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: Laurie Barton
School: Daniel (Central, S.C.)
Athletic achievement: The returning Gatorade State Girls Track & Field Athlete of the Year, she won the 800-meter run at the Class AAA state meet this past season, leading the Lions to a second-place finish as a team. A seven-time state champion, Barton shattered her own state record in the event by nearly three seconds at the NCRunners/SCRunners Elite Tune Up with a time of 2:06.10, which ranked as the nation’s No. 4 time in 2016 among prep competitors at the time of her selection.
Academic excellence: Barton has maintained a weighted 4.90 GPA.
Exemplary character: An avid backpacker and nature photographer, she is a member of the Daniel High Beta Club and she has volunteered locally as part of multiple community-service initiatives through her church youth group.
“Laurie’s work ethic is tremendous,” said Cosandar Griffin, head coach of Daniel High. “She pushes herself on the track to achieve more each time. Laurie is always willing to go the extra mile.”
THE FUTURE: Barton has signed a National Letter of Intent to compete in track and field on an athletic scholarship at Virginia Tech beginning this fall.