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This is the fourth in a series of DyeStat year-end awards for 2006-07. The DyeStat Most Outstanding Performers series will include boys and girls distance, sprints, hurdles, jumps, throws, and multi-events. These will be followed by the DyeStat Athlete of the Year award. Selections are made by DyeStat editors and are based a combination of multiple major victories/honors won and performances on all-time and yearly lists. Performances from outdoor track, indoor track, and cross-country are taken into account.

Text by Dave Devine - Photos by Kirby Lee, John Dye and Vic Sailer

  Tori Anthony
In a girls’ event which features a relatively short history of comparable performances, Castilleja CA senior Tori Anthony left no doubt at the end of her 2007 campaign as to the identity of the best female prep vaulter. Setting national records indoors and out, Anthony stamped her name on the first line of both all-time lists, and became the only American high school girl ever over 14 feet.

The record assault began under cover, with her ceiling-breaker clearance of 14-00.00 at the Reno Pole Vault Summit in January, followed by an eye-popping HSR 14-02.50 at the February Husky Classic all-comers meet at the University of Washington. She added a 13-06.50 win at the NSIC event before charging into an outdoor season that saw her reel off a series of big meet victories, claim the top five marks in the nation and scale all the way up to an outdoor HSR 14-01.25 at Golden West in June.

Anthony skipped Nike Outdoor Nationals, but returned with a vengeance a week later, taking down arguably the best girls’ PV field of the year at the USATF Juniors. She then stepped up to compete against the senior women the same weekend, finishing 9th, then concluded with an uncharacteristic 4th at the Pan Am Juniors (13-01.50), which did nothing to tarnish an already tremendous senior year.

Defining Performances

1st Reno PV Summit - 14-00.00
2nd Husky Classic - 14-02.50 (HSR)
1st NSIC – 13-06.50
1st Arcadia – 13-07.00
1st Mt. SAC - 13-10.00
1st CIF - 14-01.00
1st Golden West - 14-01.25 (HSR)
1st USATF Jrs. – 13-03.50
9th USATF – 13-09.25

  Ke'Nyia Richardson
If Ke’Nyia Richardson had merely contested the triple jump this season, the Holy Names CA senior would still have more than qualified for Most Outstanding Performer status. But in a display of astonishing range and versatility, Richardson was also the #2 female long jumper in the country (trailing only fellow MOP and Californian Jamesha Yougblood in wind-legal jumps) and US#4 in the 100 hurdles (in a year that included Jackie Coward, Vashti Thomas and Julian Purvis). The triple jump, however, was where Richardson truly shone the brightest.

She capped off a relatively low-key indoor campaign with a March monster at NSIC, leaping all the way out to a HSR 44-06.75. Then came outdoors, where she was unbeaten against the best competition in the country during the regular season (California had the next two best jumpers and six over 40’), won Arcadia and hit her wind-aided PR at CIF State (45-04.25) to become 2nd only to Brittany Daniels all-time in that department. (In the same California state meet she took 2nd in the long jump to Youngblood with her US#2 20-10.25 and 3rd in the deepest 100H HS field in history.)

In the USATF seniors competition, she moved to #2 all-time legal in the TJ, also behind Daniels, with her 44-04 for 6th place, part of a series that saw 4 jumps at 43-09 or better (2 of which were legal). In the junior competition the next day, she dominated with 4 more legal jumps at 43-04 or better, including 44-02.50. Finally, at Pan Am Juniors, she hit her new legal PR (and US#2 all-time) of 44-05.50 for the gold.

Defining Performances

1st Simplot TJ- 42-09.25
1st NSIC TJ- 44-06.75 (HSR)
1st Arcadia TJ - 43-01.50
1st CIF TJ- 45-04.25w (3.0)
1st USATF Jrs. TJ- 44-02.50
6th USATF TJ - 44-04.00
1st Pan Am Jrs. TJ - 44-05.50
2nd CIF LJ - 20-10.25
3rd CIF 100H – 13.32

  Jamesha Youngblood
While California jumps rival Ke’Nyia Richardson was dropping a triple jump bomb at NSIC in early March, Hercules CA senior Jamesha Youngblood was just down the eastern seaboard having a fairly impressive weekend of her own. Youngblood got out to US#3 19-08.25 in the long jump and US#2 42-02.75 in the triple jump to secure the Nike Indoor Nationals double win in Landover, Maryland.

