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Gatorade National Track and Field Athletes of the Year Winners announced during USA Outdoor / Nike Track Nationals Weekend!

Published by
ross   on Jun 24 2011, 05:51 PM

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:     Lauren Rollins (312-729-3607)
Gatorade® National Track & Field Athletes of the Year: Amy Weissenbach and Gunnar Nixon

Calif. and Okla. Standouts Surprised With Elite Honor at 2010-11 USA Junior Outdoor Championships


EUGENE, Ore. (June 23, 2011) – In its 26th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with ESPN RISE, today announced Amy Weissenbach of Harvard-Westlake School (Studio City, Calif.) and Gunnar Nixon of Santa Fe High School (Edmond, Okla.) as its 2010-11 Gatorade National Track & Field Athletes of the Year.  Weissenbach and Nixon were surprised with the news at the 2010-11 USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships in Eugene, Oregon, where they are both competing.

As the recipients of the 233rd and 234th Gatorade National Player of the Year trophies to be awarded since 1985 in 12 sports, Weissenbach becomes the 18th student-athlete from the state of California to earn Gatorade National Girls Track & Field Athlete of the Year honors, joining, among others, Gold Medalist Allyson Felix (2002-03, Los Angeles Baptist) and American Track & Field sprinter Shalonda Solomon (2003-04, Long Beach Poly), while Nixon becomes the first Oklahoma native to receive Gatorade National Boys Track & Field Athlete of the Year recognition.

The award, which recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field, distinguishes Weissenbach and Nixon as the nation’s best high school track & field athletes.  A national advisory panel comprised of sport-specific experts and sports journalists helped select Weissenbach and Nixon from more than 1 million girls and boys track & field athletes nationwide. Both are now finalists for the prestigious Gatorade Male and Female High School Athlete of the Year award, to be presented at a special ceremony prior to The ESPY Awards in July.

“Without question, Amy and Gunnar are deserving of recognition as the nation’s best high school track & field athletes based on their statistics on the track and the impact their accomplishments have had on their respective high schools’ success,” said Gatorade Senior Vice President of Sports Marketing Jennifer Storms.  “But they are also a shining example to peers and aspiring young athletes of what a leader and a student-athlete should be.  They both represent everything we hope for in a Gatorade Player of the Year recipient.”

Weissenbach, a 5-foot-9 junior, won the 800-meter run with a state-record time of 2:02.04 at the California Interscholastic Federation Track and Field State Championships this spring, leading the Wolverines to third place as a team. The returning Track & Field Athlete of the Year as named by The Los Angeles Daily News, Weissenbach’s 800  time ranked as the nation’s No.1 performance among prep competitors in 2011 and is the fastest high school girls clocking in history against an all-prep field. Weissenbach’s winning time at the CIF meet would have also captured the NCAA Division I Women’s Track and Field Championships collegiate national title in the 800-meter dash earlier this month. She also won the 800-meter run at the 2010 state meet and the 2010 Nike Track Nationals as a sophomore. At this month’s New Balance Outdoor Nationals, she ran the lead leg for a national-record-breaking distance medley relay (racing to a 1200-meter split of 3:24.85), which broke the tape in 11:22.23, and she anchored the national championship sprint medley relay that finished in 3:55.12.

Also a cross country standout, Weissenbach has maintained a 4.23 weighted GPA in the classroom and scored a 2330 on the SAT. A member of her school’s select Chamber Singers choir and its Humanitas service organization, she has volunteered weekly as a tutor for underserved youth on behalf of A Place Called Home in South Central Los Angeles.

Weissenbach will begin her senior year of high school this fall. She becomes just the 17th underclassman to win Gatorade National Player of the Year honors in any sport.

“Amy's showing at the California state meet is truly one of the greatest singular performances in U.S. prep history,” said ESPN RISE/Dyestat California Editor Rich Gonzalez. “With the 800 meters considered perhaps the most grueling of the individual track events, her ‘solo’ National Federation record performance is truly mind-boggling as it came in an all-high schoolers’ race, rather than being ‘pulled along’ by elite professionals. Her competition tenacity and recent-improvement curve also signal her as a tremendous prospect for the future of American middle-distance running.”

