Blake Yount ran to a 5A state title and a Colorado all-time record in the 800 meters this spring. Photo by Alan Versaw.
CHICAGO (June 19, 2015): In its 30th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with USA TODAY High School Sports, today announced Blake Yount of Smoky Hill High School as its 2014-15 Gatorade Colorado Boys Track & Field Athlete of the Year. Yount is the third Gatorade Colorado Boys Track & Field Athlete of the Year to be chosen from Smoky Hill High School.
The award, which recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the track, distinguishes Yount as Colorado’s best high school boys track & field athlete. Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Boys Track & Field Athlete of the Year award to be announced in June,
Yount joins an elite alumni association of state award-winners in 12 sports, including Ryan Hall (1999-01, Big Bear HS, Calif.), Meb Keflezighi (1993-94, San Diego HS, Calif.), Derek Jeter (1991-92, Kalamazoo HS, Mich.), Candace Parker (2001-02, Naperville Central HS, Ill.), Mark Sanchez (2004-05, Mission Viejo HS, Calif.) and Lolo Jones (1997-98, Roosevelt HS, Ia.).
The 6-foot-1, 160-pound senior won the 800-meter run with a state-record time of 1:50.59 at the Class 5A state meet this past season, leading the Buffaloes to fourth place as a team. A First Team All-Colorado selection as named by The Denver Post, Yount also finished sixth in the 400-meter dash in 49.27 seconds and anchored both the second-place 4x400-meter relay quartet (3:17.58) and fifth-place 4x800-meter relay squad (8:00.19). His 800-meter finish at the state meet ranked as the nation’s No. 9 time among prep competitors in 2015 at the time of his selection.
Also an ice hockey standout, Yount has maintained a 3.55 weighted GPA in the classroom. In addition to donating his time as a youth running instructor, he has worked for Aurora Youth Baseball during the summer.
“Blake set records whenever he ran this year,” said John Hancock, head coach of rival Mullen High. “His run at state was an all-time best in Colorado, and he was willing to do whatever his team needed. He really puts everything into a run. If I were a college recruiter, I’d have to have him. I coached Charlie Gruber, who was a 2004 Olympian in the mile, and Blake really reminds me of him with his mental toughness.”
Yount has signed a National Letter of Intent to compete in track and field on scholarship at the University of Oklahoma this fall.
The Gatorade Player of the Year program annually recognizes one winner in the District of Columbia and each of the 50 states that sanction high school football, girls volleyball, boys and girls cross country, boys and girls basketball, boys and girls soccer, baseball, softball, and boys and girls track & field, and awards one National Player of the Year in each sport. The selection process is administered by the Gatorade high school sports leadership team in partnership with USA TODAY High School Sports, which work with top sport-specific experts and a media advisory board of accomplished, veteran prep sports journalists to determine the state winners in each sport.
Yount joins recent Gatorade Colorado Boys Track & Field Athletes of the Year Kevin McClanahan (2013-14, Erie High School), Connor Turnage (2012-13, Highlands Ranch High School), Raymond Bozmans (2011-12, Fort Collins High School), Connor Winter (2010-11, Arapahoe High School), Trevor Brown (2009-10, Wasson), Mason Finley (2008-09 & 2007-08, Buena Vista), and Jeremy Rankin (2006-07, Overland) among the state’s list of former award winners.
To keep up to date on the latest happenings, become a fan of Gatorade Player of the Year on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. For more on the Gatorade Player of the Year program, including nomination information, a complete list of past winners and the announcement of the Gatorade National Player of the Year, visit www.gatorade.com/poy.