Updated: June 17, 2009 at 12:00 am
CHICAGO - In its third decade of honoring the nation's best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, in partnership with ESPN Rise, today announced LaTraia Scott of Coronado High School as its 2008-09 Gatorade Colorado Girls Track & Field Athlete of the Year. Scott is the first Gatorade Colorado Girls Track & Field Athlete of the Year to be chosen from Coronado 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 Scott as Colorado's best high school girls track & field athlete. Scott is a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Girls Track & Field Athlete of the Year award to be announced in June.
The 5-foot-5 senior sprinter won the 100-meter dash with a time of 11.91 seconds and the 200-meter dash in 23.98 at this year's Class 5A state meet, leading the Cougars to eighth place as a team. Scott also anchored the third-place 800-meter relay and fourth-place 400-meter relay squads at the state meet. Scott's time in the 200 ranked No. 21 nationally among prep sprinters in 2009 at the time of her selection.
Also the drum major in the Coronado High marching band, Scott has maintained a 4.56 GPA in the classroom and ranks No. 6 in her class. A member of the National Honor Society, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and her church's youth choir, she has volunteered on behalf of the Salvation Army, the Make-A-Wish Foundation, at her local library, as a youth track and field instructor and with her school's peer-mentoring program.
"Her start was like no other start I've ever seen in my 26 years of coaching," said Coronado coach Doug Hugill. "At the state championships, there were some good runners, and this may be a slight exaggeration, but it looked like she was 5 meters ahead in the first 10 meters. Her mechanics were excellent, too. I've had three sprints state champions, and she's the fastest. Character-wise, she's the best kid you'll ever find. She's just an example to everybody. She's going to do anything that she wants to do. She's the total package."
Scott will attend Baylor University 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. The selection process is administered by ESPN RISE, 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.
Scott joins recent Gatorade Colorado Girls Track & Field Athletes of the Year Emily Blok (2007-08, Conifer), Sarah Cocco (2006-07, Fairview), and Nyeisha Wright (2005-06, Widefield) among the state's list of former award winners.
For more on the Gatorade Player of the Year program, including nomination information, a list of past winners, and the announcement of the Gatorade National Player of the Year, visit gatorade.com/playeroftheyear.