Nixon, a 6-foot-3 senior, broke the national high school decathlon record this spring at the Great Southwest Track & Field Classic, scoring 8,035 points to eclipse the mark of 7,090 set two years earlier by 2008-09 Gatorade National Boys Track & Field Athlete of the Year Curtis Beach at the same meet. The state’s returning Gatorade Boys Track & Field Athlete of the Year, Nixon also won four individual state titles at the Class 6A state meet, leading the Wolves to a state championship as a team. He broke the tape in the 110-meter high hurdles with a time of 14.01 seconds and the 300-meter intermediate hurdles in 37.58. He also won the long jump with a leap of 24 feet, 4.5 inches and the high jump with a clearance of 6-10. Nixon’s season-best mark in the high jump (7-0.5) ranked as the nation’s No. 6 clearance among prep competitors in 2011 at the time of his selection. His best 300 hurdles time ranked No. 10 and his long jump PR ranked No. 44.

Nixon has maintained a 3.26 GPA in the classroom. He has donated his time to Tulsa’s Interactive Safari Animal Sanctuary. He has also volunteered locally coaching youth athletes for the Eastside Steppers Track Club, serving as a course official for an area road race and participating since 2009 in a charity effort to benefit a memorial college scholarship fund.

Nixon has signed a National Letter of Intent to compete in track and field on scholarship at the University of Arkansas this fall.

"It's amazing that just two years after Curtis Beach's accomplishments, we have an athlete like Gunnar Nixon, who is taking those records down,” said ESPN RISE Senior Editor Steve Underwood. “Gunnar’s tremendous jumping ability, above-average speed and his endurance, along with his continually improving throwing, make him an athlete who can come through with a clutch performance no matter what the event. His record-setting 2011 outdoor season makes him an excellent Athlete of the Year choice and there's no reason to doubt he'll be an Olympic contender in the near future."

The Gatorade Player of the Year program annually recognizes one winner in the District of Columbia and each of the 50 states that sanction high school football, girls volleyball, boys and girls cross country, boys and girls basketball, boys and girls soccer, baseball, softball, and boys and girls track & field, and awards one National Player of the Year in each sport. The selection process is administered by ESPN RISE and the Gatorade high school sports leadership team, which work with top sport-specific experts and a media advisory board of accomplished, veteran prep sports journalists to determine the state winners in each sport.

For more information on the Gatorade Player of the Year program, including nomination information, a complete list of former winners, and future announcement dates, visit the Gatorade Player of the Year web site at http://playeroftheyear.gatorade.com, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/GatoradePOY or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Gatorade.

 

ALL-TIME GATORADE NATIONAL GIRLS TRACK & FIELD ATHLETES OF THE YEAR

YEAR

NAME

HIGH SCHOOL

STATUS

 

2010-11

2009-10

2008-09

2007-08

 

Amy Weissenbach

Ashton Purvis

Anna Jelmini

Chanelle Price

 

Harvard-Westlake/Studio City, CA

St. Elizabeth/Oakland, CA

Shafter/Shafter, CA

Easton Area/Easton, PA

 

High School Junior

University of Miami

Arizona State University

University of Tennessee

2006-07

Emily Pendleton

Woodmore/Elmore, OH

University of Michigan

2005-06

Bianca Knight

Ridgeland/Ridgeland, MS

USA Track & Field

2004-05

Brittany Daniels

Merrill F. West/Tracy, CA

USC

2003-04

Shalonda Solomon

Long Beach Poly/Englewood, CA

USA Track & Field

2002-03

Allyson Felix

Los Angeles Baptist/North Hills, CA

USA Track & Field/Nike

2001-02

Sanya Richards

St. Thomas Aquinas/Ft. Lauderdale, FL

USA Track & Field/Nike

2000-01

Ychlindria Spears

Luling/Luling, TX

Univ. of Texas Grad.

1999-00

Monique Henderson

Samuel FB Morse/San Diego, CA

USA Track & Field/Reebok

1998-99

Stacy Martin

Edgewood/Ellettsville, IN

Auburn Grad.

