Hard work inside and outside of the classroom has paid dividends for Hannibal High School Class of 2016 graduate Tayler Dence.
A standout track athlete and a star student, Dence caught the attention of scholarship committees and earned dozens of year-end awards.
Academically, she finished in the top 10 of her class and was recognized with the President’s Award for Educational Excellence, NYS Comptroller Awards and Dollars for Scholars scholarships.
For her track and field accomplishments, she was selected as Time Warner Cable Scholar Athlete of the week and was recently named The Palladium Times’ Female Athlete of the Year.
According to her track coach Dan Pawlewicz, Dence is the definition of a team player and all-around student-athlete.
“In my 21 years coaching for the HCSD, Tayler Dence is one of the greatest female athletes that I have ever seen,” Pawlewicz said. “In her four years on varsity track, Tayler led her team to three second place team finishes and a third place finish in Section III Class B2.”
Dence was also a three-time qualifier and participant in the state indoor and outdoor track and field championships in four separate events.
Her success will go down in Warrior athletic history, as she set nine track and field records en route to multiple individual Section III titles.
While Dence’s career statistics are indicative of her impact on the HCSD athletic program, Pawlewicz noted that the true indicator of her contributions cannot be measured by data.
Her greatest impact as a Warrior athlete, Pawlewicz said, is Dence’s leadership qualities and ability to positively influence others.
“Tayler is very well respected and admired by her teammates,” Pawlewicz said. “I’ve asked many athletes to name someone that they admire. Many of them respond without any hesitation, ‘Tayler Dence.’”
Dence will bring those character traits and athletic abilities to St. John Fisher in the fall, where she will pursue a major in nursing and minor in Spanish.
She plans on competing in indoor and outdoor track and field at the next level.