The Gatorade State Boys Track & Field Athletes of the Year were selected based on athletic production and impact in the 2014-15 season. Each winner also demonstrated high academic achievement and exemplary personal character, including volunteerism, sportsmanship and community leadership.
For the complete list of Gatorade State Boys Track & Field Athlete of the Year winners, click here.
THE WINNER: Armand Duplantis
School: Lafayette (La.)
Weight: 126 pounds
Athletic achievement: He soared a meet-record 16 feet, nine inches to win the pole vault at the Class 5A state championship meet this spring. Duplantis also shattered the national freshman record with his season-best clearance of 17-4, which ranked as the nation’s No. 4 performance among prep competitors in 2015 at the time of his selection. He finished second in the pole vault at the Texas Relays, took third at the Great Southwest Classic and won the event indoors at the Millrose Games. Last summer, Duplantis captured the pole vault title at the USATF Junior Olympic Track & Field National Championships.
Academic excellence: Duplantis has maintained a B-plus average.
Exemplary character: He has volunteered locally on behalf of youth track athletes.
“Duplantis is just a monster who’s probably going to break every record out there,” said Shane LeLeux, owner of New Heights Gym. “He’s very fast on the runway and has no inhibitions; he just goes for it. He’s been a student of the sport his whole life, and there’s no limit to how high he can go.”
THE FUTURE: Duplantis will be a sophomore this fall.