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: Caleb Ojennes
School: Palmer Ridge (Monument, Colo.)
Weight: 180 pounds
Athletic achievement: He broke the tape in the 200-meter dash with a time of 21.55 seconds and the 400-meter dash in 46.71 at the Class 4A state meet this past season, leading the Bears to second place as a team. He also anchored the winning 4×400-meter relay squad (3:18.92) and took fifth in the 100-meter dash (11.07). His 400-meter dash clocking at the state meet ranked No. 13 among U.S. prep competitors in 2016 at the time of his selection.
Academic excellence: Ojennes has maintained a 3.46 GPA and represents one of the state’s top academic candidates in meeting the Gatorade award’s broad criteria.
Exemplary character: In addition to donating his time as a youth track instructor and as a fundraiser for his school’s athletic department, he has volunteered locally on behalf of the Marian House Soup Kitchen and an adopt-a-family initiative for underprivileged families during the holidays. He has also donated his time to Tri-Lakes Cares, a community relief and support organization.
“He had more love for the sport than any other athlete I have ever coached or been around,” said Palmer Ridge head coach Kelly Christensen. “He was a student of the game and always found a way to deliver elite results every time it was needed. Caleb will be missed by the school, his teammates and the coaching staff. Without his passion and desire to succeed, the Palmer Ridge track team would not have won the back-to-back state team titles that we did in 2014 and 2015.”
THE FUTURE: Ojennes has signed a National Letter of Intent to compete on an athletic scholarship at the Indiana University this fall.