2016-2017 National Girls Track & Field Winner and Female Athlete of the Year Sydney McLaughlin Surprises Winner with Honor
In its 33rd year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company announced Katelyn Tuohy of North Rockland High School (Thiells, NY) as its 2017-18 Gatorade National Girls Track & Field Athlete of the Year. Tuohy was surprised with the news by 2016-2017 National Girls Track & Field Winner and Female Athlete of the Year Sydney McLaughlin. Tuohy is the first athlete in history to win the Gatorade Player of the Year national title for two different sports, cross country and track & field.
“With national records from the mile to the 5,000 meters, Katelyn Tuohy has reached a level in high school distance running that we’ve seen only once before, with Mary Cain a few years ago,” said Doug Binder, Editor-in-Chief for Dyestat.com. “But to do this as a sophomore, Katelyn’s even beyond Mary’s level of accomplishment. No one in modern times has ever held the outdoor high school records in both the mile and the 2-mile [converted from her national record in the 3200], and Tuohy got both records in high school-only races where she had to do all of the work. Her record-breaking mile in 90-degree heat in North Carolina this June is one of the most impressive things I’ve ever seen.”
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 Tuohy as the nation’s best female high school track & field athlete. A national advisory panel comprised of sport-specific experts and sports journalists helped select Tuohy from nearly 375,000 high school track & field athletes nationwide. Tuohy is now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade Female High School Athlete of the Year award, to be presented at a special ceremony prior to The ESPY Awards in July.
The reigning Gatorade National Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year, Tuohy broke the U.S. prep record in the mile with her time of 4:33.87 at this month’s New Balance Nationals Outdoor to win her second straight national title in the event and cap a transcendent sophomore campaign. The 5-foot-4 dynamo also broke the national high school record in the 3200-meter run with her time of 9:47.88 at the Loucks Games. She won the 1500 (4:14.45) and the 3000 (9:09.71) at New York’s state meet—each time represents the girls prep national record for races featuring an all-high school field. Tuohy now owns four national championships in track, including January’s blistering 15:37.12 in the 5K indoors, which shattered the previous national record by more than 18 seconds.
Tuohy has maintained an A average in the classroom and will begin her junior year of high school this fall.
“Katelyn embodies everything we look for in a Gatorade Player of the Year recipient,” said Gatorade Senior Vice President and General Manager Brett O’Brien. “As the first athlete in history to win the Gatorade Player of the Year national title for two different sports, cross country and track & field, she has raised the bar. She is a role model for younger student-athletes, on and off the track, to look up to and we are excited to see all the things she will accomplish in the future.”
As a part of Gatorade’s cause marketing platform “Play it Forward,” Tuohy also has the opportunity to award a $1,000 grant to a local or national youth sports organization of her choosing. She is also eligible to win one of twelve $10,000 spotlight grants for her organization of choice, which will be announced throughout the year.
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, Soccer, and boys and girls track & field, and awards one National Player of the Year in each sport. The selection process is administered by the Gatorade high school sports leadership team in partnership with the Gatorade Player of the Year Selection Committee, 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.
Former notable Gatorade National Players of the Year include:
- Super Bowl Most Valuable Player Peyton Manning
- 2015 NBA first overall pick Karl-Anthony Towns
- Three-time WNBA champion Maya Moore
- Seven-time track & field gold medalist Allyson Felix
- Three-time beach volleyball gold medalist Kerri Walsh
- Three-time Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw