Oh, how times have changed.
When Alan Webb turned pro over a decade ago, after a year in college, some questioned the decision. And that was just a couple of years before Allyson Felix gave up running for collegiate team to run pro after high school. Allyson Felix finished college as she evolved her pro career.
Candace Hill has run 10.98 at the age of sixteen. The rumor mill began late last summer, that several brands were looking at Ms. Hill. In the end, ASICS America saw the opportunity to have such a raw talent for many years as a spokesperson for their brand was too much not to investigate. In the end, ASICS picked Candace Hill to represent the brand for a decade! In reading the release, note how ASICs emphasises Ms. Hill’s college education and pursuit of a college degree.
RunBlogRun always looks askance on very young athletes moving into pro ranks. ASICS addresses many of the issues, including a college undergraduate degree, with a thoughtful eye. Nice job, ASICS.
Candace Hill, “The Fastest Female High School Athlete Of All Time,” Turns Pro And Joins Team ASICS In Historic, Multi-year Partnership
With the landmark deal, record-setting 16-year-old high school phenom becomes the youngest American sprinter to turn pro and will exclusively race and train in ASICS footwear and apparel
IRVINE, Calif., Dec. 18, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — ASICS Corporation today announced a historic athlete partnership for the brand, and also for the sport of track and field. Record-setting 16-year-old sprinter Candace Hill, known as “the fastest girl in the world,” has signed a comprehensive, 10-year deal with the world’s premier performance running brand through 2025. She is the youngest American sprinter ever to turn pro and will compete in her first meet as a professional – racing in head-to-toe ASICS – in Birmingham, Ala. next month.
Hill made history this summer when she became the first female high school athlete to run a sub 11-second 100 meter sprint. Her time of 10.98 seconds, which she clocked in Seattle last June, would have given her a seventh place finish at the London 2012 Olympic Games and would have tied for silver at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. Currently a junior at Rockdale County High School in Conyers, Ga., Hill has her sights set on the world stage – and on continuing to excel in her studies at school.
“This is such an amazing moment for me and everyone who has supported me, from my family and friends, to my coaches and classmates,” said Hill. “I have big dreams – both on and off the track – and I feel like I’m just getting started. It means a lot to have ASICS step up and commit to helping me on my journey as a professional athlete. I can’t believe that this is really happening and can’t wait to get out there and show everyone what I can do.”
With the signing, Hill joins the Team ASICS roster of elite athletes which includes Olympians and World Champions Deena Kastor, Kerri Walsh Jennings, Gwen Jorgensen, Alysia MontaÃ±o, Queen Harrison, Ryan Hall, Jordan Burroughs, and more.
“Candace is a once-in-a-lifetime talent with incredible potential – and a remarkable young woman,” said Gene McCarthy, President and CEO of ASICS America. “We’re so proud she has chosen to partner with ASICS as she embarks on her racing career and know there are big things ahead for her.”
“Though she is exceptionally dedicated to her training, Candace will quickly tell you that academics come first and she’s thinking just as much about attending college as she is about the potential of competing in Rio,” added McCarthy. “ASICS will support her academic and athletic goals equally throughout our partnership, and after spending time with Candace and her family, it’s easy to see that her future off the track will be just as impressive and exciting as her future on the track.”
Hill is currently enrolled in Rockdale County High School’s Magnet School for Technology and Science, where she has a weighted GPA of 4.6 and has multiple Advanced Placement (AP) classes on her schedule this year. Her parents stressed the importance of education and good citizenship to Hill and her younger sister at a very early age, and that belief is shared and supported by ASICS. The brand is committed to her educational success and will support her academic journey and pursuit of an undergraduate degree.
“We are very proud to add Candace Hill among our roster of elite athletes in the Track & Field category,” said Paul Miles, Senior General Manager, Global Brand Marketing Division at ASICS Corporation. “Candace is a great ambassador who truly embodies our ‘True Sport Performance’ brand positioning and ‘A Sound Mind, in a Sound Body’ company philosophy. We are thrilled to help Candace reach her full potential on and off the track.”
Hill began running track at a young age and in a few short years became the second female athlete to win both sprint events at the IAAF World Youth Championships, racing to a commanding first place finish in both sprint distances in July 2015. She also set World Youth Records in both the 100 meters and 200 meters this summer, and was named the 2014-15 American Family Insurance ALL-USA Girls Track and Field Team Athlete of the Year. She was also named Youth Athlete of the Year by USA Track and Field earlier this month.
As a professional athlete, Hill will continue her studies at Rockdale County High School and expects to graduate in June 2017 with honors. She will be coached by Tony Carpenter, who joins the coaching staff that has guided her on the track the past three years, and will be represented by the Boston-based Global Athletics & Marketing, Inc., a premier athlete representation and sports marketing firm.
As the newest member of Team ASICS, she will also have the opportunity to work with the ASICS Institute of Sport Science (ISS), the brand’s global research and development center, and provide feedback on the ASICS footwear and apparel that will help her perform at her very best.
For more information on Candace Hill and ASICS America, visit: www.asicsamerica.com/sprinter-
candace-hill. Fans are invited to welcome Hill to Team ASICS online using the #cHILLrun hashtag via Twitter and Instagram.
Anima Sana In Corpore Sano, meaning “A Sound Mind in a Sound Body,” is an old Latin phrase from which ASICS is derived and the fundamental platform on which the brand still stands. The company was founded more than 60 years ago by Kihachiro Onitsuka and is now a leading designer and manufacturer of performance athletic footwear, apparel and accessories. For more information, visit www.asics.com. Follow ASICS America on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube for exclusive content and real-time news around ASICS products, events, and elite athletes.
About Global Athletics & Marketing, Inc.
Since its founding in 1993, Global Athletics & Marketing, Inc., has represented many of the most-respected and successful athletes in the world, including dozens of world record-holders and Olympic medalists. Led by Mark Wetmore, founder and president, GA&M works closely with endorsement partners, coaches, trainers and administrators from all over the world to help guide the career of every athlete it represents. GA&M also owns and operates two top international track-and-field events, which together have produced 10 world records.
Photos courtesy fo PR Newswire and ASICS America