When the announcement from the Texas Amateur Athletic Federation arrived in the mail this past October, a humble Jaydan Hunt was ready to take the rejection in stride.

When the announcement from the Texas Amateur Athletic Federation arrived in the mail this past October, a humble Jaydan Hunt was ready to take the rejection in stride.


She had already received two big honors from TAAF and that seemed to be more than enough.


"I thought the letter said, ‘I’m sorry you didn’t the award,’" Hunt said. "I couldn’t believe it. I was in total shock."


The Denison freshman was instead looking at the congratulatory response of her selection as the organization’s female athlete of the year.


"It’s not just track and field. It’s all the sports," Denison Parks and Recreation Athletic Supervisor Andrew Means said. "18 and under all the way down to six and under."


Hunt will be honored for her achievement at TAAF’s 21st annual Hall of Fame reunion, banquet and induction ceremonies at 7 p.m. tonight at the Texas Sports Hall of Fame in Waco.


Hunt is joining the male athlete of the year, Vishal Singh of Mansfield, in a ceremony that includes Hall of Fame inductees Robert Griffin III, Marquise Goodwin and Mitch Murphy.


"I’m going to try and keep my composure. It’s such a big honor," Hunt said. "It’s going to be overwhelming to be among all those people."


This is the third time a Texoma athlete has been named the athlete of the year since the award’s inception in 1996. Whitesboro’s Hayden Baillio was the male recipient in 2008 while Tom Bean High School’s Dreu Harris was the female winner in 2002.


The Texas Amateur Athletic Federation, which was established in 1925, consists of over 140 organizations and more than 210,000 individual participants.


"You have all these people," Hunt said. "What are the odds that a girl from Denison makes it?"


She was originally nominated by her track coaches in Denison and, like those from local organizations across the state, her name was sent for regional consideration.


Hunt was picked from thousands of athletes in Region 7, the largest in the state comprised of 24 cities surrounding Dallas, as the regional female athlete of the year. That designation put her up against 16 others from around the state for the award she is receiving.


During her summers Hunt has competed in track and field for the city of Denison, just one of many activities that keep her busy throughout the year.


Hunt had a pair of top-five finishes in the 14-and-under category at TAAF’s State Games of Texas this past summer. She placed fourth in the shot put with a toss of 37 feet, eight-and-a-half inches to go with a fifth-place discus toss of 96 feet, nine inches.


"You don’t have to win a gold medal to be a winner at the state level," Means said about the awards criteria. "All of her off-the-field accomplishments matter just as much as her other awards."


In 2012 she finished second in both events in the 14-and-under competition. She threw the shot 37 feet, 10 inches and the discus 91 feet, nine inches after winning the Region 7 title in both events.


That came after she won the shot put in the 12-and-under meet the year prior at 32 feet, four-and-three quarters inches following a region title.


In junior high, she won the district titles both years in both events and was part of two gold medal relays in the 400 and 1,600 races and is expecting to be in the mix for a state berth despite moving up to an eight-pound shot this spring. Her older brother, Christian Lopez-Hunt, was a regional qualifier in both events for the Jackets in 2009 and in the shot put in 2008.


"It’s definitely a goal going forward," Hunt said. "My goal this summer was 40 feet. I had a throw of 39 at one of my meets so I know it is possible."


In addition to track, Hunt competes in volleyball, basketball and softball.


From an academic standpoint, she was a national junior honor society inductee, received the school’s reading award and selected to participate in the Duke University Talent Identification Program in 2012, was a Texas Music Educators Association All-Region Choir pick the previous two years and has been in the top five percent of her class.


Outside of school, Hunt is involved in several activities for Greater Coffey Memorial Church, including choir, Hands of Praise and a junior usher and is a NJHS Peer Tutor.


"I try to get myself involved," she said. "We have to compromise and make everything work."