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: Shyheim Wright
School: Northwest (Germantown, Md.)
Weight: 155 pounds
Athletic achievement: He swept the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 13.92 seconds and the 300-meter hurdles in 37.28 at the Class 4A state meet this past season, leading the Jaguars to the state title as a team. A First Team All-Met selection as named by The Washington Post, Wright also anchored the winning 4×100-meter relay squad that broke the tape in 42.30 seconds. He added a silver medal in the long jump with a leap of 22 feet, 6 inches. At the time of his selection, his season-best 110- and 300-meter hurdles clockings both ranked as top-35 times nationally among prep competitors in 2016.
Academic excellence: Wright has maintained a 3.26 GPA.
Exemplary character: In addition to donating his time as a youth track instructor, he has served as part of a team that helps maintain the school grounds. He has also volunteered locally with underprivileged youth during the holidays and at the YMCA.
“In my opinion, he is the greatest hurdler in Montgomery County history and on the short list of greatest track and field athletes in county and state history,” said Seann Pelkey, head coach at rival Quince Orchard High. “Shyheim was willing to do whatever it took to make his team better. His influence on his teammates was noticeable, as his standard of excellence applied to his whole team. Not to sound cliché, but as an opposing coach, I’m happy to see him go. But as a fan of track and field, I will miss watching him compete. On a great team, he stood out.”
THE FUTURE: Wright has signed a National Letter of Intent to compete on an athletic scholarship at the University of Pittsburgh this fall.