GATORADE CALIFORNIA PLAYER OF THE YEAR AWARD
Mia Barnett left her mark on the California all-time leaders list as well as the national rankings during an epic senior spring season where she dominated the distances. (Raymond Tran photo)
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Mia Barnett's historic spring on the track was recognized Friday as Gatorade named the Crescenta Valley High senior as its California Girls Track & Field Player of the Year for 2021.
Barnett put together a triumphant distance trifecta unmatched in state history running 2:07.31 for 800m, 4:37.58 for 1600m, and 9:52.23 for 3200m. All three times rank as CA No. 1, U.S. No. 1 in the class and U.S. No. 1 overall for both the 1600m and 3200. Her 800m time ranks U.S. No. 7 overall.
In state history, Barnett's 1600m time ranks third, her 3200m time ranks fourth and her 800m time ranks 25th.
Barnett, who will run collegiately at the University of Virginia, had spent the better part of her high school career at tiny Sun Valley Village Christian, dominating cross country and track at the small school level, but showing her potential on the big stage, winning 1600m medals at the CIF-State Track and Field Championships as both a freshman and a sophomore.
Barnett transferred to Crescenta Valley, her local public school, mid-semester in 2019-20. However, the CIF's sit-out rule for transfers prohibited her from competing for the Falcons at the beginning of the 2020 outdoor season, which was then shut down in mid-March by the Coronavirus Pandemic.
But when Barnett was finally able to take the line in the light blue CV singlet, she put together a season that was nothing short of a tour de force, showing off her range in the two-lap event and hitting previously unforeseen times in the four- and eight-lappers.
"Mia was untouched in competition this year and elevated herself into historic company, even surpassing names like Jordan Hasay and Alex Kosinski and Kim Mortensen," Crescenta Valley coach Rob Evans was quoted in the Gatorade posting. "She's a fierce competitor, unrelenting on the track. She sets her sights high and then does everything it takes to get there."
The Gatorade award recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field. As the recipient of the California award, Barnett is now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Girls Track & Field Player of the Year award to be announced in July.