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: Cortney Dowling
School: T.F. Riggs (Pierre, S.D.)
Athletic achievement: The sprinter won a pair of individual state championships this spring, leading the Governors to a seventh-place finish as a team at the Class AA state meet. Dowling won the 100-meter dash with a time of 11.97 seconds and set a state meet record in the 200-meter dash, breaking the tape in 24.27. She also earned second-place in the 400-meter dash, crossing the line in 54.19. A three-time Gatorade South Dakota Girls Track & Field Athlete of the Year, Dowling was the top South Dakota sprinter at the Howard Wood Dakota Relays, capturing silver in both the 100 (12.28) and the 200 (24.37).
Academic excellence: Dowling has maintained a 4.0 GPA.
Exemplary character: An accomplished pianist, she has volunteered locally on behalf of the Special Olympics, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and as a youth track & field coach.
“Cortney Dowling is an amazing athlete,” said James Appl, head coach at Aberdeen Central High. “She is humble, a hard worker and great competitor. She is a wonderful young lady.”
THE FUTURE: Dowling has signed a National Letter of Intent to compete on an athletic scholarship at Augustana University this fall.