Patton junior Faith Younts reached the peak of her athletic career by winning the girls 800-meter run at last month’s NCHSAA 2A state track and field championship meet in Greensboro.
After also winning the same event at the conference and regional championships, Younts has been chosen as the 2018-19 recipient for PHS female athlete of the year.
“This has definitely been a high in my athletic career at Patton,” said Younts, who previously won the 1600 and 3200 meters at 3A regionals as a freshman.
“I hope to grow more in my athletic career in the next year (as a senior).”
Her state title time of 2:21.92 was 1.6 seconds off the county record set by Draughn’s Jo Johnson in 2014. It was her best time this season following winning times of 2:26 at conference and 2:25 at regionals.
Younts won state by 5 hundredths of a second over Sofia Wong of the N.C. School of Science and Math, running what Patton track and field head coach Chris Collins called the “perfect race.”
She defied expectations at state in the event for a second straight year, taking first after being seeded fifth. In 2018, she took a podium finish (fourth) despite an 11 seed out of the 16 qualifiers.
She was also a member of the winning 4x400 and 4x800 relay events at the Northwestern Foothills 2A Conference championship meet.
“No one works harder than Faith,” said Collins. “She shows up each and every single day ready to lace up but knows how to balance the seriousness of hard training and the humor in a self-inflicted suffering one experiences during a grind session.”
Collins added, “She lightens the mood and helps loosen up the team, does a great job celebrating the success of her fellow teammates and represents her team well.”
As a three-time all-conference runner, Younts has her sights set on more accomplishments including dropping nine seconds on her best time to capture the state record in the 800.
“I want to see her have fun with her senior season,” said Collins. “She is an incredible athlete, but more importantly, a young student-athlete. There are a lot of female runners here at Patton that have been inspired by her success this year and hope to attack their own dreams with the same intensity.”
Jason Baker can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.