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: Kiana Phelps
School: Kingsley-Pierson (Kingsley, Iowa)
Athletic achievement: The thrower won two individual state titles this spring, leading the Panthers to an eighth-place finish as a team at the Class 2A state meet. Phelps set a state meet record in the discus throw, winning the event for the fourth consecutive year while launching the apparatus 172 feet, one inch. She also won the shot put with a throw of 48 feet, 8.75 inches. She is a four-time discus champion at the Drake Relays, winning the event this year with an effort of 162-7. Phelps won this month’s 2016 New Balance Nationals Outdoor championships with a throw of 162-2. Her season-best 173-10 at the Class 2A District 5 championships ranked as the nation’s No. 2 performance among prep competitors in 2016 at the time of her selection.
Academic excellence: Phelps has maintained a 97.5 average.
Exemplary character: A member of the National Honor Society and the Salutatorian of her graduating class, she is a certified nursing assistant and has volunteered locally on behalf of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and the Humane Society.
“Kiana Phelps’ simple presence as an athlete motivated my athletes to do better to try and compete with her,” said Kelley Grothus, head coach at Madrid High. “I have watched her as a spectator at high school and college meets and she acts with class, maturity and grace. She handles her success very well but enjoys it at the same time. Her throwing record, of course, speaks for itself.”
THE FUTURE: Phelps has signed a National Letter of Intent to compete in track and field on scholarship at the University of Oregon this fall.