Harrison, Winfrey Named Gatorade NC Track Athletes of the Year

Keni Harrison (Clayton) and Eric Winfrey (Douglas Byrd) have been named the Gatorade North Carolina Girls' and Boys' Track Athletes of the Year, respectively.  Congratulations to these two outstanding athletes, both bound for South Carolina, who have represented North Carolina and their schools so well!

 

Gatorade Player of the Year Page

 

 

Press release for Keni Harrison:

Clayton High School STANDOUT NAMED
GATORADE North Carolina

GIRLS TRACK & FIELD ATHLETE OF THE YEAR

 

CHICAGO (June 21, 2011) — In its 26th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with ESPN RISE, today announced Kendra Harrison of Clayton High School as its 2010-11 Gatorade North Carolina Girls Track & Field Athlete of the Year.  Harrison is the first Gatorade North Carolina Girls Track & Field Athlete of the Year to be chosen from Clayton High School. 

 

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 Harrison as North Carolina’s best high school girls track & field athlete.  Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Girls Track & Field Athlete of the Year award to be announced in June, Harrison joins an elite alumni association of state award-winners in 12 sports, including Allyson Felix (2001-02, Los Angeles Baptist, Calif.), Derek Jeter (1991-92, Kalamazoo HS, Mich.), Candace Parker (2001-02, Naperville Central HS, Ill.), Abby Wambach (1997-98, Our Lady of Mercy, N.Y.), Mark Sanchez (2004-05, Mission Viejo HS, Calif.), Lolo Jones (1997-98, Roosevelt HS, Ia.) and Bianca Knight (2006-07, Ridgeland HS, Miss.).

 

The 5-foot-4 senior won the 100-meter high hurdles with a time of 13.69 seconds and the 300-meter intermediate hurdles in 41.41 at the Class 4A state championship meet this spring, leading the Comets to a fourth-place finish as a team. Harrison was named Class 4A state meet MVP each of the last two seasons and both of her state-championship marks ranked among the nation’s top five performances by prep competitors in 2011 at the time of her selection. She also won the 100 hurdles (13.64) at this month’s New Balance Outdoor Nationals and finished fourth in the 400 hurdles.

 

Harrison has maintained a 3.21 GPA in the classroom. A devoted member of her church community, she has volunteered locally on behalf of area nursing homes and soup kitchens, and has participated in multiple service-mission trips to underprivileged or disaster-stricken regions of the country. 

 

“Keni has a unique talent, but she exemplifies hard work and humility,” said Clayton High Head Coach Thomas Coughlin. “Teammates, competitors, coaches and the community have learned a lot just from watching how Keni prepares and how she handles success.”

 

Harrison has signed a National Letter of Intent to compete in track and field on scholarship at Clemson 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 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.

 

Harrison joins recent Gatorade North Carolina Girls Track & Field Athletes of the Year Sanura Eley O'Reilly (2009-10, Jack Britt), Aslynn Halvorson (2008-09, Butler), and Jacinda Evans (2007-08, Southern) among the state’s list of former award winners.

 

 

Press release for Eric Winfrey:

Douglas Byrd High School STANDOUT NAMED GATORADE

North Carolina BOYS TRACK & FIELD ATHLETE OF THE YEAR

 

CHICAGO (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 Eric Winfrey of Douglas Byrd High School as its 2010-11 Gatorade North Carolina Boys Track & Field Athlete of the Year.  Winfrey is the second Gatorade North Carolina Boys Track & Field Athlete of the Year to be chosen from Douglas Byrd High School. 

 

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 Winfrey as North Carolina’s best high school boys track & field athlete.  Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Boys Track & Field Athlete of the Year award to be announced in June, Winfrey joins an elite alumni association of state award-winners in 12 sports, including Ryan Hall (1999-01, Big Bear HS, Calif.), Meb Keflezighi (1993-94, San Diego HS, Calif.), Derek Jeter (1991-92, Kalamazoo HS, Mich.), Candace Parker (2001-02, Naperville Central HS, Ill.), Mark Sanchez (2004-05, Mission Viejo HS, Calif.) and Lolo Jones (1997-98, Roosevelt HS, Ia.).

 

The 5-foot-10 senior won the 400-meter run in 48.73 seconds and finished second in the 200 at the Class 3A state meet this spring, leading the Eagles to the state championship as a team. Winfrey also anchored the 4x400-meter relay quartet to first place in 3:24.14. A three-time state champion in the 400, his season-best times in the 100 and 200 both ranked among the nation’s top 12 performances by prep competitors at the time of his selection.

 

Winfrey has maintained a weighted 3.91 GPA in the classroom. He has volunteered locally feeding the homeless, assisting the elderly in his neighborhood and mentoring freshmen students in his school.

 

“Eric is successful in whatever he does,” said Douglas Byrd High co-coach Tiffany Harris. “I’ve known him since middle school and track has really changed his life. He was always fast, but he listened and he put the work in. He’s shown great dedication and that’s made him a well-rounded student-athlete.”

 

Winfrey has signed a National Letter of Intent to compete in track and field on scholarship at the University of South Carolina 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 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.

 

Winfrey joins recent Gatorade North Carolina Boys Track & Field Athletes of the Year Isaac Presson (2009-10, Asheville), Wayne Davis (2008-09, Southeast Raleigh), and Dylan Ferris (2007-08, East Forsyth) among the state’s list of former award winners.

 

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