PRESS RELEASE | In its 36th year of honoring the nation's best high school athletes, Gatorade today announced Harrison Witt of Mountain Vista High School as its 2020-21 Gatorade Colorado Boys Track & Field Player of the Year. Witt is the first Gatorade Colorado Boys Track & Field Player of the Year to be chosen from Mountain Vista 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 Witt as Colorado's best high school boys track & field athlete. Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Boys Track & Field Player of the Year award to be announced in July, Witt 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 6-foot-2, 155-pound senior set a state record of 4:04.36 in his title-winning 1600-meter run at the Class 5A state meet this past season. The clocking ranked as the nation's No. 4 performance among 2021 prep competitors. Witt also broke the tape in the 800 at the state meet with a meet-record time of 1:48.75. His personal-best clocking of 1:48.50 in the 800 this season eclipsed another state record and ranked No. 2 nationally.
President of his class, Witt has participated in service mission trips to Guatemala and Cuba and has volunteered locally on behalf of the Make-a-Wish Foundation as well as the Forever Home Foundation, which helps elderly community members stay in their homes. "For Harrison, the team always comes first and his individual goals come second." Said Mountain Vista coach Jonathan Dalby. "His ability to relate, connect and inspire everyone else around him is remarkable."
Witt has maintained a weighted 4.34 GPA in the classroom. He will attend Princeton University this fall, where he will compete in track and field.
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 works with top sport-specific experts and a media advisory board of accomplished, veteran prep sports journalists to determine the state winners in each sport.
Witt joins recent Gatorade Colorado Boys Track & Field Players of the Year Cole Sprout (2019-20, 2018-19, & 2017-18 Valor Christian High School), and Isaac Green (2016-17, Monarch High School), among the state's list of former award winners.
Through Gatorade's cause marketing platform "Play it Forward," Witt has the opportunity to award a $1,000 grant to a local or national youth sports organization of their choosing. Witt is also eligible to submit a 30-second video explaining why the organization they chose is deserving of one of twelve $10,000 spotlight grants, which will be announced throughout the year. To date, Gatorade Player of the Year winners' grants have totaled more than $2.7 million across 1,117 organizations.
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 playeroftheyear.gatorade.com, on Facebook at facebook.com/GatoradePOY or follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/Gatorade.