MEET CANDACE HILL THE FASTEST TEENAGE GIRL IN THE UNITED STATES!

Quick, look! Or did you blink? Well then, that flash you just missed going by was none other than Candace Hill, who, in June 2015, became the fastest teenage girl the United States has ever clocked when she sprinted 100 meters in 10.98 seconds. At only sixteen years old, she has posted a time not only good enough to qualify her for this year’s Olympic Games in Rio, but based on times clocked before she came onto the scene, good enough to potentially medal there.

Candace first started running at 13 years old and hasn’t been running competitively for all that long, which makes her splash onto the running scene that much more impressive. Before then, she did not participate in traditional sports, and rather spent her time in extracurricular activities including color guard and cheering.

“I KNOW WHAT I’M CAPABLE OF, AND THERE WILL BE SO MANY OTHER RACES TO RUN.”

With her speed and abundance of talent already apparent, Candace became the youngest track athlete in the United States to turn professional, signing a ten-year contract with running footwear and apparel company ASICS. We asked Candace if she felt any pressures with finding success at such a young age, and she gave us an answer that was wise above her years: “I feel there is some pressure on me after running 10.98. Since I became the fastest girl the US, I guess that everyone is anticipating on how low my times could drop and how [much] faster I can go. However, I don’t let it get to me because I know what I’m capable of, and there will be so many other races to run, so I have to stay focused on those.”

As a motivated student and athlete, Candace shares the thoughts of so many Smart Girls when it comes to the importance of playing sports. “I feel that by playing sports, especially for girls, it really can enhance who you are as a person. [Playing] sports gives [girls] an outlet for maybe the negativity or stress that they might face in their life. It also allows you to showcase your skills. Sports challenge you, and give you confidence to achieve anything you put your mind to; a really important motto to live by.”

And while her speed may have brought her fame recently, it is important to remember Candace is still just a regular high school student. She uses school and getting good grades as a way to #GetHerHairWet, currently rocking a weighted 4.9 GPA. Her favorite subject in school is U.S. History; perhaps fitting as she’s made so much of her own as of late. “I usually am not a fan of social studies courses,” Candace told us, “[But], the teacher who teaches this class makes learning lively and exciting… he motivates me and I enjoy the class.” And when she’s not busy impressing us in the classroom, she enjoys hanging out with her biggest and constant supporters–her friends and family–and catching up on her favorite TV shows.

“STAY FOCUSED, BELIEVE THAT YOU CAN ACHIEVE WHAT YOU WANT, AND PUT FORTH 110%.”

Candace does have three pieces of advice for the Smart Girls out there striving to compete at her level: stay focused, believe that you can achieve what you want, and put forth 110%. “You have to have confidence in yourself and visualize what you want to do and stay on the right track,” she shared. “Take the necessary steps to achieve your goals and aspirations. The journey is not going to be easy and there might be some distractions along the way, but being involved in sports is like a bank account. You can only withdraw what you deposit, so you must put in the hard work in order to reap the benefits.”

Featured Image/Images Credit: ASICS America Article from http://amysmartgirls.com/candace-hill-sprinting-into-history/

Johnny Bailey