Class 2A Girls Track and Field Athlete of the Year: Shamier Little

Back in April 2010, at the Midwest Prep Invitational in Indianapolis, Indiana, Evanston head coach Fenton Gunter was asked in private: “hey coach, who is this Sha-meer Little girl winning all of these races? I have never seen her before?”  Gunter responded, “shh, I don’t know man. I think she is [from Indy]. She is a bad girl.”

This bad girl who was a mystery would later emerge as freshman Shamier Little from Chicago Lindblom College Prep.  Little completed her introductory high school season with three all-state medals in the 100H, 200m, and 400m.

But the best is yet to follow…

Ms. Little improved each season despite competing solo during the high school and post-season campaigns. Then came 2012 and the breakout season that no one saw coming. Not even Little in her trademark gazelle framed glasses. She would go on to complete one of most impressive feats at the state championship boys or girls when she won three events and placed second in another one.  The fact that she won the 400m/300H in back to back event log fashion less than 15-minutes apart was amazing.  That feat may never be done or attempted by any athlete for a long time. Later that summer, Little would advance to the World Junior 400H final in Barcelona, Spain.  She was apparently on her way to winning the gold medal until she hit the final hurdle on the homestretch and crashed to the track. Regardless of the mishap she would still wind up as the country’s top ranked junior hurdler.

Little goes out with a bang in her senior year-

Little kicked off her senior year in more of a pronounced way than her junior year ended. She and her handlers carefully selected events and races for her to compete in.  She ran an inordinate amount of state and national races such as the Illinois Top Times and New Balance Indoor Nationals. It would all be a set up for her outdoor season.  She had already signed her letter of intent in February to compete for Texas A&M University. So the pressure of producing big marks was no longer there. It would be just going out and executing her game plan in each meet.

The outdoor season started with a repeat 400m win at the prestigious Arcadia Invitational. Little would later venture to the world famous Penn Relays and test her mettle against a great 400H field that featured then world junior leader Kimone Green of Jamaica. Little won convincingly in 58.80- US#1 for that time period and overall US#2 to this point in the season calendar.

Little’s last hurrah would be another sensational performance for the Illinois faithful at the state meet in which she entered four events and won three of them. The 100H (13.87-class record) and 200m win over the talented Charday Crawford (Springfield Southeast) would be the highlights.

Finally, Little ended her stellar high school career at the US Junior Nationals 400m placing fourth in an all-time record 52.59 breaking the incomparable Alexandria Anderson’s (Chicago Morgan Park) record. 

If anyone had the pleasure of meeting and getting to know Shamier Little, they would be captured by her warm personality. Little has such a precocious mindset for a teenager; she finds time to be a normal teenager who is filled with jokes and laughter in between races.

In describing her own legacy and career, Little explained it this way: “I don’t know how to explain it. It was fun and very memorable. I met some awesome people and got so much support. It’s crazy!  I was able to [travel around the country and world]. I wish I could exchange a few times from last year and replace them. But I put up a fight this year from my first indoor event in the 400 to my last outdoor event of the season (400m) at USA junior nationals. I am proud where it has gotten me. I still have a long way to go though.”

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