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Nico Young Named 2019-20 Gatorade® National Boys Track and Field Athlete of the Year

PR Newswire

NEWBURY PARK, Calif., July 2, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- In its 35th year of honoring the nation's most elite high school athletes, The Gatorade Company today announced Nico Young of Newbury Park High School in Newbury Park, Calif. is the 2019-20 Gatorade National Boys Track and Field Athlete of the Year. Young won the prestigious award for his accomplishments on and off the field, joining an impressive group of former Gatorade National Boys Track and Field Athlete of the Year winners who have combined for 22 gold medals and 12 National Championships.

Young was also named the 2019-20 Gatorade National Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year in February, which means he is making history as the second student-athlete to ever win two Gatorade National Player of the Year awards in the same year in the program's 35-year history.

Young was surprised with the trophy by his family, coaches and teammates after practice.

The award, which recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field, distinguishes Young as the nation's best high school boys track and field athlete. A national advisory panel comprised of sport-specific experts and sports journalists helped select Young from more than 600,000 other student-athletes who compete in boys track and field nationwide.

Competition for the national award was fierce. Young topped the list of 51 state winners in boys track and field who collectively boast an incredible list of accomplishments, including eight with All-American honors, 37 who volunteer at two or more organizations and 18 with GPAs of 3.8 or higher.

Young is now a finalist for the most prestigious award in high school sports, the Gatorade Male High School Athlete of the Year award, which is announced in July.

"In a way, Nico Young is still the best-kept secret in the nation as a runner," says Rich Gonzalez of PrepCalTrack. "That might sound odd given that he's the reigning national cross country champion, ranks No. 1 in prep history in the indoor 3000, No. 4 all-time in the outdoor 5000 and No. 8 in the 3200, but there's some truth to it. In cross country, against what was arguably the deepest prep field ever assembled at nationals, he dropped the pack with ease and won by 14 seconds. Indoors, he lopped three seconds off the 3000 standard set by former Gatorade national winner Drew Hunter—names further down that list include a bevy prep distance gods, including Gatorade national winner Alan Webb, who still owns the prep record in the mile (3:53.43, 2001). Young's PR of 13:50.55 in the outdoor 5000 earlier this month confirms that although he was clearly the best talent in the 2019 cross country season, his better sport is track and field."

The 5-foot-11, 135-pound senior raced to a time of 13:50.55 in the 5000-meter run this spring, which shattered the 34-year-old state record by 11 seconds and ranked as the nation's No. 4 clocking in history among prep competitors. The 2019-20 Gatorade National Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year, Young also set a national record of 7:56.97 in the 3000 in his only race of the 2020 indoor track season. Winner of the Nike Cross Nationals Final in December, he also won a 2019 outdoor track state championship in the 3200.        

Young has volunteered for the past three summers as part of the Team Leadership program at Camp Many Mansions, a seven-week residential enrichment opportunity for youth from under-resourced communities. "Nico has proven to our team at Newbury Park that if you set your standards high and work hard, anything is possible," said Newbury Park coach Sean Brosnan. "He continued to train hard after winning Nike Cross Nationals in order to go after the High School 3000-meter indoor track record. Then he flew out to New York and accomplished his goal."        

Young has maintained a weighted 4.68 GPA in the classroom. He has signed a National Letter of Intent to run on scholarship at Northern Arizona University.

"The coronavirus pandemic has put a halt to so many high school events and seasons, but it will not keep us from recognizing and celebrating the incredible achievements of student-athletes like Nico Young," said Gatorade Senior Vice President and General Manager Brett O'Brien. "To win a Gatorade National Player of the Year award twice in one year is truly a remarkable accomplishment, which Nico has earned through his hard work on the track, in the classroom and in his community."

Each year a selection committee evaluates the nation's top talent in the District of Columbia and all 50 states, choosing national winners in 12 different sports: football, girls volleyball, boys and girls cross country, boys and girls basketball, baseball, softball, boys and girls soccer, and boys and girls track and field. From the 12 national winners, one male and one female athlete are each named Gatorade High School Athlete of the Year.

