Lincoln-Way East's Aaliyah Brown is going by a new name these days: Illinois Gatorade State Girls Track & Field Athlete of the Year.
Brown led Lincoln-Way East to a fourth-place finish in the Class 3A state track and field meet in May at Charleston. She won the 200-meter dash (24.18), placed second in the 100-meter dash (11.67) and also ran a leg on the Griffins' second-place finishing 4x100 relay team (47.66).
She later placed second in the Adidas Grand Prix Dream 100 in New York. She was clocked in a blistering 11.44. The time ranked her fourth among all prep competitors nationwide in 2012. She was recognized by an ESPNHS panel based on three pillars: athletic production and impact in the 2012 season, high academic achievement and exemplary personal character.
Her work in the classroom is on a par with her success on the track. She maintains a 3.32 GPA heading into her senior year. And, she has shown a willingness to go above and beyond in the community, too, volunteering locally at youth track programs and Special Olympics events.
Her coach praised her on ESPNHS: "Aaliyah (Brown) is not afraid to set her goals high because she knows that she has what it takes to achieve them," Lincoln-Way East's Caroline Gerritsen said. "She is very mature for her age and motivates her teammates more than I have ever seen anyone do."