For a list of the other Gatorade State Boys Track & Field Athletes of the Year, click here
THE WINNER: Jaylen Bacon
School: Lower Richland (Hopkins, S.C.)
Weight: 165 pounds
Athletic achievement: He won three individual state championships at the Class AAA state meet this spring and led the Diamond Hornets to a third-place finish as a team. Bacon won the 100-meter dash in 10.51 seconds, the 200 in 21.59 and the 400 in 48.00. He also ran the second leg on Lower Richland’s winning 4×100-meter relay quartet. Bacon, who placed fourth at the New Balance Nationals Outdoor championships in the 100, owns a season-best instrument-certified clocking of 10.53 in the 100, which ranked as the nation’s No. 27 performance among prep competitors in 2014 at the time of his selection.
Academic excellence: Bacon has maintained a 3.34 GPA.
Exemplary character: A member of his school’s Future Business Leaders of America educational association, he has volunteered locally at an eldercare facility and as a youth track coach.
“We are in the same classification as Jaylen so we saw first-hand how good he is,” said David Pratt, head coach of Hanrahan. “He improved a lot since last year. From the first meet of this year, he has been very consistent with his times.”
THE FUTURE: Bacon has signed with Arkansas State.