Gatorade(R) National Boys Track & Field Athlete of the Year: Sam Crouser

Standout thrower named nation's best from more than one half million prep boys track & field athletes

Jun 28, 2010, 14:00 ET from Gatorade

PORTLAND, Ore., June 28 /PRNewswire/ -- In its 25th year of honoring the nation's best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with ESPN RISE, today announced Sam Crouser of Gresham High School (Gresham, Ore.) as its 2009-10 Gatorade National Boys Track & Field Athlete of the Year.  

By claiming the 221st National Player of the Year trophy to be awarded in the program's 25-year history, Crouser joins the late Art Skipper Jr. (1987-88, Sandy), an NCAA champion javelin thrower, and Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Love (2006-07, Lake Oswego) as the only high school athletes from the state of Oregon to earn Gatorade National Player of the Year recognition in any sport.

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 Crouser as the nation's best high school boys track & field athlete.  A national advisory panel comprised of sport-specific experts and sports journalists helped select Crouser from more than one half million high school track & field athletes nationwide. Crouser is now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade Male High School Athlete of the Year award, to be presented at a special afternoon ceremony prior to The ESPY Awards in July.

The 6-foot-5 1/2 senior shattered the national high school and American junior record in the javelin this past season by nearly 14 feet with a throw of 255 feet, 4 inches at the Portland Track Festival earlier this month, eclipsing the 22-year-old previous record.  The only boys prep track and field athlete to set a national mark this year, he also swept all three throwing events at Oregon's Class 6A state meet, becoming the second prep boy in state history to earn that triple. His uncle, former two-time U.S. Olympian Brian Crouser, was the other, in 1980.  

The state record holder in the javelin, discus and shot put, Crouser won the discus at the Class 6A state meet with a throw of 205 feet, 10 inches, the nation's No. 2 mark among prep competitors in 2010.  His season-best shot put effort of 64 feet, 5 inches ranks No. 11 in the country. A 2010 ESPN RISE/dyestat.com Boys Track & Field All-Decade Team selection, Crouser won the javelin event at the 2009 USA Junior Outdoor Championships and earned the bronze medal in 2010.  He is the only U.S. prep ever to throw the international javelin more than 250 feet.

Crouser has maintained an unweighted 3.23 GPA in the classroom.  He has volunteered locally on behalf of a community clean-up program, the Oregon Zoo, a habitat-restoration initiative at Kelly Creek in Portland and as a teaching assistant for a special needs class at Gresham High.

"Sam is obviously No. 1 all-time in the javelin, but he routinely was able to turn in 60-plus (shot put), 200-plus (discus) and 225-plus (javelin) triples," said Dyestat.com Assistant News Editor Dave Devine. "No one else has ever had that range across the three widely-contested throws. All he did at the Oregon state meet was sweep the throws for the first time in 30 years."

Crouser has signed a National Letter of Intent to compete on an athletic scholarship at the University of Oregon this fall.

"Without question, Sam is deserving of recognition as the nation's best high school boys track & field athlete based on his statistics on the field and the impact his accomplishments have had on Gresham's success," said Gatorade Senior Vice President of Sports Marketing Jennifer Storms.  "But he is also a shining example to peers and aspiring young athletes of what a leader and a student-athlete should be.  He represents everything we hope for in a Gatorade Player of the Year recipient."

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.

To celebrate the award's 25th anniversary, Gatorade wants you to vote for the All-Time Greatest Boys Track & Field Athlete of the Year at www.gatorade.com/POY25.  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

2009-10

Sam Crouser

Gresham, Gresham, OR

High School Senior

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

UCLA

2004-05

Ryan Whiting

Central Dauphin, Harrisburg, PA

Arizona State University

2003-04

Jason Richardson

Cedar Hill, Cedar Hill, TX

USA Track & Field/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

USA Track & Field/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

USA Track & Field/Nike

1993-94

Andre Scott

Seminole, Sanford, FL

Auburn Univ. Grad.

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

Stanford Univ. Grad.




SOURCE Gatorade



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