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Cadets senior state’s top track athlete


– Concordia’s Symone Black was named the 2014 Gatorade Indiana Girls Track & Field Athlete of the Year on Thursday.

At the state meet June 6 at Indiana University in Bloomington, the Purdue recruit won the 300-meter hurdles in a state-record 41.36 seconds and also won the 100 hurdles in 14.17 seconds.

“I was pretty surprised,” Black said. “I found out about the whole Gatorade thing right before the state track meet, and I had to fill out the application as I was getting ready to go to the state meet. Then I forgot about it, and when I found out that I had won I was kind of surprised and happy.”

Her state championship time in the 300 hurdles ranked as the nation’s No. 8 performance among high school hurdlers this year at the time of her selection.

Black was named Ms. Indiana Track and Field by the Indiana Association of Track and Cross Country Coaches just before winning a couple of hurdle races at the Midwest All-Star Meet last Saturday. She also won the 300 hurdles state title as a junior.

“It feels good to be done and see how my hard work has paid off over the years,” Black said. “I never knew I would get all of these awards, but it is very humbling.”

The award recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the track.

“Symone is as humble as she is talented,” Concordia coach Quinton Dixie said in a news release. “She’s competitive and hard-working but has a strong sense of balance in her life. She’s been a joy to work with.”

Black graduated with a 3.15 GPA.

A devoted member of her church community, she has raised funds to benefit multiple sclerosis research and breast cancer awareness and has volunteered locally on behalf of the Matthew 25 Health and Dental Clinic as well as community clean-up initiatives.

She is now a finalist for the Gatorade National Girls Track & Field Athlete of the Year award to be announced this month.

Black joins recent Gatorade Indiana Girls Track & Field Athletes of the Year in Eastern’s Brittany Neeley (2013), Westview’s Skyler Carpenter (2012), Portage’s Tori Bliss (2011), Pendleton Heights’ Ellie McCardwell (2010, 2009), Culver Academies’ Alex Banfich (2008) and Homestead’s Katie Veith (2008).