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MEET OUR 2021 ATHLETES OF THE YEAR
ADULT FEMALE AOTY
Carolyn Houston, a 49-year-old track athlete and coach from Dothan, AL, earned the adult female athlete of the year title. Most of Houston’s career as runner has been devoted to cross country races and marathons. This is Houston’s first-ever competitive track meet appearance. She competed in the 200 m, 400 m, 800 m, and 1500 m events and secured the gold medal for each event. Remarkably, Houston competed at this meet while battling 2 very rare gastro-vascular syndromes that affect her daily life and cause pain during races.
ADULT MALE AOTY
Tom Knight, a retired US Army combat medic and Taekwondo enthusiast from Enterprise, AL, earned the adult male athlete of the year title. Knight began his Taekwondo journey in 2012. In 2013, Knight experienced a major heart attack, the very condition that his father passed away from when Knight was a mere 15-years-old. Ever-resilient, Knight coupled mandatory cardiac rehabilitation with his new-found love of Taekwondo. This year Knight received his black belt at 66-years-old.
YOUTH FEMALE AOTY
Faith Noe will represent Alabama as the youth female athlete of the year. Noe, a sophomore at Rehobeth High School in Dothan, AL, opted to compete in a higher division at the 2021 Games by shooting in the women’s compound open where she won gold. At just 15 she has been named Shooter of the Year by the Archery Shooters Association twice.
YOUTH MALE AOTY
Jackson Aultman, a sophomore at Buckhorn High School, will represent Alabama as the youth male athlete of the year. A fierce Ninja Challenge competitor, Aultman has placed in the top rankings of the Ultimate ninja Athletic Association (UNAA) worlds competition consistently for the past 3 years. Aultman competed on Season 1 of American Ninja Warrior Jr. in 2019. Since then he has been dubbed “Atomic Ninja” by his teammates and competitors for his explosiveness on the course and his love of Molecular Biology.