The Gatorade State Boys Track & Field Athletes of the Year were selected based on athletic production and impact in the 2015-16 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: Connor Stevens
School: Hamilton (Chandler, Ariz.)
Weight: 190 pounds
Athletic achievement: He won the pole vault with a leap of 17 feet at the Division I state meet this past season, leading the Huskies to third place as a team. A two-time All-Arizona selection as named by The Arizona Republic, Stevens’ pole vault at the state meet ranked as the nation’s No. 8 clearance among U.S. prep competitors in 2016 at the time of his selection. He also won the pole vault at the 2014 and 2015 Division I state meets as a sophomore and junior.
Academic excellence: Stevens has maintained a 4.07 weighted GPA and represents one of the state’s top academic candidates in meeting the Gatorade award’s broad criteria.
Exemplary character: He has volunteered on behalf of his church’s youth group.
“Connor is in a class all by himself,” said Hamilton head coach Vaughn Powers. “After a freshman season of being a three-sport athlete, he decided to make pole vaulting his only endeavor. He joined a pole vault academy and improved his skill through hard work and perseverance. Connor has since led his teammates to work harder and smarter, and his leadership was key in the third-place finish to our 2016 season. Connor leaves a legacy of great vaulting, but more importantly he leaves his desire to help his team by any means necessary.”
THE FUTURE: Stevens will attend the United States Air Force Academy this fall, where he will compete in track and field.