A controversial disqualification at the New Balance Nationals in March provided the fuel for a record-setting season that has culminated with the Gatorade Florida Girls’ Track Athlete of the Year award for Boyd Anderson’s Kali Davis-White.
Davis-White was called for a false start in the 60-meter semifinals at the Armory Track & Field Center crowd in New York but bounced back to win the 200 meters in a meet-record 23.48 seconds.
“In setting the 200-meter record I learned how to cope with unfairness when I was accused of jumping the gun in the 60 meters,” Davis-White said. “I learned there would always be cards dealt to you that you don’t have control over but you have to work through.”
Overcoming that adversity set Davis-White, a Florida State signee, on a course to post the nation’s then-No. 2 time in the 100 (11.51) and ultimately No. 1 time in the 200 (23.05) at the state finals.
That Davis-White erased a state mark that stood for 12 years on a rain-drenched track at the University of North Florida – while adding victories in the 100 meters and 400-meter relay – made the feat even more remarkable. Davis-White also helped the Cobras’ 400-meter relay team clock a then-nation-leading 45.80 at the BCAA Championships.
Against the nation’s top sprinters at the Arcadia Invitational in California, Davis-White emerged with second-place finishes in the 100 and 200.
At the Golden South Classic in Orlando, Davis-White won the 200 in 23.24 before capping her season by clocking 11.59 to finish third in her second consecutive Adidas Grand Prix Dream 100 appearance. Clermont East Ridge freshman Kaylin Whitney, one of Davis-White’s biggest competitors for the Gatorade Award, finished fifth.
“It means a lot to win the Gatorade Award,” said Davis-White, the Miami Herald’s Class 8A-6A Broward Female Athlete of the Year. “This was my most dramatic season but at the same time my best. My goals this year was to break records. I didn’t care what records, and I did that. It feels great I was able to succeed without anybody pushing me like in my junior season. I learned how to work when my body was simply exhausted. I pushed my body to limits I didn’t want to go.”