Kaylin Whitney, who ran the fastest-ever 100m and 200m sprints by an under-18 woman last year, announced she turned professional and signed with Nike on her 17th birthday Monday.
Whitney, a Clermont, Fla., native, ran 11.10 seconds in the 100m and 22.49 in the 200m on back-to-back days at the USA Track and Field Junior Championships last July 5-6.
She went on to take 100m bronze and 200m gold at the World Junior Championships at the same site — Eugene, Ore. — later that month.
It was reported in January that Whitney would not run high school track this spring, her junior season, and that she was focused on preparing to try to qualify for the Rio 2016 Olympics with a training group under retired Olympic and World 100m medalist Dennis Mitchell.
In 2016, Whitney hopes to become the youngest American to compete in Olympic track and field in 40 years.
In 2014, Whitney ranked ninth among U.S. women in the 100m and sixth among U.S. women in the 200m, according to IAAF lists.
The 2016 U.S. Olympic team is set to include the top three each from the Olympic trials in the individual 100m and 200m, plus extra 4x100m relay members (in 2012, the top six from the Olympic trials 100m made the London Olympic relay pool).
Whitney’s fastest 100m in 2014 was 11.10 seconds. The No. 3 U.S. woman ran it in 11.01. The No. 6 U.S. woman ran it in 11.04.
Whitney’s fastest 200m in 2014 was 22.49 seconds. The No. 3 U.S. woman ran it in 22.23.