From Dawn Kujawa – Lexington School District Two Communications Director
The honors keep rolling in for Airport High track and field star Jayla Jamison.
The rising sophomore has been named the girls’ South Carolina Gatorade Track & Field Athlete of the Year, one of the nation’s most prestigious awards in high school athletics. The award — recognizing not only athletic excellence but academic achievement and exemplary character — comes on the heels of Jayla’s recognition as the South Carolina Coaches Association for Women Sports’ Female Athlete of the Year, her third year winning that title.
Jayla is now a finalist for the Gatorade National Girls Track & Field Athlete of the Year award, which will be announced in coming days. Former Gatorade state track and field award winners include nationally known athletes like Lolo Jones, Allyson Felix, Robert Griffin III and Grant Fisher.
Jayla competed earlier this month at the 2019 New Balance Nationals Outdoor, where the 5-foot-7 athlete earned All-American honors in three events with a trio bronze medal finishes. She set a state record in the 200-meter dash with her time of 23.19 seconds. Her leap of 19 feet, 11.75 inches in the long jump ranked No. 10 in the nation among prep competitors at the time of her selection, while her 11.56 clocking in the 100-meter dash ranked No. 13 in the nation. Already an eight-time state champion, Jayla won the 100, 200, 400 and long jump at the spring 2019 Class AAAA state meet.
Jayla also has been invited to run this summer at the Nike Prefontaine Classic at Stanford University in California. The event is the longest-running outdoor invitational track and field meet in America.
“I always say Jayla never ceases to amaze me, and this is just another example,” said Airport High coach Travis Barnes. “I feel so fortunate to be part of her journey and to be able to work with a world-class athlete like Jayla on a daily basis. I am so proud of her for winning the SC Gatorade Player of the Year. It’s a tremendous accomplishment for any athlete, and for someone her age it is almost unheard of.
“This is another of a long list of firsts for her, because the best is still to come.”