The Gatorade State Girls 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 Girls Track & Field Athlete of the Year winners, click here.
THE WINNER: Elena Bruckner
School: Valley Christian (San Jose, Calif.)
Athletic achievement: She won the shot put with a throw of 49 feet, 9.75 inches at the state championship meet this past season. Bruckner also finished second in the discus, and won both the shot put and discus at the Arcadia Invitational and the Texas Relays. She set a state record of 54-7 in the shot put, which ranked as the nation’s No. 2 performance among prep competitors in 2016 at the time of her selection. Her season-best throw of 186-10 in the discus ranked No. 1 nationally this season, and ranks her fourth in U.S. high school history.
Academic excellence: Bruckner has maintained a 4.13 GPA.
Exemplary character: A devoted member of her church community and a talented singer, she organized a medal drive to collect sports awards from championship athletes and redistribute them to hospitalized children.
“Statistically, Elena is one of the best combo throwers in the history of prep track and field, but she’s never been satisfied, always looking to get better,” said Valley Christian coach Josh Small. “She’s a gifted athlete, but also one who has matched that talent with an incredible work ethic.”
THE FUTURE: Bruckner has signed a National Letter of Intent to compete in track and field on scholarship at the University of Texas this fall.