Playing for the Windsor Spitfires of the Ontario Hockey League, 6'1",
180-pound Taylor led all first-year players with 45 goals in 63 games, adding
39 assists. He was named the Canadian Hockey League's Rookie of the Year and
helped Canada win gold at this year's under-18 world championships.
Pavel Bure. The fastest skater in the league, Taylor also has Bure's pure
goal-scoring ability. "I'm not an overly physical guy," says Taylor,
"but I like to handle the puck and make a lot of fun plays."
"He's not shy about going to the net in traffic with two or three guys on
him," says Spitfires coach Bob Boughner. "He's learned how to play
without the puck. He was our best defensive forward. By the end [of the season]
I could put him on the ice in any situation."
Taylor's December birthday means that he won't be eligible for the NHL draft
until 2010. "He'll be a very high first-rounder," says Boughner, who
played 10 seasons in the NHL, "if not the first guy."
junior at Saint Elizabeth High, Ashton holds the national indoor freshman and
sophomore records for the 200 meters (with a personal best of 23.53 seconds)
and won the event at March's National Scholastic Indoor Championship. Last July
she represented the U.S. at the IAAF World Youth Championships in the Czech
Republic, finishing seventh in the 100 and fifth in the 200.
Allyson Felix. Ashton idolizes Felix, a fellow 5'6" sprinter from
California who turned heads early in high school, and likes to compare results.
So far, so good: Like Felix, as a sophomore she won her first outdoor state
title in the 100 and placed second in the 200.
"When you see her, you don't see anything that would wow you physically,
but mentally she's just a bull," says Mustangs coach Fred Sims. "She
competes to win. She's not bulky or muscular, but she has a tremendous stride.
It's not just a long stride—it's a powerful stride. She's able to really drive
and strike the ground with some force."
Next step Older
sister Julian won the 100 hurdles at the World Youth Championships and will run
for Michigan; half sister Amber won the state long jump crown as a sophomore
and is bound for Oregon. Ashton will outdo them both. "She gets letters
from top schools every day," says Sims. "I have my mailbox at
school—and I'm also the head football coach—but those [recruiting] letters go
in my box while Ashton has a special section."