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: Zach Jewell
School: Mena (Ark.)
Weight: 140 pounds
Athletic achievement: The sprinter and jumper won three individual titles at the Class 4A state meet this spring, leading the Bearcats to a fifth-place finish as a team. Jewell notched victories in the 100-meter dash with a time of 10.84, the 200-meter dash in 21.78 and the long jump, soaring 23 feet, 4.25 inches. He also took third in the triple jump with a leap of 44 feet, 5.5 inches. The 2016 All-Arkansas Prep Male Track Athlete of the Year, he earned Meet of Champions victories in both the 100 (10.70) and the 200 (21.37) to cap off an undefeated season in the sprints this spring. For good measure, he took gold in the Meet of Champions long jump with a leap of 22-10.75.
Academic excellence: Jewell has maintained a 3.61 GPA.
Exemplary character: A member of the National Honor Society, he is an avid hunter and fisherman and has participated in competitive archery.
“Zach Jewell is an extremely motivated young man,” said Mena High head coach Aaron Pennington. “His ability to consistently perform at the highest level has set him apart. He has improved tremendously over the last couple of years and he will continue to improve thanks to his work ethic.”
THE FUTURE: Jewell has signed a National Letter of Intent to compete on an athletic scholarship at the University of Central Arkansas this fall.