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: Ella Donaghu
School: Grant (Portland, Ore.)
Athletic achievement: She won the 800-meter run with a time of 2:11.51 and the 1500-meter run in 4:26.16 at the Class 6A state meet this past season. Also a three-time Gatorade Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year as well as the Gatorade Oregon Girls Track and Field Athlete of the Year as a sophomore, Donaghu holds the state records in the 1500 and the 3000. Her season-best times of 4.14.11 and 9:27.13 in each of those events, respectively, ranked as the nation’s No. 4 performances among prep competitors in 2016 at the time of her selection.
Academic excellence: Donaghu has maintained a 4.0 GPA.
Exemplary character: A mentor for younger runners in her area, she has volunteered locally on behalf of a soup kitchen and the Friends First Club, which helps integrate special needs students at her school.
“Ella is the best distance runner in the history of Oregon, hands down,” said Grant coach Bryant Howard. “She’s far too humble to address herself that way, but it’s true. No one gets here earlier or stays later, and no one is more diligent. She just does the work to continue to get better.”
THE FUTURE: Donaghu has signed a National Letter of Intent to run on scholarship at Stanford University this fall.