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: Connor Bandel
School: Oxford (Mich.)
Weight: 230 pounds
Athletic achievement: He won the national championship in the discus with a throw of 202 feet, 7 inches at the New Balance Nationals Outdoor championships this past weekend. Bandel also won the discus at the Division 1 state meet with a mark of 198-11 and broke the state meet record in the shot put by launching it 67-5.75. His season-best throw of 204-2 in the discus and his state-record 68-10.75 in the shot put both ranked in the nation’s top ten performances among prep competitors in 2016 at the time of his selection.
Academic excellence: Bandel has maintained a 3.28 GPA.
Exemplary character: He has volunteered on behalf of a school anti-bullying initiative.
“Connor doesn’t settle on short-term goals,” said Oxford coach Matt Johnson. “His motivation to excel drives him to the greatest level of achievement. He’s an exceptional student-athlete and he’s set his desire to be able to compete on an international stage.”
THE FUTURE: Bandel has signed a National Letter of Intent to compete in track and field on scholarship at the University of Florida this fall.