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: Sophia Rivera
School: Brentwood (Mo.)
Athletic achievement: The thrower hurled the javelin 180 feet, four inches at the Brentwood Invitational this spring, winning the event and producing the nation’s No. 1 performance among prep competitors in 2016. The effort marked the fifth-best mark in U.S. prep history at the time of her selection. A 2015 IAAF World Youth Championship National Team member, Rivera captured a pair of individual titles at the 2016 state meet, winning the discus with a throw of 138 feet, one inch and the javelin with a mark of 134-6. She earned fourth-place at the Arcadia Invitational, hurling the discus 143 feet, 10 inches and she will compete in the javelin at the U.S. Olympic Trials in Portland, Ore. later this summer.
Academic excellence: Rivera has maintained a 4.04 weighted.
Exemplary character: A member of the National Honor Society and the president of her graduating class, she has volunteered locally on behalf of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, the Special Olympics and the American Red Cross.
“Sophia Rivera’s work ethic, in my opinion, exceeds her tremendous natural abilities,” said Brentwood High head coach Scott Long. “Having the opportunity to work with her has been an absolute pleasure. She is a rare combination of size, strength, speed, coordination and the willingness to work tirelessly on her techniques. Above all else, her dedication to everything she does is the reason for her success.”
THE FUTURE: Rivera has signed a National Letter of Intent to compete in track and field on scholarship at the University of Wisconsin this fall.