Since the program's inception in 1985, Gatorade Player of the Year award recipients have won hundreds of professional and college championships, and many have also turned into pillars in their communities, becoming coaches, business owners and educators. Previous winners include a distinguished list of athletes, such as Peyton Manning, Abby Wambach, Karl-Anthony Towns, Derek Jeter and many other sports icons. To learn more about the Gatorade Player of the Year program, check out past winners or to nominate student-athletes, visit, on Facebook at or follow us on Twitter at

About Gatorade

The Gatorade Company, a division of PepsiCo (NASDAQ: PEP), meets the needs of consumers who participate in Sports and Fitness, through brands that include Gatorade, Propel, Muscle Milk and Bolt24. The solutions they provide are driven by a deep understanding of the unique needs and occasions of different types of sports and fitness. Gatorade, their marquee brand, is underpinned by more than 50-year history of studying the best athletes in the world and sports-nutrition research by the Gatorade Sport Science Institute, allowing it to provide scientifically-formulated products that meet athletes' needs both on and off the field. For more information and a full list of products, please visit

About PepsiCo

PepsiCo products are enjoyed by consumers more than one billion times a day in more than 200 countries and territories around the world. PepsiCo generated more than $64 billion in net revenue in 2018, driven by a complementary food and beverage portfolio that includes Frito-Lay, Gatorade, Pepsi-Cola, Quaker and Tropicana. PepsiCo's product portfolio includes a wide range of enjoyable foods and beverages, including 22 brands that generate more than $1 billion each in estimated annual retail sales.

At the heart of PepsiCo is Performance with Purpose – our fundamental belief that the success of our company is inextricably linked to the sustainability of the world around us. We believe that continuously improving the products we sell, operating responsibly to protect our planet and empowering people around the world enable PepsiCo to run a successful global company that creates long-term value for society and our shareholders. For more information, visit







Matthew Boling

Houston, TX

University of Georgia


Anthony Schwartz

Plantation, FL

Auburn University


Armand Duplantis

Lafayette, LA

Sweden Men's Track & Field Team


Michael Norman

Murrieta, CA

Ran for University of Southern California


Michael Norman

Murrieta, CA

Ran for University of Southern California


Trentavis Friday

Cherryville, NC

Ran for Florida State University


Trayvon Bromell

St. Petersburg, FL

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Abraham Hall

Grand Prairie, TX

Ran for University of California, Los Angeles


Gunnar Nixon

Edmond, OK

Decathlon Events for University of Arkansas


Sam Crouser

Gresham, OR

Threw for University of Oregon


Curtis Beach

Albuquerque, NM

Decathlon Events for Duke University


German Fernandez

Riverbank, CA

Ran for Oklahoma State University


Bryshon Nellum

Los Angeles, CA

Ran for University of Southern California


David Klech

San Ramon, CA

Decathlon events for University of California, Los Angeles


Ryan Whiting

Harrisburg, PA

Threw for Arizona State University


Jason Richardson

Cedar Hill, TX

Ran for University of South Carolina


Kerron Clement

LaPorte, TX

Ran for University of Florida


Brendan Christian

Austin, TX

Retired Antigua and Barbuda Men's Track & Field Team


Alan Webb

Reston, VA

Ran for University of Michigan


Donald Sage

Elmhurst, IL

Ran for Stanford University


Jacob Freeman

Warwick, RI

Threw for the Manhattan Jaspers


Jon Stevens

Fremont, CA

Ran for Stanford University 


Sharif Karie

Springfield, VA

Ran for University of Arkansas


Michael Granville

Bell Gardens, CA

Ran for University of California, Los Angeles


Michael Stember

Sacramento, CA

Ran for Stanford University


Andre Scott

Sanford, FL

Jumped for Auburn University


Charles Mitchell

Waco, TX

Ran for Auburn University


Sheddric Fields

Dallas, TX

Ran for University of Houston


Bryan Bronson

Jasper, TX

Retired US Men's Track & Field Team


Brent Noon

Fallbrook, CA

Retired  US Men's Track & Field Team


Dion Bentley

Pittsburgh, PA

Jumped for University of Florida


Art Skipper

Sandy, OR



Kamy Keshmiri

Reno, NV

Threw for University of Nevada at Reno


Eric Mastalir

Carmichael, CA

Ran for Stanford University

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SOURCE The Gatorade Company


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