Article by Kevin Grogan
The South Lake Tablet was fortunate enough to catch up with “proud Pop” DuWayne Whitney as the Olympic Track & Field events started Thursday night & brought our readers up to speed on this local Clermont superstar: Kaylin Whitney!

Tablet: Talk about the journey to get to where we are today; where it started with East Ridge High, Breakaway, or even before that?

DuWayne Whitney: Kaylin started from a field day at Four Corners Charter School where she did baton races & potato sack races.  She was the best out of all the boys and girls.  Someone said, “you need to put her in track & field”; so we did.  The next week we put her in an AAU Meet at the NTC in Clermont.  After that one week of training under Don Denoon & Breakaway Track Club, she came in first out of all 62 girls.  From there she set many national records between age 7 and age 14.  She then turned pro at 17 while at Clermont’s East Ridge High.      

Tablet:  As a father, you had to know early on that there was something really special with Kaylin. When did that happen?

DuWayne Whitney:  When she was 8 years old and won the AAU Olympic gold medal in the 100, 200, & long jump in Virginia Beach, Virginia, I knew she was gonna be special.  Even at 8 years old.  I just knew then.
Tablet:  I got to sit behind you at the last Olympic Trials in 2016.  You were the proudest and loudest group at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon that day.  What is this year going to be like for you building on that?
DuWayne Whitney:  It didn’t change in 2021.  We were still the loudest at Hayward.  So many families jumped on our bandwagon and started cheering for Kaylin.   It was awesome.  Our whole family was there.  It was just an amazing time and we were definitely the loudest ones there again.
Tablet: Tokyo Track & Field schedule starts tonight. What is Kaylin’s track schedule?
DuWayne Whitney:  Kaylin will be competing in the mixed 4×400 relay which starts at 7:00 am tomorrow morning (Friday, July 30)).  The finals will be on Saturday morning (July 31) at 8:30 am.  She will then run in the women’s 4×400 relay on Thursday, August 5th at 6:30 am eastern and then the finals on Saturday, August 7th at 8 am.
Tablet:  Have Kaylin and Dad discussed what is next after the Games?
DuWayne Whitney:  There hasn’t been really any discussion as she has three or four meets after the Olympics Games.  She will come home for one week before traveling back overseas to the Diamond League Meets.  She probably won’t get a break till the end of September or the beginning of October. She definitely will be ready for a vacation where she can sit around and unwind at that point!
Tablet:  The Whitney’s are long-time residents of our area.  What makes this place so special for athletes like Kaylin?
DuWayne Whitney:  The weather.  You can train here year-round.  There are so many Olympians.  Some from the Bahamas.  Some from Jamaica.  And from all over the World.  The weather makes it the best place to train year-round.  It is a special place.
DuWayne Whitney and daughter Kaylin

Tablet:  Talk about the difficult Covid times as it relates; how difficult is it to watch the Tokyo Olympics from home as a Dad? 

DuWayne Whitney:  I am not going to cry here.  But not watching your daughter compete as a father in the Olympics is the most gut-wrenching feeling ever.  But the fact is..that many parents can’t watch this year. I understand their pain and I am sure they understand my pain.  So we cheer from here at home.  We Facetime with Kaylin.  But it is definitely the most gut-wrenching feeling ever
Tablet:    Anything else you would like to add or your Clermont neighbors to know?
DuWayne Whitney:  Kaylin was born in Kissimmee Hospital but the moment she was born we basically lived in Clermont.  She has lived in Clermont her whole life.  She knows nothing but Clermont.  Clermont will always be in her heart!  She grew up on that National Training Center Track before moving on to the Montverde track.  Maybe she will get the key to the City when this is all over?!  
Tablet: Mayor Murry, are you listening?
Name: Kaylin Whitney
Sport: Track and Field
Event(s): 4×400-meter relay
Height: 5-8
DOB: 3/9/1998
Hometown: Clermont, Fla.
High School: East Ridge High School (Clermont, Fla.) ‘16

Olympic Experience

  • One-time Olympian (2020)
  • Olympic Games Tokyo 2020

Other Career Highlights

  • 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials, 16th (100-meter)
  • 2015 USATF Outdoor Championships, 4th (200-meter)
  • 2014 IAAF World Junior Championships, gold (200-meter, 4×100-meter), bronze (100-meter)
  • 2014 USATF Junior Outdoor Championships, 1st (100-meter, 200-meter)
Kaylin is the daughter of DuWayne Whitney and Kerrie Dworetsky. Her hobbies include hanging out with friends, playing cards and cooking. She also volunteers to help her former high school track team.
To see the entire Olympic team, visit TEAM USA
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