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Candace Hill: Fastest girl in Georgia

On June 19, almost one month ago, Candace Hill was named the 2013-2014 Gatorade Georgia Girls Track and Field Athlete of the Year making her the first-ever chosen from Rockdale County High School.

Hill is coming off her freshman year at Rockdale Magnet School for Science and Technology where she maintained a 4.54 GPA. She won the 100-meter and 200-meter at the New Balance Outdoor Nationals. Hill's winning time of 23.14 seconds represented the nation's No. 2 performance among prep competitors in 2014 at the time.

Hill set records at the Class AAAAAA State Championship meet this spring. Hill won the 200-meter with a state-record time of 23.21 seconds, she also won the 100-meter with a meet-record time of 11.44 seconds.

"Last summer she ran really well. She went 23.87 in the 200 and 11.87 in the 100. She's had talent all along," Rockdale County coach Venson Elder said. "This year with her running for high school, she got more in-depth training. She also got introduced to weight training and the mental part of her sport. It just took her to another level."

Hill has won all of her races except one. Elder said Hill was nervous in her first high school meet, competing against seniors and at the time she didn't know how good she was.

"There's always another level," Elder said when asked if Candace could get even better than she is now. "We want her to make the Olympic team while she's still in high school. That's our goal for 2016. Right now she's a phenom as a high school runner."

"There is one young lady out there that has a faster time than she does, but they haven't met head-to-head yet. That's the difference," Elder said. "Out of all her races this past season, she only lost one time, and that was in her first high school meet over at Parkview in the 200-meter. She did not run the first curve correctly, and a senior athlete from Archer was able to beat her at the finish line. Since that time she's ran that young lady four times since then and it wasn't even close."

Hill is slated to compete at the Youth Nationals next weekend.