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: Cory Poole
School: East Orange Campus (East Orange, N.J.)
Weight: 150 pounds
Athletic achievement: He swept the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 13.71 seconds and the 400-meter hurdles in 52.50 at the Meet of Champions this past season. NJ.com’s Boys Track & Field Athlete of the Year, Poole also captured the 110 hurdles (13.73) and the 400 hurdles (52.57) in addition to anchoring the winning 4×400-meter relay quartet (3:16.99) at the Group IV championship meet, leading the Jaguars to second place as a team. At the time of his selection, his 110 hurdles time at the Meet of Champions and his 400 hurdles clocking of 51.56 seconds that earned him silver at the New Balance Nationals Outdoor championships both ranked as top-10 performances nationally among prep competitors in 2016.
Academic excellence: Poole has maintained a B average.
Exemplary character: He has volunteered locally on behalf of community cleanup efforts as well as the East Orange Recreation Center and the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure.
“As a coach from an opposing team, I can say Cory is one of the most humble superstars I have ever met,” said NaDeen Richardson, head coach at rival West Side High. “He’s a team player, he’s always friendly and approachable, he’s a leader and sets a great example for all athletes in our county.”
THE FUTURE: Poole will begin his senior year of high school this fall.