MATTHEW BOLING NAMED 2018-19 GATORADE® NATIONAL BOYS TRACK AND FIELD PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Gatorade Presents Winner with Honor in Front of Family, Friends and Teammates
Houston, Texas. [June 26, 2019] – In its 34th year of honoring the nation’s most elite high school athletes, The Gatorade Company today announced Matthew Boling of Strake Jesuit College Preparatory in Houston, Texas as the 2018-19 Gatorade National Boys Track and Field Athlete of the Year. Boling won the award for his accomplishments on and off the track, joining a group of Gatorade National Boys Track and Field Athlete of the Year awardees that have gone on to have incredible success – in fact, they’ve produced a combined 36 gold medals and six National Championships.
Boling was surprised with the trophy surrounded by teammates, friends, family and coaches at his 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 Boling as the nation’s best high school boys track and field athlete. A national advisory panel comprised of sport-specific experts and sports journalists help select Boling from more than 600,000 high school boys track & field athletes nationwide. Boling is now a finalist for the most prestigious award in high school sports, the Gatorade Male High School Athlete of the Year award, which is announced at a special ceremony prior to The ESPY Awards in July.
“Last year’s Gatorade National Boys Track & Field Athlete of the Year Anthony Schwartz is a tough act to follow, but Matthew Boling was definitely up to the challenge,” said Erik Boal, editor for DyeStat. “He soared into the spotlight an exceptional long jump performance in March, surpassing 26 feet at the Texas Relays, and continued to captivate crowds throughout the state over the next six weeks, both on the track and the jumps runway. Although he garnered the most national attention for running a wind-aided 9.98 seconds in the 100-meter dash, perhaps his most impressive effort this season was rallying the Strake Jesuit 4x400 relay to the Texas 6A state title with a blistering, 44.75-second anchor leg that sent the crowd into a frenzy.”
The 6-foot, 162-pound senior won the 100-meter dash at the Class 6A state meet this past season with a time of 10.13 seconds, which ranked as the nation’s No. 1 performance among prep competitors in 2019 at the time of his selection. The clocking represents the fifth-fastest 100 in U.S. high school history and is No. 2 in the world among Under-20 competitors. Boling also won the long jump with a leap of 25 feet, 4.5 inches and anchored the victorious 4x400 relay quartet in 3:10.56. His wind-aided, personal-best effort of 9.98 in the 100 this April was the fastest all-conditions time ever by an American high school athlete. It’s also the sixth-fastest wind-aided time in the world among men of all ages. Boling’s season- and personal-best long jump of 26-3.5 ranked No. 2 in the nation this season and is also the U-20 world No. 2. The leap ranks eighth in American prep history.
Boling has served as a counselor at a camp for children with disabilities and has volunteered locally on behalf of Athletes Taking Action, shoe-donation drives for youth athletes in need and hurricane relief efforts, in addition to several other charitable endeavors. Boling has maintained a 4.23 GPA in the classroom. He has signed a National Letter of Intent to compete in track and field on scholarship at the University of Georgia beginning this fall.
“Matthew Boling was selected for his outstanding accomplishments on and off the track,” said Gatorade Senior Vice President and General Manager Brett O’Brien. “Like past Gatorade National Player of the Year recipients, we look forward to seeing Matthew have continued success in sports and in life.”
Through Gatorade’s cause marketing platform “Play it Forward,” Boling has the opportunity to award a $1,000 grant to a local or national youth sports organization of his choosing. He is also eligible to submit an essay to win one of twelve $10,000 spotlight grants for the organization of choice, which will be announced throughout the year.
Each year a selection committee evaluates the nation’s top talent in the District of Columbia and all 50 states, choosing national winners in 12 different sports: football, girls volleyball, boys and girls cross country, boys and girls basketball, baseball, softball, boys and girls soccer, and boys and girls track & field. From the 12 national winners, one male and one female athlete are each named Gatorade High School Athlete of the Year.
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. Previous winners include a distinguished list of athletes, such as Peyton Manning, Abby Wambach, Karl-Anthony Towns, Derek Jeter and many other sports icons. To learn more about the Gatorade Player of the Year program, check out past winners or to nominate student-athletes, visit www.Gatorade.com/POY
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PREVIOUS GATORADE NATIONAL BOYS TRACK AND FIELD ATHLETE OF THE YEAR WINNERS