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Trentavis Friday named Gatorade Athlete of the Year

Trentavis Friday named 2013-14 Gatorade National Track & Field Athlete of the Year.

Cherryville (Cherryville, N.C.) senior Trentavis Friday. / Runner Space

Cherryville (Cherryville, N.C.) senior Trentavis Friday. / Runner Space

Trentavis Friday named 2013-14 Gatorade National Track & Field Athlete of the Year

When recent Cherryville (Cherryville, N.C.) graduate Trentavis Friday was surprised with the 2013-14 Gatorade National Boys Track & Field Athlete of the Year award on the Florida State campus on Monday, he immediately marveled aloud at the weight of the trophy. Just as quickly, the teen realized that the weight of the moment would take time to sink in.

“To tell you the truth, I didn’t think I was going to win it,” said Friday, 19, who has already begun attending summer classes in Tallahassee. “Especially when you look at the past winners. Any athlete who reads that list can’t possibly think they have a chance to win Gatorade national. I’m really lost for words.”

The 6-foot-2, 165-pound sprinter’s season-best time of 10.17 seconds in the 100-meter dash along with his 200 time of 20.33 ranked as the No. 1 performance among prep competitors in 2014 and, respectively, No. 6 and No. 7 in prep history. One of only five sprinters in history to rank among the 10-fastest prep performers in both the 100- and 200 events, Friday also won a national title in the 200 at this month’s New Balance Nationals Outdoor championships.

The Gatorade Player of the Year award recognizes outstanding athletic excellence as well as high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the track oval. Friday is now a finalist for the Gatorade Male High School Athlete of the Year award. USA TODAY High School Sports administrates the nationwide selection process in collaboration with Gatorade.

“Trentavis Friday has been the dominant sprinter of 2014 by a healthy margin,” said Steve Underwood, Media and Public Relations Director of the National Scholastic Athletics Foundation. “Unbeaten in finals heats: Check. Two New Balance Nationals Indoor titles, one New Balance Nationals Outdoor title: Check. All-time top-10 performances at four different indoor and outdoor distances: Check. Few male prep athletes this year have been able to win titles, impact all-time lists and enjoy untarnished records. As one of the few that did, Trentavis has been the most impressive.”

Friday won three individual state championships this spring and anchored the winning 4×400-meter relay quartet at the Class 1A state meet, leading Cherryville to a second-place finish as a team. Friday took gold in the 100-meter dash with a time of 10.59 seconds, the 200-meter dash in 20.95 and the 400-meter run in 47.87. He also won the 60-meter dash and the 200 at the 2014 New Balance Nationals Indoor, notching the No. 7 time in prep history in the 60, and the No. 2 all-time clocking in the 200. He is one of only two prep sprinters ever to rank among the Top 10 in history in both 60 and 200, indoors.

Friday graduated with a 3.14 GPA in the classroom. In addition to serving on the Cherryville High school yearbook and school newspaper staffs, he has volunteered locally for two years on behalf of the First Wesleyan Church’s feed-the-homeless initiative. He has also donated his time as part of his school’s morning-announcements team and has worked with special needs students at the Webb Street School.

Friday is the third prep athlete from North Carolina in the award’s 29-year history to win national Gatorade honors in any sport—all three selected within the past decade. He joins national-winner alumna and Olympic volleyball silver medalist Megan Hodge of Riverside (Durham, N.C.), who won in 2006, and Boston Breakers’ National Women’s Soccer League defender Mollie Pathman of Durham Academy (Durham, N.C.), who won the girls soccer award in 2010.

California has produced the most national winners since the inception of the award with 62, followed by Texas (28), Florida (20) and Illinois (15).

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Trentavis Friday named Gatorade Athlete of the Year
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