|Chanelle Price PA Wins National Gatorade Track and Field Athlete of the Year Award|
Above photo: Easton Area High School’s (Easton, Pa.) Chanelle Price holds her trophy as Gatorade representative Liz Prassas announces her as the 2007-08 Gatorade National Girls Track & Field Athlete of the Year, on Wednesday, June 18, 2008. The award, which recognizes not only athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field. Price (with trophy, below) was selected from more than 439,000 high school girls track & field athletes nationwide. Photos by Steve Boyle/Gatorade.
EASTON, Pa. (June 18, 2008) – In its third decade of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, in partnership with RISE Magazine, today announced senior middle distance runner Chanelle Price of Easton Area High School (Easton, Pa.) as its 2007-08 Gatorade National Girls Track & Field Athlete of the Year. Price becomes the first student-athlete from the state of Pennsylvania to win Gatorade National Girls Track & Field Athlete of the Year honors.
The award, which recognizes not only athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the track, distinguishes Price as the nation’s best high school girls track & field athlete. A national advisory board comprised of sportswriters and sport-specific experts from around the country helped select Price from the more than 439,000 high school girls track & field athletes nationwide. Price is now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade Female High School Athlete of the Year award, to be presented at a special afternoon ceremony prior to The ESPY Awards in July.
No stranger to international competition, the senior half-miler placed sixth in the 800-meter run against a world-class field at the Prefontaine Classic earlier this month with a time of 2:01.61, clocking the second-best time in scholastic history and eclipsing a milestone set by track legend Mary Decker. Shattering the state record and winning her third consecutive gold medal in the 800-meter with a time of 2:02.90 at the PIAA Class AAA state meet in May, Price helped the Red Rovers to a seventh-place finish as a team. A two-time 800-meter champion at the Nike Outdoor Nationals, Price also won the 800-meter event at the 2008 National Scholastic Indoor Championships and the 2007 Nike Indoor Nationals. Price is a five-time individual national champion and has qualified for the upcoming 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials.
Price has maintained a 99.28 average in the classroom, placing her in the top five percent of her class. Easton Area’s Homecoming and Prom Queen, Price donates her time as a Special Olympics volunteer and as a local Vacation Bible School counselor. A member of the Future Business Leaders of America and the Key Club, she also participates in multiple community-service initiatives as an inductee of the National Honor Society and Spanish National Honor Society.
“Price has not lost a race at the prep level all year and keeps improving,” said Joy Kamani of the National Scholastic Sports Foundation, prep track’s most prestigious meet organizer. “A consistent performer all season long, who competently runs distances from 400 to 5000 meters, she set a new prep record in the 500 meters indoors this year. Earlier this month, she competed against some of the world’s best elite 800-meter runners, including the great (2000 Sydney Games Olympic Champion) Maria Mutola, and powered to a 6th-place finish and a new personal-best of 2:01.61, which puts her No. 2 on the all-time high school list behind (the late, two-time Olympian) Kim Gallagher. She is in a class of her own.”
Price (photo at lower right from NSIC, by John Nepolitan) has signed a National Letter of Intent to run at the University of Tennessee this fall.
“Without question, Chanelle is deserving of recognition as the nation’s best high school girls track & field athlete based on her statistics on the track and the tremendous ability she’s demonstrated,” said Gatorade Senior Vice President of Sports Marketing Jeff Urban. “But she is also a shining example to peers and aspiring young players of what a leader and a student-athlete should be. She represents everything we hope for in a Gatorade Player of the Year recipient.”
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 RISE Magazine, 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.
Former notable Gatorade National Players of the Year include:
· Reigning 200-meter world champion Allyson Felix
· 2004 Athens Olympic Games 4-x-400-meter gold medalist Monique Henderson
· 2006 IAAF World Athlete of the Year and 400-meter American record-holder Sanya Richards
· Softball gold medalist Cat Osterman
· WNBA all-time leading scorer and rebounder Lisa Leslie
· NFL all-time leading rusher Emmitt Smith
· 2007 Super Bowl Most Valuable Player Peyton Manning
· Beach volleyball gold medalist Kerri Walsh
For more on the Gatorade Player of the Year program, including nomination information and lists of past winners and future announcement dates, visit gatorade.com/playeroftheyear.