On June 15th, the Tampa Bay Times published an article which selected their Womens’ Track and Field Athletes of the year. Class of 2017 valedictorian Katie Barnett placed as Pinellas County’s Athlete of the Year and Coach Arron Prather won Coach of the Year out of the entire Tampa Bay area.
Pinellas Athlete of the Year: Katie Barnett, Sr., Admiral Farragut Academy
Why we picked her: The field event specialist defended her Class A state title in the triple jump, clearing 11.75 meters (38 feet, 6.75 inches). She also finished second in the long jump in 5.52 meters (18 feet, 1.5 inches), ran third leg on the winning 4×100 relay (48.90 seconds) and ran second leg on the third-place 4×400 relay (4:03.89). Barnett contributed to 34 of the Blue Jackets’ 54 points to help the team finish as the state runnerup.
Memorable moment: The triple jump stood out because it was Barnett’s second straight title. But she said her highlight this season was the 4×100 because it was a race Admiral Farragut Academy was not expected to win this season. “I think everyone was surprised, including ourselves,” she said.
Did you know? Barnett spent about 50-60 hours volunteering at the Red Cross, Ronald McDonald House and the Turkey Trot the past two years. Some of those hours were required by the school. Others were on her own. In her spare time, the environmental engineer major cleans up trash at the beach and local parks.
What’s next: Barnett, the school’s valedictorian, finished with a 4.5 weighted grade-point average and scored 31 on the ACT. Her accomplishments in the classroom and on the track are big reasons why she was able to sign with Princeton. She will compete mostly in the long and triple jumps. Barnett does not report until Aug. 30 and will spend the summer in the weight room and cycling to stay in shape.
Coach of the year: Arron Prather, Admiral Farragut
At the Class A state, Prather led the Blue Jackets to a runner-up finish, the highest among Bay area girls teams. Admiral Farragut Academy also set three school records at the meet.
4×100 relay: Admiral Farragut Academy (Sydni Bostick, Faith Nelms, Jolie Caya, Jazmine Alderman)
Admiral Farragut Academy: Jazmine Alderman (200), Faith Nelms (400), 4×400