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: Sean Torpy
School: Carl Sandburg (Orland Park, Ill.)
Weight: 150 pounds
Athletic achievement: He broke a state record with his clocking of 1:47.95 in the 800-meter run at the Midwest Distance Classic this past season, which ranked as the nation’s No. 1 performance among prep competitors in 2016 at the time of his selection. Torpy won the 1600-meter run at the Class 3A state meet in 4:15.13 and helped the 4×800 relay win with a time of 7:37.36, breaking another state record. He also holds the nation’s fastest time of 4:03.42 in the 1600.
Academic excellence: Torpy has maintained a 3.69 GPA.
Exemplary character: A member of his school’s Athletic Leadership Council, he has volunteered locally on behalf of a food pantry and the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life.
“Sean is the best pure racer I have seen in 16 years coaching in Illinois track and field,” said Carl Sandburg coach Joe Nemeth. “From his first race as a freshman, he had the mindset of never being beaten on the track. He didn’t win every race, but for four years the team always felt that he would, no matter what the distance. His competitive fight is unmatched.”
THE FUTURE: Torpy has signed a National Letter of Intent to run on an athletic scholarship at the University of Miami (Ohio) this fall.