Gatorade® National Track & Field Athletes of the Year: Abraham Hall and Shelbi Vaughan
FORT WORTH, Texas, June 27, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — In its 27th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with ESPNHS, today announced Abraham Hall of South Grand Prairie High School (Grand Prairie, Texas) and Shelbi Vaughan of Legacy High School (Mansfield, Texas) as its 2011-12 Gatorade National Track & Field Athletes of the Year. Hall and Vaughan were surprised with the news by Emmitt Smith, former Gatorade National Football Player of the Year.
“It felt great to surprise Abraham and Shelbi with the Gatorade National Track & Field Athlete of the Year awards and welcome them into one of the most prestigious legacy programs in high school sports,” said Smith, Super Bowl XXVIII MVP and three-time Super Bowl champion. “Gatorade has been on the sidelines fueling athletic performance for years, so to be recognized by a brand that understands the game and truly helps athletes perform is a huge honor for these kids.”
Hall becomes the seventh student-athlete from the state of Texas to earn Gatorade National Boys Track & Field Athlete of the Year honors, joining, among others, Brendan Christian (2002-03, Reagan HS) and Kerron Clement (2003-04, LaPorte HS), while Vaughan becomes the third Texas native to receive Gatorade National Girls Track & Field Athlete of the Year recognition, following Chryste Gaines (1987-88, South Oak Cliff) and Ychlindria Spears (2000-01, Luling HS).
The award, which recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the track, distinguishes Hall and Vaughan as the nation’s best high school track & field athletes. A national advisory panel comprised of sport-specific experts and sports journalists helped select Hall and Vaughan 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 awards, to be presented at a special ceremony prior to The ESPY Awards in July.
“Without question, Abraham and Shelbi 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 President, Gatorade and President, Global Sports Nutrition Group of PepsiCo Sarah Robb O’Hagan. “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.”
Hall, a 5-foot-11 senior, won the 100-meter dash with a personal-best time of 10.19 seconds and the 200-meter dash in a personal-best 20.58 at the Class 5A state championships, leading the Warriors to a fourth-place finish as a team. Hall’s winning effort in the 100 ranked as the nation’s No. 1 time among prep competitors in 2012 at the time of his selection, while his time in the 200 was ranked No. 2 nationally. The 100-meter clocking ranks No. 8 in prep history while the 200 time ranks No. 18 in history–only seven boys in high school history rank in the top 10 of one event and the top 20 of the other. He also won the 100 at the Great Southwest Classic and finished third in the 100 at the adidas Dream Mile.
Hall has maintained a 3.71 GPA in the classroom. A member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, he has volunteered locally on behalf of youth track and field programs and has participated in multiple community service initiatives with Mission Arlington.
“Abraham really came on this year to become a great sprinter,” said Steve Underwood, DyeStat.com/ESPN High School news editor. “His 10.19 and 20.58 at the Texas 5A state meet rank right up there with the best 100/200 doubles we’ve ever seen. Then he backed it up nicely with an outstanding 100-meter dash victory against two other 10.20 sprinters at Great Southwest. He also epitomizes what it means to be an outstanding student-athlete.”
Hall will attend the U.S. Military Academy at West Point this fall, where he will compete in track and field.
Vaughan, a 6-foot-2 senior, launched the discus 198 feet, 9 inches at this month’s USA Track and Field Junior Outdoor Championships, setting the national high school and junior records in the event. She also finished fourth at the ongoing U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Track & Field with a throw of 195-9. One of only two girls in prep history throw the discus over 190 feet, Vaughan has now crossed the barrier five times. Vaughan won the discus at the Class 5A state championships with a throw of 187 feet, 10 inches, and also took first by launching the shot put 50 feet, 1.25 inches.
Vaughan has maintained a B-plus average in the classroom. She has volunteered locally feeding the homeless and assisting physically challenged students in her school.
“Shelbi has had an amazing year–I’d go so far to say she redefined what’s possible for girls’ high school discus throwers,” said DyeStat.com/ESPN High School’s Underwood. “As her coach said after her Olympic Trials performance, she’s on her way to being the future of the event at the professional and Olympic level. For me, Shelbi basically clinched Athlete of the Year honors when she broke the US prep record for the third and fourth times at the USATF Juniors. Capturing fourth at the Olympic Trials was icing on the cake and just affirmed her status.”
Vaughan has signed a National Letter of Intent to compete in track and field on scholarship at Texas A&M University this fall.
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 ESPNHS 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 BOYS TRACK & FIELD ATHLETES OF THE YEAR YEAR NAME HIGH SCHOOL STATUS 2011-12 Abraham Hall South Grand Prairie, Grand Prairie, TX Army 2010-11 Gunnar Nixon Santa Fe High, Edmond, OK University of Arkansas 2009-10 Sam Crouser Gresham, Gresham, OR University of Oregon 2008-09 Curtis Beach Albuquerque Academy, Albuquerque, NM Duke University 2007-08 German Fernandez Riverbank, Riverbank, CA 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
ALL-TIME GATORADE NATIONAL GIRLS TRACK & FIELD ATHLETES OF THE YEAR YEAR NAME HIGH SCHOOL STATUS 2011-12 Shelbi Vaughan Legacy, Mansfield, TX Texas A&M 2010-11 Amy Weissenbach Harvard-Westlake, Studio City, CA High School Senior 2009-10 Ashton Purvis St. Elizabeth, Oakland, CA University of Miami 2008-09 Anna Jelmini Shafter, Shafter, CA Arizona State University 2007-08 Chanelle Price Easton Area, Easton, PA 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.