CHICAGO (June 21, 2018) - In its 33rd year of honoring the nation's best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, today announced Nate Patterson of Plymouth High School as its 2017-18 Gatorade Indiana Boys Track & Field Athlete of the Year. Patterson is the first Gatorade Indiana Boys Track & Field Athlete of the Year to be chosen from Plymouth 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 Patterson as Indiana'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, Patterson joins an elite alumni association of state track & field awardwinners, 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-5, 185-pound senior won the high jump at the state meet this past season with a state-record clearance of seven feet, four inches, which ranked as the nation's No. 1 performance among prep competitors in 2018 at the time of his selection. Patterson was named Mr. Track and Field by the Indiana Association of Track and Field Coaches and took fourth in the high jump at June's USATF Junior Outdoor Championships.
Patterson has volunteered locally on behalf of flood-relief efforts, youth basketball camps and an animal shelter. "The high jump mark was one of the oldest standing records in Indiana and Nate didn't just beat it, he smashed it," said Plymouth coach Curtis Nordmann. "He's beaten every meet record he could this year, by margins that will last for many years to come. He's truly on a level of his own at nearly any competition."
Patterson has maintained a 3.19 GPA in the classroom. He has signed a National Letter of Intent to compete in track and field on scholarship at the University of Southern California 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 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.
Patterson joins recent Gatorade Indiana Boys Track & Field Athletes of the Year Ryan Lipe (2016-17, Carmel High School), Ben Veatch (2015-16, Carmel High School), Deakin Volz (2014-15 & 2013-14, Bloomington High School South), Codie Hamsley (2012-13, Floyd Central High School), Futsum Zeinasellassie (2011-12, North Central High School), Austin Mudd (2010-11 & 2009-10, Center Grove High School), Corey Shank (2008-09, Northrop), Kevin Schipper (2007-08, Bishop Dwenger), and Arthur "Scott" Wims (2006-07, Northrop) among the state's list of former award winners.
As a Gatorade Player of the Year, Patterson will be able to select a national or local youth sports organization to receive a grant as part of the Gatorade Play It Forward program. Every Gatorade Player of the Year state winner receives a $1,000 grant to donate and will have the opportunity to enter for an additional $10,000 spotlight grant by writing a brief essay explaining why their selected organization deserves additional support. 12 spotlight grants - one for each sport - will be announced throughout the year.
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