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: Sammy Watson
School: Rush-Henrietta Senior (Henrietta, N.Y.)
Athletic achievement: She won the 400-meter dash with a time of 54.34 seconds and the 1500-meter run in 4:22:09 at the state championship meet this past season. The state’s returning Gatorade Girls Track and Field Athlete of the Year, Watson also won the 800 at the Brooks PR Invitational in 2:05.95 and captured the 400 at the Prefontaine Classic. Her season-best time of 2:03.06 in the 800 ranked as the nation’s No. 1 performance among prep competitors in 2016 at the time of her selection.
Academic excellence: Watson has maintained an A-minus average.
Exemplary character: A talented musician and a peer mentor in her school, she has volunteered locally on behalf of youth track camps and community clean-up initiatives.
“Sammy is a special kid and a special athlete,” said Rush-Henrietta coach Mike DeMay. “She’s always striving to improve, to get faster, get stronger. She never rests on her laurels and she’s a great ambassador for the sport.”
THE FUTURE: Watson will begin her senior year of high school this fall.