The heptathlon isn't a popular event in the state of Florida. It's not a part of the FHSAA state series and athletes only get a chance to compete in seven disciplines at either multi-event meets or national level competitions like New Balance Nationals Outdoor.
Recent East Lake High School graduate and University of South Florida signee Kaitlyn Kirby made history this weekend winning the heptathlon with an outstanding 4,954 points, the first girl to ever take the crown, and with the most points ever.
Heptathlon All-Time Rankings
Admiral Farragut Academy
Port Charlotte HS
Holy Trinity Academy
East Lake HS
The win didn't come easy. Kirby, a state qualifier in the 100m hurdles, long jump and high jump for the Eagles, went to the doctor on Monday and was diagnosed with pneumonia and bronchitis. Coach Britt Taylor calls her a fighter.
"She battled and is the toughest kid I've ever been around," he said. "She struggled in her running races (100h, 200, 800) running times all way off her personal best. She's super tough and dug deep in the field events."
Kirby, who was 11th last year, PR'ed in the shot put, javelin, and high jump and needed every inch to get the win. She defeated Anna Hall of Colorado by just 28 points. The East Lake standout joins Gabe Moore (2014 Indoors) as the only Floridians to ever win in the multi-events at New Balance Nationals.
"It was fun to be a part of," Taylor said.