PRESS RELEASE | In its 35th year of honoring the nation's best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company today announced Cole Sprout of Valor Christian High School as its 2019-20 Gatorade Colorado Boys Track & Field Athlete of the Year. Sprout is the first Gatorade Colorado Boys Track & Field Athlete of the Year to be chosen from Valor Christian 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 field, distinguishes Sprout 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 July, Sprout joins an elite alumni association of state award-winners in 12 sports, including Lolo Jones (1997-98, Roosevelt High School, Iowa), Allyson Felix (2002-03, Los Angeles Baptist High School, Calif.), Robert Griffin III (2006-07, Copperas Cove High School, Texas), Grant Fisher (2013-14 & 2014-15, Grand Blanc High School, Mich.) and Candace Hill (2014-15, Rockdale County High School, Ga.).
The 5-foot-9, 135-pound senior finished second in the mile at the Quarantine Clasico with a time of 4:02.42, which was the second-fastest prep mark in the nation over the past three years. The state's returning Gatorade Boys Track and Field Athlete of the Year, Sprout finished third in the 1500-meter run at the Reykjavik International Games in 3:54.23, which ranked as the nation's No. 1 performance among prep competitors during the 2020 indoor season. A three-time state champion in cross country, he won the 1600 and the 3200 at the 2019 Class 5A outdoor state meet and broke the tape in the two-mile at the Brooks PR Invitational.
Sprout has volunteered locally on behalf of the Denver Rescue Mission, and has participated in a service-mission trip to Ethiopia. "Cole has the ability to get every ounce of potential out of himself when called upon," said Valor Christian distance coach Greg Coplen. "He also has the ability to train, no matter the circumstances, and to maintain the passion and motivation. It's never changed."
Sprout has maintained a 3.98 GPA in the classroom. He has signed a National Letter of Intent to run on scholarship at Stanford University.
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 Player of the Year Selection Committee, 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. Three-time winner Sprout joins recent Gatorade Colorado Boys Track & Field Athletes of the Year Isaac Green (2016-17, Monarch High School), Caleb Ojennes (2015-16, Palmer Ridge High School), Blake Yount (2014-15, Smoky Hill High School), and Kevin McClanahan (2013-14, Erie High School) among the state's list of former award winners.
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.
To learn more about the Gatorade Player of the Year program, check out past winners or to nominate student-athletes, visit www.Gatorade.com/POY, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/GatoradePOY or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Gatorade.