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: Ryan Schweizer
School: Dowling Catholic (West Des Moines, Iowa)
Weight: 170 pounds
Athletic achievement: The distance talent won three individual state titles this spring, leading the Maroons to a fourth-place finish as a team at the Class 4A state meet. Schweizer broke the tape in the 800-meter run with a state-record time of 1:50.30, the 1600-meter run in 4:14.70 and the 3200-meter run in 9:16.85. Also the state’s Gatorade Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year, he bettered his own meet record in the 800 at the Drake Relays, breaking the tape in 1:51.76 while also winning the 1600 in 4:14.65. His state meet clocking ranked as the nation’s No. 11 performance among prep competitors in 2016 at the time of his selection.
Academic excellence: Schweizer has maintained a 3.69 GPA.
Exemplary character: A devoted parishioner in his church community, he has volunteered locally as a youth camp counselor and participated in the Kairos Roman Catholic retreat program.
“Ryan Schweizer is the best and most versatile distance runner I have seen come out of Iowa,” said Dowling Catholic head coach Ryan Van Veen. “He has the stamina to excel in the long-distance races and the speed to be a standout in long sprints and middle-distance races. He has been a tremendous leader for us. As good as he is, he has only scratched the surface of his potential.”
THE FUTURE: Schweizer has signed a National Letter of Intent to compete on an athletic scholarship at the University of Notre Dame this fall.