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: Damion Thomas
School: Northeast (Oakland Park, Fla.)
Weight: 170 pounds
Athletic achievement: He won the 110-meter high hurdles with a time of 13.84 seconds at the Class 3A state meet this past season, leading the Hurricanes to second place as a team. Thomas also won the 110 hurdles at the Flo Golden South Invitational, the Region 4 championships, the Carifta Games, the Louie Bing Classic and the national Jamaica Junior Championships. His season-best time of 13.42 in the 110 hurdles ranked as the nation’s No. 2 performance among prep competitors in 2016 at the time of his selection.
Academic excellence: Thomas has maintained a B average.
Exemplary character: A member of his school’s student government, he has served as a math and science tutor and has volunteered locally on behalf of youth track programs.
“Damion’s work ethic is second to none,” said Northeast coach Kevin Hanson. “Obstacles are used as motivation. The tougher the situation gets, the more his performances rise to a higher echelon. He believes in hard work and is always eager to do more at practice than what is required.”
THE FUTURE: Thomas will begin his senior year of high school this fall.