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Four American athletes earn NACAC Athlete of the Year accolades


INDIANAPOLIS -- Four American athletes were honored by the Caribbean Sports Journalists’ Association (CASJA) and the North American, Central American and Caribbean Athletics Association (NACAC) as the top track and field athletes in the region for 2014.


Justin Gatlin and Francena McCorory were selected as the Senior Male and Female Athletes of the Year, respectively, while Kaylin Whitney was honored as Junior Female Athlete of the Year. Breakout star Tori Bowie was named Emerging Female Athlete of the Year.


Gatlin completed the 2014 season undefeated with world-leading times in the 100 meters (9.77) and 200 meters (19.68). Gatlin was the IAAF Diamond League champion in the men’s 100 meters.


McCorory tallied five gold medals on the year, capturing the top podium spot in the 400 meters at the IAAF World Indoor Championships and IAAF Continental Cup. In the 4x400-meter relay, McCorory earned gold at the IAAF World Indoor Championships, IAAF World Relays and IAAF Continental Cup. McCorory ran a world-leading 49.48 at the USATF Outdoor Championships in Sacramento.


Whitney was phenomenal at the IAAF World Junior Championships, nabbing two gold medals and one bronze. Whitney ran a wind-aided 22.82 in the 200 meters to win the world junior title in Eugene and was a part of eighth-fastest 4x100-meter relay team in world junior history that won gold as well. She battled back in the women’s 100 meters to claim bronze in 11.45.


Bowie had a standout season in 2014, as she was a member of Team USA at both the IAAF World Indoor Championships (women’s long jump) and the IAAF World Relays, as a relay pool member for the women’s 4x100-meter relay and 4x200-meter relay. Bowie captured five Diamond League meetings, including four 100-meter titles. She turned in the fastest 100-meter performance in the world in 2014, finishing in 10.80 in the Diamond League meeting in Monaco. Bowie also registered the third-fastest time in the world in the women’s 200 meters, recording a 22.18 in an upset victory at the Nike Prefontaine Classic.


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