Candace Hill, the IAAF Rising Star, is the future of our sport

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Hill_CandaceA1-IAAFgala16.jpgCandace Hill, IAAF Rising Star Award, photo by PhotoRun.net

Updated January 26, 2017

Candace Hill will be running the 300 meters at the NB Indoor GP on January 28. In her first attempt, she ran 36.71 on January 7, behind Quanara Hayes AR run of 35.77! Let's see what Candace can do on the fast MONDO track at Reggie Lewis Center.

Candace Hill is a pretty unusual 17 year old. Ms. Hill is atypical teenager in many ways, as she is the fastest young women of her age in the world. Having run 10.98 in the 100 meters, and 11.08 in the Youth Championships, Candace Hill is also a professional athlete, with a decade long contract with ASICS America. Ms. Hill also is managed by one of the finest sports management teams in our sport, Global Athletics & Marketing. Her poise is that of a savvy veteran of the athletic wars. One has to remind themselves that this young woman is seventeen years old.

It was GA&M, who put together a two day event for their rising stars (Dominique Scott, Josephus & Noah Lyles, Candace Hill, Donovan Brazier, Cindy Ofili ) to learn about how to manage the requirements of professional athlete in the new lives.

On October 22, 2016, RunBlogRun, and several other media outlets interviewed these fine young athletes. Here is my audio interview with Candace Hill and my insights into Ms. Hill, who I believe is the future of American sport.

Candace Hill Interview, October 22, 2016

Candace Hill has loved track & field as long as she can remember. A fine young athlete, Candace Hill went from a fine young athlete to the fastest young woman EVER on June 15, 2015. On that fine day, in Shoreline, Washington, Candace Hill ran away from her competition in the Brooks PR Invite 100 meters. Rewatching the race, the sixteen year old destroyed the field becoming the first teenager (under 18) to break 11 seconds, with her 10.98!

That same summer, Candace Hall won the 100 meters (11.08) and 200 meters (22.43) in Cali, Columbia in 2015 at the IAAF World Youth Championships, breaking the 100 meter championship record. Her 200 meters, also a victory, set her personal best.

The year of 2015, her junior year in high school was momentous for another reason. On December 15, 2015, Candace Hill signed a professional contract with ASICS America. The ten year contract was negotiated by Mark Wetmore, CEO of Global Athletics and Marketing. Candace gave up a college career to go professional as a junior! This has to tell you something about Ms. Hill. Mark Wetmore's company nutures his young athletes, helping them prepare for the big days to come.

Hill_Candace200SF1-USOlyTr16.jpgCandace Hill, 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials, photo by PhotoRun.net

Candace Hill knows that. And, if I read her correctly, she does not worry about such issues. She wants to run well, and become one of the finest Olympic athletes of all times. She does not want to be Allyson Felix, she wants to be Candace Hill.

Hill_CandanceFHR-Poland16.jpg

Candace Hill, 2016 World Junior 100 meters, photo by PhotoRun.net

In 2016, Candace battled a series of injuries. Short on fitness, Candace focused on the World Junior Championships, where she took gold in the 100 meters and 4x100m relay.

At 5-9, Candace Hill is tall, striking and confident. This writer had to remind himself that the poised young woman was only 17. Her 2016 season, while cut short, shows an athlete looking to the future, knowing, that if she listens to her coach, her parents and her management, she will go far.

Hill_Candace4x1FH-Poland16.jpgCandace Hill, 4x100m, 2016 World Juniors, photo by PhotoRun.net

Our conversation was far ranging, as you can see from the Soundcloud file noted above. Candace Hill is focused on 2017. Her injuries in 2016 have toughened her, but also provided her the experience that many young athletes do not have: the ability to recover from such injuries.

Where will Candace Hill go? I believe far, very far. As long as she stays focused, keeps the healthy attitude she has, and continues to build on the support of her family, coach, management and sponsor, we are seeing a true global sprint star.

The IAAF Rising Star award for 2016 is a great reminder of where the road can go.

Candace Hill is the future of our sport.

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