INDIANAPOLIS - IAAF World Youth Championships two-time gold and silver medalist William Wynne of Kennesaw, Ga., has been named the 2007 Youth Athlete of the Year by USA Track & Field. Wynne will be honored December 1 at the Jesse Owens Awards and Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, at the Sheraton Waikiki in Honolulu, Hawaii in conjunction with USA Track & Field's 2007 Annual Meeting.
Wynne was the most accomplished athlete of any nationality at the 2007 IAAF World Youth Championships in Ostrava, Czech Republic, winning three medals and setting a world youth record. In his first event of the competition, he brought home the silver medal in the 110-meter hurdles, finishing in 13.44 seconds.
In his next event, Wynne smashed the world youth best in winning the 400m hurdles. He sprinted to the front down the backstretch and never relinquished his lead on the way to a stunning 49.01, almost seven meters ahead of the runner-up and .85 seconds under the previous record set by South Africa's Marnus Kritzinger in 1999. Wynne returned to the track less than two hours later to run the third leg of the boys' medley relay that won gold in a world youth leading 1:51.34.
"I'm honored to be recognized by USA Track & Field with this award," said Wynne, who is currently a senior at McEachern High School in Powder Springs, Ga. "I've had a great year and this is a great end to it."
Wynne began his summer in June at the 2007 Finish Line USA Junior Track & Field Championships, where he won the men's 400m hurdles in 49.70, placing him second on the all-time U.S. Junior list. After getting back from the World Youth Championships in July, he won the young men's 400m hurdles at the 2007 USATF National Junior Olympic Track & Field Championships in 50.89
"Team USA has a bright future ahead of them with athletes such as William," said USATF Youth Committee Chair Lionel Leach. "His accomplishments have proven the benefit of USATF's Youth and Junior programs within the U.S. as well as on the world stage."
Wynne dominated on the high school level as well, taking home the Georgia state title in the 110m hurdles and 300m hurdles. He also claimed victory at the 2007 Nike Outdoor Nationals, winning the 400m hurdles in 50.09 and taking third in the 110m hurdles in 13.76.