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: Mason Hericks
School: Watertown (S.D.)
Weight: 135 pounds
Athletic achievement: The sprinter captured two individual championships this spring at the Class AA state meet and also anchored the winning 4×100-meter and 4×200-meter relay quartets to lead the Arrows to a second-place finish as a team. Hericks won the 100-meter dash with a time of 10.76 seconds and the 200-meter dash in 21.75. The 2016 Class AA Outstanding Track Performer at the state meet, he helped set a state record in the 4×100 relay, breaking the tape in 42.34. Watertown also set a meet record in the 4×200 (1:28.07).
Academic excellence: Hericks has maintained a 4.0 GPA.
Exemplary character: An accomplished trumpet player and percussionist, he has volunteered locally on behalf of Habitat for Humanity and his church youth group. He has also donated his time as a summer camp counselor.
“Mason Hericks is a true sportsman and great competitor,” said Kevin Kroger, head coach at Harrisburg High. “We have competed numerous times against him in the last few years and he is always gracious in victory or defeat.”
THE FUTURE: Hericks has signed a National Letter of Intent to compete on an athletic scholarship at the University of Nebraska this fall.