Outdoors, Youngblood primarily turned her focus to the long jump, though still contesting some impressive triple jump and hurdles competitions. She was the Sacramento Meet of Champions (20-06.00) winner before scoring her then-PR of 20-11.75 at the CIF meet, over Richardson. From there, Youngblood went on a post-season tear that did not include NON, but saw her claim gold at Golden West (20-03.00), USATF Juniors (20-08.50) and finally the Pan Am Juniors, where she joined the rarified air of 21-foot jumpers with her 21-00.00 effort.

Along the way, Youngblood was also US#3 all-conditions on the year in the triple jump with her third-place finish behind Richardson and Vashti Thomas at the CIF meet, and an almost overlooked, but nonetheless stunning, US#2 41.08 in the 300 hurdles with her victory at that same California state meet.

Defining Performances

1st NIN LJ – 19-08.25
1st NIN TJ – 42-02.75
1st Sacramento MOC LJ – 20-06.00
1st CIF LJ – 20-11.75
1st CIF 300H – 41.08
3rd CIF TJ – 42-01.75w
1st Golden West – 20-03.00
1st Golden West 300H – 42.23
1st USATF Jrs. LJ – 20-08.50
1st Pan Am Jrs. LJ – 21-00.00

  Shakia Forbes
While she may not have recorded the farthest jumps on the year, Bethel VA senior Shakia Forbes showed a remarkable capacity for big-meet jumping, scoring national long jump titles both indoors and out. On the final weekend of the indoor season, Forbes tackled an ambitious double by winning the NSIC in New York with a 19-04.25 jump, and pairing it with a NIN runner-up of nearly the same distance (19-04.75) in Maryland. Her best mark under cover, however, was the 19-06.25 she spanned at the VA 3A state indoor meet.

Outdoors, Forbes was again not the longest leaper on the season, but she managed to step up when it counted most, winning a string of regional invitationals, the Penn Relays in April, and then the VA 3A outdoor meet in 19-09.00. The capper for Forbes was a impressive PR at Nike Outdoor Nationals, where she threw her head back and got all the way out to 20-02.25 for the gold medal in Greensboro.

Defining Performances

1st NSIC LJ– 19-04.25
2nd NIN LJ– 19-04.75
1st Penn Relays LJ– 19-04.25
1st NON LJ– 20-02.25
6th USATF Jr LJ – 19-03.50

  Honorable Mention 

Shade Weygandt TX – In the shadow of Tori Anthony’s dominance, sophomore Weygandt was having the next most consistently successful year in the pole vault. Her triumphs included a Great Southwest win over rival Rachel Laurent and a 13-02.50 NON win in the absence of Anthony. Her 13-07.00 PR came at the TX 5A state meet.

Rachel Laurent LA – Laurent and Weygandt waged a friendly but fierce pole vault rivalry all year, with the Vanderbilt Catholic LA junior topping the Texas soph at NIN, then scoring a runner-up position at Great Southwest (13-05.25 PR) and a 3rd at NON

Victoria Lucas TX – The Midland TX junior high jumper was tremendous within the state of Texas, reeling off a string of 5-10 performances before scaling 6-0 and then US#1 6-1 at the Texas 5A state meet. Outside the Lonestar state she was less dominant, placing just 10th at NON and no-heighting at USATF Jrs.

Patience Coleman NC – After an indoor campaign that included a NIN title in the high jump, Coleman took 2nd at NON on a countback (5-08.75), 4th at USATF Jrs., then saved her best for last with a 5-10.50 PR for 2nd at the Pan Am Juniors.

Gabriella Baiter NY – It was a difficult year to be a triple jumper, with the likes of Ke’Nyia Richardson, Vashti Thomas and Jamesha Youngblood in the mix, but Baiter took 3rd at NSIC behind Richardson and Thomas, then capitalized on the absence of the big three to secure a NON TJ title with her 40-06.25 winner.


Year-End Awards Index