One final honor for the Kent State Freshman, at least at the High School Ranks. Every year, since 1977 Track and Field News has selected one male athlete and one female athlete for an overall Athlete of the Year, with the Boys only selections dating back to 1947. In that time, only two New York females and four New York males have won that honor, that is, until Leah Pasqualetti joins them in 2020.
Pasqualetti is held in the same regards as Mary Cain (2013 Winner) and Katelyn Tuohy (2018 Winner) for her smashing of the Pole Vault National Outdoor Record last June. In California, she cleared 14-8.25, the highest height ever over Outdoors, and just shy of the Indoor National Record set by Chloe Cunliffe of Washington. The honor includes a feature interview in the now-digital magazine (see below), as well as the cover photo for the Track And Field High School Annual.
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In a school year when most athletes had a tough time finding much competition, such was definitely not the case for MVP Leah Pasqualetti (Orchard Park, New York). The year's vaulter supreme went undefeated against preps, racking up 11 meets during the indoor season and adding another 4 outside.
As we did on the boys' side of the equation, rather than naming a traditional Girls Athlete Of The Year (AOY), we're using the tag of Most Valuable Performer (MVP). Our panel was unanimous in giving the No. 1 position to Pasqualetti, who produced the highest outdoor vault ever, 14-8¼, and was just three-quarters of an inch off the absolute best.