1997-98

Angela Williams

Chino/Chino, CA

USC Grad.

1996-97

Kinshasa Davis

Woodrow Wilson/Long Beach, CA

USC Grad.

1995-96

Kim Mortensen

Thousand Oaks/Thousand Oaks, CA

UCLA Grad.

1994-95

Joanna Hayes

J.W. North/Riverside, CA

UCLA Grad.

1993-94

Suzy Powell

Thomas Downey/Modesto, CA

UCLA Grad.

1992-93

Marion Jones

Thousand Oaks/Thousand Oaks, CA

Tulsa Shock

1991-92

Marion Jones

Thousand Oaks/Thousand Oaks, CA

Tulsa Shock

1990-91

Marion Jones

Rio Mesa/Oxnard, CA

Tulsa Shock

1989-90

Melisa Weis

Bakersfield/Bakersfield, CA

Cal State-Bakersfield Grad.

1988-89

Angela Burnham

Rio Mesa/Oxnard, CA

UCLA Grad.

1987-88

Chryste Gaines

South Oak Cliff/Dallas, TX

Stanford Grad.

1986-87

Janeene Vickers

Pomona/Pomona, CA

UCLA Grad.

1985-86

Yolanda Johnson

George Washington/Denver, CO

Univ. of Colorado Grad.

 

ALL-TIME GATORADE NATIONAL BOYS TRACK & FIELD ATHLETES OF THE YEAR

YEAR

NAME

HIGH SCHOOL

STATUS

 

2010-11

2009-10

2008-09

2007-08

 

Gunnar Nixon

Sam Crouser

Curtis Beach

German Fernandez

 

Santa Fe High, Edmond, OK

Gresham, Gresham, OR

Albuquerque Academy, Albuquerque, NM

Riverbank, Riverbank, CA

 

University of Arkansas

University of Oregon

Duke University

Oklahoma State University

2006-07

Bryshon Nellum

Long Beach Poly, Long Beach, CA

USC

2005-06

David Klech

California, San Ramon, CA

University of Oregon

2004-05

Ryan Whiting

Central Dauphin, Harrisburg, PA

Arizona State University

2003-04

Jason Richardson

Cedar Hill, Cedar Hill, TX

Nike

2002-03

Kerron Clement

La Porte, La Porte TX

USA Track & Field/Nike

2001-02

Brendan Christian

Reagan, Austin, TX

Antigua & Barbuda Nat’l

2000-01

Alan Webb

South Lakes, Reston, VA

Nike

1999-00

Donald Sage, Jr.

York, Elmhurst, IL

Stanford Univ. Grad.

1998-99

Jacob Freeman

Bishop Hendricken, RI

Manhattan College Grad.

1997-98

Jon Stevens

Mission San Jose, Fremont, CA

Stanford Univ. Grad.

1996-97

Sharif Karie

West Springfield, Springfield, VA

Univ. of Arkansas Grad.

1995-96

Michael Granville

Bell Gardens, Bell Gardens, CA

UCLA Grad.

1994-95

Michael Stember

Jesuit, Carmichael, CA

Stanford Univ. Grad.

1993-94

Andre Scott

Seminole, Sanford, FL

S. Illinois Coach

1992-93

Charles Mitchell

Waco High, Waco, TX

Mississippi State Univ. Grad.

1991-92

Sheddric Fields

South Oak Cliff, Dallas, TX

Univ. of Houston Grad.

1990-91

Bryan Bronson

Jasper, Jasper, TX

Rice Univ. Grad.

1989-90

Brent Noon

Fallbrook, Fallbrook, CA

Univ. of Georgia Grad.

1988-89

Dion Bentley

Penn Hills, Pittsburgh, PA

Univ. of Florida Grad.

1987-88

Art Skipper, Jr.

Sandy, Sandy, OR

Deceased

1986-87

Kamy Keshmiri

Reno, Reno, NV

Univ. of Nevada Grad.

1985-86

Eric Mastalir

Jesuit, Carmichael, CA

Vice Pres. San Jose Sharks

 

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