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: Katie Rainsberger
School: Air Academy (USAFA, Colo.)
Athletic achievement: The state’s reigning Gatorade Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year, she won three individual state championships at the Class 4A state meet this past season, leading the Kadets to second place as a team. The Class 4A Athlete of the Year as named collectively by CHSAANow.com, ColoradoPreps.com and MaxPreps, Rainsberger swept the 800-meter run (2:09.97), the 1,600-meter run (4:45.27) and the 3,200-meter run (10:23.24). She also anchored the winning 4×800-meter relay squad that broke the tape in 9:14.28. Her 1,600-meter time of 4:44.31 at the Longmont Invitational as well as her 3,200- and 800-meter clockings at the state meet ranked seventh, 24th and 48th among U.S. prep competitors in 2016, respectively, at the time of her selection.
Academic excellence: Rainsberger has maintained a 4.49 weighted GPA and represents one of the state’s top academic candidates in meeting the Gatorade award’s broad criteria.
Exemplary character: A member of the National Honor Society and sports editor of her school newspaper, she has volunteered locally on behalf of USA Track & Field as well as charity road races. The recipient of the Sportswomen of Colorado 2015 High School Cross Country Award, Rainsberger has also been honored as a student-athlete by Rotary Club International.
“I think her track accolades and what she did at the state track meet this year speak for itself,” Fred Marjerrison, head coach at rival Widefield High. “She absolutely dominated four events and put her team in position to capture some team hardware. We were very blessed to see a special talent like Katie and probably will have to wait a long time to see another dominant distance athlete like this young lady.”
THE FUTURE: Rainsberger has signed a National Letter of Intent to compete on an athletic scholarship at the University of Oregon this fall.