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SPASH’s Roisin Willis named Gatorade National Girls Track and Field Player of the Year

Updated: Jul. 14, 2021 at 1:30 PM CDT
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STEVENS POINT, Wis. (WSAW) - Roisin Willis of Stevens Point Area Senior High has been named the 2020-21 Gatorade National Girls Track and Field Player of the Year.

“I just turned my head, and I saw my mom with the award, and my jaw just dropped,” said Willis. “I started shaking. It’s just such an honor to receive this award. To actually see the trophy in front of me...just pure shock.”

Willis is coming off a whirlwind past couple of months where she qualified for the U.S. Olympic Trials. Willis ran a 2:00.78 at the Trials of Miles New York City Qualifier, which was an Under-18 world record and ranked No. 1 nationally among 2021 prep competitors in her event.

“It hasn’t really set in,” said Willis. “I know I’m super happy about it. I’m really pleased. I made so much improvement. This time a year ago I was a complete mess.”

In 2020, Willis’ personal record was 2:03.05 in the 800. A year later, she’s trimmed more than two seconds off of that.

“Mentally I was just not in a great place,” said Willis. “I had to take some time off of running just to reset. I really didn’t put in a great year of training last year if I’m being completely honest. I got started really late training for track. I didn’t even know if there would be an Olympic Trials. I had no goals (and) no motivation.”

It would make the hurdle of making the Olympic Trials all the sweeter.

“I’m just really excited that I was able to come back from that,” said Willis. “All these things have happened this year. I’m just really grateful for all that’s happened.”

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