||Here's a look at several athletes who had major breakthroughs on the international sports scene while still attending high school:
Bob Mathias: Won the Olympic decathlon in 1948 at age 17, the youngest ever (and repeated four years later).
Mary Decker: Set world records in the 1,000 meters, 800 meters and 880 yards as a prep.
Marjorie Gestring: Won gold in women's springboard diving at the 1936 Olympics as a 13-year-old.
Tara Lipinski: What's in the water in Sugar Land, Texas? In 1997, the 14-year-old became the youngest women's world figure skating champ in history.
In 1998, at 15, she won women's figure skating gold at the Nagano Olympics.
Kirstin Holum: In 1996, the 16-year-old set a U.S. record in the women's 5,000 meter speedskating event, clocking 7:28.84.
Dennis Ralston: As a 17-year-old, he became the youngest Wimbledon champ to date, taking the 1960 men's doubles title with partner Rafael Osuna.
Sarah Hughes: The Great Neck North High School (Great Neck, N.Y.) student won gold in women's figure skating at Salt Lake as a 16-year-old.
Mary Lou Retton: All-around gold, two silvers, and two bronzes as a 16-year-old (while attending Bela Karolyi GED High in Houston) at the 1984
Olympics in Los Angeles.
Tracy Austin: Just past her 14th birthday in 1977, she became the youngest player to win a pro event. Also in 1977 she became the youngest player at
Wimbledon and U.S. Open (she made it to the quarterfinals at the Open), was ranked in Top 10 in 1978, and was only 16 years old when she won the U.S. Open in 1979.|