BLITZ Track & Field Athlete of the Year – Paden Bell

Was their a more dominant performer this season than Paden Bell in girls track & field? We’d argue no. She was determined not only to run the region, but also the 1A Public field. Her success earned her BLITZ Track & Field Athlete of the Year honors!

INSIDE THE NUMBERS

  • 400 M – Region Champ & State Champ
  • 800 M – Region Champ & State Runner-Up
  • 1600 M – Region Champ & State 4th
  • 3200 M – Region Champ & State Champ

Talk about impressive…4 running events in 2 days, and Bell crushed it at state, winning the 400 and 3200 and finishing runner-up in the 800 and 4th in the 1600. Not many runners even elect to run in all 4 of those events. She won region titles in all 4 as well. Oh….and in case anyone forgot, she’s JUST A SOPHOMORE!

VOTING RESULTS

  1. Paden Bell – 61 pts (11 1st-place votes)
  2. Dasha Cannon – 33.5 (1)
  3. Katherine Law – 27.5 (1)
  4. Jada Pittman – 14.25
  5. Macy Murdock – 10.25
  6. Lily Gearing – 7
  7. Molly Jo Wright – 5.75

Bell was overwhelmingly the favorite in the voting, earning 11 out of 13 1st-place votes. Worth noting that Katherine Law (who edged Bell in CC Runner of the Year voting earlier this year) got one 1st-place vote, and Dasha Cannon did as well.

Voting included our 13-person panel made up of sports reporters, writers, video producers, former coaches, players, GHSA officials, and sports experts. The voting is Heisman-style, with the following points system:
1st place votes: 5 pts; 2nd: 3 pts; 3rd: 2 pts; 4th: 1 pts; 5th-6th: 0.5 pts; 7th-8th: 0.25 pts

HISTORY OF ATHLETE OF THE YEAR

  • 2021 – Paden Bell – Commerce SO
  • 2020 – Zoe Sanchez – Union County SR
  • 2019 – Zoe Sanchez – Union County JR
  • 2018 – Rachel Gearing – White County SR & Anna Davis – Tallulah Falls SR
  • 2017 – Rachel Gearing – White County JR
  • 2016 – Kate Massey – Commerce SO
  • 2015 – Jenna Gearing – White County JR
  • 2014 – Sally Woerner – Rabun County SR
  • 2013 – Jenna Gearing – White County FR
  • 2012 – Jessie Dotson – White County SR
  • 2011 – Madalyn Walters – Dawson County JR
  • 2010 – Madalyn Walters – Dawson County SO

Bell is the first Commerce athlete to claim the award since 2016 (Kate Massey), and this marks the 9th time the award goes to a primarily distance runner. Bell is only the third sophomore to win it.

WHO WILL WIN IT NEXT YEAR?

Bell, Katherine Law & Jada Pittman (Jefferson), Macy Murdock (Tallulah), Lily Gearing (White), and Molly Jo Wright (Rabun) are all finalists that will be back again next season. That makes for all but Dasha Cannon (White) that returns, which means its truly going to be up to whoever probably performs the best at area/region and state next year.

POY Framed Print (11×17) – Paden Bell

POY Framed Print (11×17) – Paden Bell

$35.99

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