Athletes of the Week: Trayvon Bromell, Kaylin Whitney

<div style="background: url(; width: 100%; height: 100px"> <h1 style="color: #fff; line-height: 100px; text-align: center; font-size: 42px; text-shadow: 2px 2px 4px rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.8);"> Florida Athletes of the Week</h1> </div>

(Photos by Robert Brown & Donald Lamb)

BOYS WINNER: Trayvon Bromell - Senior @ Gibbs

Gibbs High School Coach Natalee Allen has known Trayvon Bromell since his sophomore year. She remembers him coming out the first time for track. Three training sessions in and the youngster was determined to compete. He posted the fastest time in the 100 and looked poised to do the same in the 200 meter dash later that day. Bromell burst out of the starting blocks, hit the curve hard, and then stopped short of the finish line. His sophomore season coming to an abrupt halt. He ran one more meet that year, in the postseason at Golden South where he clocked a time of 11.33. 
Bromell didn't let that deter him and bounced back his junior year posting times of 10.56 and 21.01 en route to a second and fourth place showing in the 100 and 200 at the 3A State Championships. Allen says his senior year Bromell became a leader, stepping up and taking charge of his own success.
"He has grown into a leader and role model for our program. To beat the best you have to be at your best. He stepped it up in the classroom and on the track. He was a very dedicated athlete this season and it paid off for him."
Coming into the season the goals were to get down to around 10.30 in the 100 meter dash and break 21 seconds in the 200 meter dash to help him obtain a college scholarship. They knew it wouldn't be easy so they altered Bromell's workout plan coming into the season.  Allen says they tried to push him a little more in the distances ranging from 250-400 meters and also worked on imrpoving his strength and technique.
"We started in the weight room earlier this season. He needed to get stronger this year. He wanted to perfect his start so he would get left out of the blocks and had to come back like in some of his past races. We also worked on form and having a stronger 200 meter finish which was helped by running and few 400 meters and 4x400 meter relays. He has a good drive phase but we always work on getting better, lower, quicker, faster."
After posting impressive times throughout the regular season, Bromell was locked in on the state meet. His main focus was the 100 meters and he wanted to go out as the state champion. Doing so, he knew he would have to beat some of the top runners in the state and nationally.  The senior beat out Kendal Williams of Stanton Prep in rain soaked conditions with a time of 10.45. He went onto lead Gibbs to the 4x100 title and finished runner-up to Williams in the 200 with a time of 21.41. Allen says she was pleased with his performance.
"He executed the 100 well. He got out with the pack stayed low and then got his knees up and through the finish line. The 4x100 he saw his eyes on the prize, waited on President to come around the curb,  grabbed the baton, took out, and the rest was history. The 200 he knew he had to get out in which he did, started to switch gear and felt a little something in his hamstring and decided to settle for second with the Dream 100 on his schedule."
The Dream 100 Memorial Day weekend in New York City will feature the nations' best including Williams, and fellow Floridian Levonte Whitfield who is the reigning champion. Bromell wanted to earn an invitation to the Dream 100, go to New Balance Outdoor Natioanls and Junior Olympics, and has set himself up for each of those opportunities with a tremendous senior season. He also etched his name in the Gibbs record books for the 100,200, and 4x100m relay, and led the team to a top five finish at state. It's hasn't been easy running on asphalt tracks and overcoming injuries, but Bromell has persevered. His hard work has also led to a college scholarship offer from Baylor University where he will the next four years. Coach Allen says the Bears are getting an exceptional student athlete and an exceptional young man.
"He will work very hard to put them at he top and he already plans on breaking some records in their books. He would love to be Freshman of the Year, and a future Olympian. The future is very bright for Trayvon."

Trayvon's Athlete Profile

GIRLS WINNER: Kaylin Whitney - Freshman @ East Ridge

Kaylin Whitney has been working out in Clermont with pros Damu Cherry and Dennis Mitchell since she was a little kid.  As an eighth grader she destroyed USATF Junior Olympic youth records set by a lady named Sanya Richards Ross. She went onto Olympic fame. Coach Angela House first noticed Whitney as a 7th grader training out at the Natioanl Training Center, but didn't realize she was the phenom that had the town buzzing. House says the first time Whitney came out for conditioning she knew she had something special on her hands.
"The way she jumped on the plyometric boxes, you couldn't here her land. I was like, wow. Then the first time I ever saw her run was her first high school track meet at the Lake Brantley Invitational. I was so excited for her, because all she was waiting for was to just run her first high school meet. Then when she ran the 100 I said to myself she is the real deal."
Whitney's debut was an 11.95 clocking in the 100 and 24.05 in the 200 meter dash. When she finished the race she was greeted by teammates who formed a tunnel to high five and congratulate her. The goals at the beginning of the season were to just have fun and go with the flow. Coach House says Whitney's team first attitude is what makes her even more special.
"I believe what makes her so good is, that she is so humble. She knows what she wants and she knows that there is no limit to what she can do or become. Her trainers on the outside works with her on an individuality status, but here at East Ridge...we're all about "One Knight" working together as a team. I say that because she is so pro-team, and she wants to contribute and help her team win."
Having already made state in the 100 and 200 meter dash, Whitney wanted nothing more than for her 4x400 teammates to experience the joy with her.  They made it and the freshman couldn't have been happier. At the state meet, she was the bright spot on a day filled with dreary weather. She cruised to a time of 11.83 in the prelims and followed that up with an 11.79 to win her first high school state title. Joy an excitement filled her as she through her hands to the air in celebration, but she wasn't done yet. In the 200, she came out firing, rounded the curve and finished strong with a blazing time of 23.40, the fourth fastest in the country.
Next up for Whitney is the Dream 100 Memorial Day weekend in New York City. It's the first time in the event's four year history that a freshman has ever been invited. Their motto is make history and this year she could do just that. She will face stiff competition from fellow Floridian Kali-Davis White of Boyd Anderson as well as a slew of the nations' best. Coach House believes this is just the start of a very successful future.
"At the rate Kaylin is going now I see her as a future Olympian."

Kaylin's Athlete Profile