

Ridgeland, Ridgeland, MS

USA Track & Field


Brittany Daniels

Merrill F. West, Tracy, CA



Shalonda Solomon

Long Beach Poly, Englewood, CA

USA Track & Field


Allyson Felix

Los Angeles Baptist, North Hills, CA

USA Track & Field/Nike


Sanya Richards

St. Thomas Aquinas, Ft. Lauderdale, FL

USA Track & Field/Nike


Ychlindria Spears

Luling, Luling, TX

Univ. of Texas Grad.


Monique Henderson

Samuel FB Morse, San Diego, CA

USA Track & Field/Reebok


Stacy Martin

Edgewood, Ellettsville, IN

Auburn Grad.


Angela Williams

Chino, Chino, CA

USC Grad.

SOURCE The Gatorade Company