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: Karly Ackley
School: Grand Forks Central (Grand Forks, N.D.)
Athletic achievement: The distance talent won a pair of individual state championships this spring, leading the Knights to a sixth-place finish as a team at the Class A state meet. Also the state’s Gatorade North Dakota Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year, Ackley took first in the 1600-meter run with a time of 4:53.76 and shattered a 12-year-old state record in the 3200-meter run, breaking the tape in 10:32.86. She also earned dual victories at the Great Southwest Classic, winning the mile-run (5:10.14) and the 3200 (11:15.54).
Academic excellence: Ackley has maintained a 4.0 GPA.
Exemplary character: A member of the National Honor Society, she has volunteered as part of the Wild Hog Half Marathon in Grand Forks.
“Karly Ackley is an exceptional track & field athlete,” said Grand Forks Central High head coach Eric Polries. “She is also an academic leader in the classroom, always striving to do her best in anything she does.”
THE FUTURE: Ackley will begin her senior year of high school this fall.