Jayla Jamison added another top award to cap her high school career.
The Airport High School junior was named South Carolina’s 2021 Gatorade Girls Track and Field Athlete of the Year on Friday — it’s the third straight year she’s won the honor
Jamison is the first three-time winner in South Carolina since J.L. Mann’s Brianna Nelson did it in 2008-10. She is the first Midlands athlete to win three in a row since Spring Valley’s Monique Hennagan in 1992-94.
Jamison won in the long jump and the 100, 200 and 400 meters in the 2021 S.C. track and field championships in May. She was the lone Airport runner who placed in the meet and helped the Eagles to a third-place finish in Class 4A. Jamison’s four state championships give her 12 for her career. She won four events in 2018 and 2019. Had last year’s championships not been canceled because of COVID-19, she would have likely added to her total.
“I have watched this young lady dominate 4A track and field for four years,” A.C. Flora coach Coral Johnson said. “She is a special athlete that comes around every 20-plus years. What makes her so special is she works so hard at being the best.”
At the time of her selection, Jamison’s season-best 200 time of 23.65 seconds ranked No. 21 nationally among high school competitors in the event in 2021. She was one of two female athletes in the country to rank in the top 65 nationally in the 100, 200, 400 and long jump.
Jamison has also maintained a weighted 3.34 GPA and has volunteered on behalf of Special Olympics.
She is passing up her senior year in high school to enroll at the University of South Carolina and run for the Gamecocks’ track and field program.
“I wanted to get a head start and start my journey earlier,” Jamison said in April. “It means a lot to me to have the opportunity to go there and do big things and get coached by one of the best coaches in the country. That is where I wanted to go since I was a kid. That is somewhere I always wanted to go. That never changed my mind.”
MIDLANDS SC GATORADE PLAYERS OF YEAR
A list of Midlands girls track and field athletes who have won S.C. Gatorade Player of the Year since the award has been handed out in 1986
2019-2021: Jayla Jamison, Airport
2005-06: Kate Niehaus, Spring Valley
1998-99: Curtrell Frye, Irmo
1997: Andrea Hallmon, Lower Richland
1992-94: Monique Hennagan, Spring Valley