Kaylin Whitney Destroys Youth Records of Sanya Richards-Ross

Today Sanya Richards-Ross awaits the start of track competition at the London Games, where she is favored to win gold in the 400. Rewind the clock thirteen years exactly and the track superstar was busy setting USATF Junior Olympics youth girls records in the 100-meter and 200-meter races. This weekend those 1999 records were not just broken; they were destroyed.

Clermont native Kaylin Whitney put together two jaw-dropping races, running a 23.41 200-meter dash on Saturday and followed that up with an 11.59 in the 100-meter dash on Sunday. With the times from Richards equaling 11.61 and 23.63, respectively, the 200 meter dash time is especially impressive: a whopping .23 better than the legendary St. Thomas Aquinas alumna. Both times were wind legal.

The time is no freak thing for those who follow youth track & field. Whitney has left a wake of smashed meet and age group records behind her over the years, starting from about eight-years-old. She competed for years under the local Break Away Track Club, but now trains with a group of elite athletes under Coach Dennis Mitchell's Star Athletics--the club of 2004 100m Olympic gold medalist (and 2012 hopeful) Justin Gatlin. Earlier this track season Kaylin won big races with impressive times at BAYTAF, AAU Club Championships and Jimmy Carnes Indoor.

The exciting thing for us here in Florida is the many female sprinting legends that have passed through our midst: Erika Whipple, Sanya Richards, Brittany Jones, Ebony Eutsey, Robin Reynolds, Octavious Freeman, etc. And every time we think there may be a lull in that continuous lineage--such as a year like this one where Shayla Sanders, Robin Reynolds, and Tristie Jonson all graduate--Florida fans are always rewarded with a fresh batch of superstars that we come to take for granted.

The scary thrilling thing is that before she even hits her first high school meet (she will be attending East Ridge this year as a freshman) her 200-meter time of 23.41 would already place her #8 all-time on the high school list! That is in front of Teona Rodgers and just behind Ericka Whipple. WOW!

Congrats to Kaylin, her family, and her coaches. We look forward to following her career closely for the next four years and beyond!

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  • jdpsu / 3 Years Ago
    One of the great joys for me is seeing runners like Kaylin (and her older brother Tevin) "grow up" on the track. They are a great family and I continue to enjoy their success and look forward to the bright future in front of them. Tevin (ar.milesplit.com/athletes/1082981-tevin-whitney) won the 800M state meet in Arkansas and will be attending the University of Arkansas in the fall.
  • Proudmom98 / 3 Years Ago
    I couldn't be more proud!!! Kaylin puts all of her heart into training hard on and off the track. Not only is she an amazing athlete but such a humble person. If you just met her and didn't know about her athletic accomplishments, you wouldnt know until you found out from someone else. Kaylin is truly the most amazing person and I am so proud to call her my daughter!!
  • plyoman / 3 Years Ago
    I remember going to Speed camp at the NTC with my daughters some years ago. Coach Mitchell was trainng with Damu Cherry and some others and the break away track club trained at the same facility. I remember telling my daughters that just being around and watching the elite runners was going to rub off on the track club. After the speed camp we would just sit and watch how they ran their practice and i actually incorporated some of the things I saw into our routine. I remember young Kaylin all too well,because I pointed her out during the speed camp maybe 5 or 6 years ago. She was already a phenom to me because of the way i saw her approach her training. Those times are amazing Kaylin,Congrats and I can't wait to see what you have in store for us in the future.
  • luv2run / 3 Years Ago
    Kaylin is no stranger to setting records or winning in National Championships. Her family has always been great encouragers to other runners so it's great to Kaylin and Tevin succeed. Of course her dad wasn't too bad either when at University of Arkansas.
  • jdpsu / 3 Years Ago
    Article from 2006 about 8 year old Kaylin....

  • JMarquez / 3 Years Ago
    Congratulations on the fantastic performance. Enjoy the moment.
  • jdpsu / 3 Years Ago
    Kaylin made Sports Illustrated this week!