Skyline’s Kasen Williams was named the Gatorade Washington Boys Track and Field Athlete of the Year Thursday.
Here is the press release:
CHICAGO (June 23, 2011) — In its 26th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with ESPN RISE, today announced Kasen Williams of Skyline High School as its 2010-11 Gatorade Washington Boys Track & Field Athlete of the Year. Williams is the first Gatorade Washington Boys Track & Field Athlete of the Year to be chosen from Skyline 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 Williams as Washington’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, Williams joins an elite alumni association of state award-winners in 12 sports, including Ryan Hall (1999-01, Big Bear HS, Calif.), Meb Keflezighi (1993-94, San Diego HS, Calif.), Derek Jeter (1991-92, Kalamazoo HS, Mich.), Candace Parker (2001-02, Naperville Central HS, Ill.), Mark Sanchez (2004-05, Mission Viejo HS, Calif.) and Lolo Jones (1997-98, Roosevelt HS, Ia.).
The 2010-11 Gatorade Washington Football Player of the Year this past fall as a wide receiver and safety, the 6-foot-2, 210-pound senior swept the jump events the high jump, long jump and triple jump at the Class 4A state meet this spring, leading the Spartans to fifth place as a team. Williams won the triple jump with a leap of 50 feet, 9.25 inches, which ranked as the nation’s No. 3 distance among prep competitors in 2011 at the time of his selection. Williams captured the long jump with a 24-5.25 effort and cleared 6-10 in the high jump, one inch short of his season-best height. He ranked among the nation’s top 20 in both events entering the USA Track & Field Junior Outdoor Championships.
Williams has maintained a 3.10 GPA in the classroom. He has volunteered locally as a peer tutor and as a youth sports coach and referee.
“I was surprised to see the kind of athleticism and raw jumping ability in a young man of Kasen’s size,” said Bryan Clay, the 2008 Olympic gold medalist in the decathlon, who has coached Williams. “What’s even rarer is that in an age of specialization, this young man has achieved All-American status and consideration in two very demanding sports. His accomplishments speak for themselves.”
Williams has signed a National Letter of Intent to compete on an athletic scholarship at the University of Washington beginning this fall, where he will play football and suit up for the track and field team.
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 ESPN RISE 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.
Williams joins recent Gatorade Washington Boys Track & Field Athletes of the Year Derek Eager (2009-10, Tahoma), Shane Moskowitz (2008-09, Central Kitsap), and Miles Unterreiner (2007-08, Gig Harbor) among the state’s list of former award winners.