CHICAGO (June 20, 2012) — In its 27th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with ESPNHS, today announced Amy-Eloise Neale of Glacier Peak High School as its 2011-12 Gatorade Washington Girls Track & Field Athlete of the Year. Neale is the first Gatorade Washington Girls Track & Field Athlete of the Year to be chosen from Glacier Peak 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 Neale as Washington’s best high school girls track & field athlete. Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Girls Track & Field Athlete of the Year award to be announced in June, Neale joins an elite alumni association of state award-winners in 12 sports, including Allyson Felix (2001-02, Los Angeles Baptist, Calif.), Derek Jeter (1991-92, Kalamazoo HS, Mich.), Candace Parker (2001-02, Naperville Central HS, Ill.), Abby Wambach (1997-98, Our Lady of Mercy, N.Y.), Mark Sanchez (2004-05, Mission Viejo HS, Calif.), Lolo Jones (1997-98, Roosevelt HS, Ia.) and Bianca Knight (2006-07, Ridgeland HS, Miss.).
A two-time Gatorade Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year and the state’s returning Gatorade Girls Track & Field Athlete of the Year, the 5-foot-10 junior won the 800-meter run at the Class 3A state championships this spring with a meet-record time of 2:10.32 and led the Grizzlies to a third-place finish as a team. Also the state meet record-holder in the 1,600-meter run (4:46.56) and the 3,200-meter run (10:12.33), Neale was ranked in the top 40 nationally in 2012 among prep competitors in the 800, 1,500, 1,600, Mile and the 3,200 at the time of her selection.
Neale has maintained a 4.0 GPA in the classroom. A pianist and flutist, she has volunteered locally as a member of her Girl Scout Troop, at a community garden and on behalf of a food bank.
“Amy-Eloise Neale has proven herself over the last few years to indeed be one of the nation’s best distance runners, from the 800 to the 3200,” said Russ Vincent, head coach of rival Mountlake Terrace High. “I have witnessed her at many events and seen her know how to compete and virtually always come out on top.”
Neale will begin her senior year of high school 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 ESPNHS and the Gatorade high school sports leadership team, 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.
Two-time winner Neale joins recent Gatorade Washington Girls Track & Field Athletes of the Year Maddie Meyers (2009-10, The Northwest School), Andrea Geubelle (2008-09, Curtis Senior), and Courtney Kirkwood (2007-08, Othello) among the state’s list of former award winners.