Westlake High School’s Kennedy Simon may have recently graduated, but she leaves a lasting track and field legacy in Georgia high school sports.
Simon bested the status she achieved last year as the 2016-2017 Gatorade Georgia State Girls Track and Field Player of the Year, by helping her Westlake team become overall state runners-up at the 2018 Georgia High School Track competition at Berry College in Rome.
“Kennedy Simon led our girls’ team,” said Westlake track coach Jason Cage. “In addition to winning the 400-meter and the 4 X 4 relay, Kennedy placed third in the long jump.”
This season, Simon and the Westlake girls broke a record in the 4×400 relay with a time of 3.44. Simon also set a new record in the 400 meters with a time of 52.5.
“The record was already mine,” Simon said. “I wanted to better it because it was my senior year.”
With a legacy of winning at Westlake, Simon heads west to become a University of Texas Longhorn.
“I always watched the University of Texas in the NCAA tournaments, and wanted to go to school there,” Simon said. “They have a legacy in the 400-meter, and I feel like I’ll fit in well there.”
That Longhorn legacy includes University of Texas greats Sanya Richards-Ross, who won gold in the 400 meters in the 2012 Olympics and Courtney Okolo, who won Olympic gold in the 4 X 400 relay in the 2016 Olympics.
Going from better to best is a prerequisite for being on Cage’s track teams. A seven-time state championship winner, with wins in 2006 and 2017 (Boys) and 2009, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017 (Girls), Cage has a set formula for success.
“We have two hard days of practice with workouts which are pretty intense,” he said.
Cage’s advice to Simon, for now, is “get your degree first.”
While Simon can see herself as an Olympian one day, she said, “There are other things I need to accomplish before I see myself on the Olympic stage.”