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Chesapeake star sprinter Brianna Selby gets NIL deal with New Balance

CHESAPEAKE — Indian River High sprinter Brianna Selby loves being first on the track.

But last week, she became the first track athlete in Virginia to sign a Name, Image and Likeness deal when she signed with New Balance.

“It means a lot. I think it’s really a blessing because not all high school athletes get to experience that,” she said. “I just feel really blessed.”

Selby joins a small group of national high school track athletes to sign NIL deals. It includes phenom sprinter Quincy Wilson, who attended Great Bridge Middle, but transferred to Bullis School in Maryland for high school.

Selby is the daughter of former Indian River star athlete David Selby. He was the 1997 All-Tidewater Player of the Year in basketball and was first-team All-Tidewater in football at wide receiver.

“As parents, me and her mom (Monica) are very proud of her accomplishments and the journey that she has in front of her,” he said. “We always tell her to thank God for her talents and opportunities because without Him, none of this would be possible. As (former Green Run High track star) Andre Cason would say, ‘We got work to do.’ ”

This opportunity came when the Virginia High School League finalized legislation with an Executive Committee vote of 32-2, approving Rule 28B-2-4 last July to allow high school athletes in Virginia to profit from their name, image and likeness — or NIL — with social media, product endorsements, personal appearances, autographs and more.

Selby is thankful for that. She said she’s been wearing New Balance shoes for more than a year.

“When I first starting running, they sent me a new pair of shoes,” she said. “But I’m very proud. I didn’t know how far I could go with this. This came really fast.”

Selby, who signed to run track for Southern California, has definitely earned it.

She won the 55 meters (6.84) and 300 meters (38.33) at the Class 5 state indoor meet last season. Both times were the best in the state and ranked fifth nationally. She also posted a state-best 11.81 to win the 100 meters at the state outdoor meet. She owns personal bests of 7.27 (60 meters), 11.29 (100 meters) and 23.74 (200 meters).

Last year, she won the New Balance Nationals Indoor 60 meters in 7.30. And she competed at the USATF U20 Championship, finishing sixth in the 100 meters. She was then selected as an alternate for the U20 National 4×100-meter relay team.

She’s off to a fast start this season. Last weekend at the VA Challenge in Virginia Beach, she finished third among the nation’s best in the 50 (6.26), 55 (6.78) and 60 (7.28) meters. All of those times are the best in the state this season.

“It definitely takes hard work and dedication,” she said. “It also takes coaches, family and friends to believe in you, and just believing in yourself.”

Larry Rubama, 757-575-6449, larry.rubama@pilotonline.com