For a list of the other Gatorade State Girls Track & Field Athletes of the Year, click here
THE WINNER: Danae Rivers
School: Wilbur Cross (New Haven, Conn.)
Event: Middle-distance and distance running
Athletic achievement: She won the 800-meter run with a time of 2:14.40 and the 1,600 in 4:47.45 at the State Open championships this season, leading the Governors to third place as a team. Rivers also anchored the winning 4×400-meter relay squad that broke the tape in 3:58.37. At the Class LL divisional championships, she captured first in the 800 with a meet-record time of 2:10.98 as well as gold in the 1,600 (4:55.28). Her fastest 1,600 and 800 times, respectively, ranked as the nation’s No. 20 and No. 66 performances among prep competitors in 2014 at the time of her selection.
Academic excellence: Rivers has maintained a 4.36 weighted GPA.
Exemplary character: A member of the National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women’s Clubs as well as an accomplished flutist in the Nspyre Youth Orchestra, she has volunteered locally at a food bank and senior center, as part of a coat drive for the needy and on behalf of the New Haven Age Group Track Club.
“Her performance on the track goes without question,” said Kevin Connell, head coach of rival Branford. “She is the consummate competitor who gets the most of her abilities. As an opposing coach, you realize she is an incredible athlete who can dominate a meet, whether it’s a simple dual meet or even the State Open championships. She has made an enormous impact on the program at Wilbur Cross and will make my coaching life difficult over the next few years.”
THE FUTURE: Rivers will be a junior this fall.