Ric’Keya White Named Gatorade Ohio Girls Player Of The Year

Photo Credit: David Nguyen/MileSplit

Ric'Keya White was named the 2023-2024 Gatorade Ohio Girls Track & Field Player of the Year recipient on Tuesday via official press release.

The sophomore from Huber Heights Wayne High School punctuated an exceptional outdoor season at the OHSAA Division I State Championships with victories in the 100m hurdles and 300m hurdles events. 

White also represented the Warriors' 4x100m relay team that secured runner-up honors and she advanced to the 100m dash finals, where she placed 6th overall. 

In total, White had her fingerprints on 31 of Wayne's 46 points en route to their state meet team title performance. 

Veteran head coach from Wayne Mike Fernandez was full of praise when asked about the qualities and intangibles that his young athlete brings to the table. 

"Ric'Keya is a perfectionist who displays a tremendous level of self-drive and I am so proud of her for receiving this honor," Fernandez said. 

A state meet contender across multiple events in 2023 as a freshman, White was truly a force to be reckoned with throughout the duration of her sophomore campaign. 

She scored personal best marks of 13.91 (+0.5) in the 100H in the state meet prelims and 41.74 in the 300H at District Troy and a season's best time of 11.89 (-0.4) in the 100 during the preliminary round at state. 

The versatile underclassman regularly contributed to the Warriors scoring throughout the spring as part of their formidable short distance relay squads. 

"I am just so happy for Ric'Keya when I see all of her hard work paying off. She is so passionate about the sport and she approaches practice with focus and improvements in mind. These are the qualities that have contributed to her growth and translate to her success while racing," Fernandez said. 

"Due to our home track being resurfaced this spring, Ric'Keya, along with her teammates, had to practice on the turf area, at the local park or on nearby hills, which did not prove to be ideal for track and field training."

"Despite those challenges, Ric'Keya and our entire team persevered and continued to improve. That is a testament to their dedication to our program and their respect for the sport," Fernandez said.

Photo Credit: Shawn Conlon/MileSplit

Prior to outdoor, White earned gold hardware in the 60m hurdles at the OATCCC Division I State Championships back in March. She has proven to be an athlete that's interested in testing herself beyond state lines, as well. 

White contested Nike Nationals at the Armory to conclude her indoor season and in recent weeks, she's lined up at New Balance Nationals at historic Franklin Field and within the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) summer circuit. 

Outside of scholastic competition, White seeks out every opportunity to ensure she's fine-tuning her craft. The rising junior works with a personal trainer and competes for a club team to get extra reps. 

"She is never content with where she's at and I mean that in a good way. Ric'Keya is a highly motivated athlete, who's striving for excellence," Fernandez said. 

"This is just a huge honor for our program and our entire school. Ric'Keya is the first ever Gatorade Player of the Year award winner from Wayne High School," Fernandez said. 

Aside from her work on the track, White has prioritized community involvement and a commitment to her studies. She volunteers as a youth mentor and club track coach and she has maintained a 3.76 GPA in the classroom. 

White joins Camden Bentley (Gahanna Lincoln), Kenna Stimmel (Margaretta) and Paige Floriea (Mentor) as Gatorade state-side winners in recent years. 

The 2023-2024 Ohio Gatorade Ohio Boys Track & Field Player of the Year award recipient will be announced on Thursday.

Official Gatorade Press Release - Ric'Keya White

2023-2024 Gatorade Girls State Level Winners

Photo Credit: David Nguyen/MileSplit