Anna Jefferson named Gatorade Michigan T&F "Player of the Year"

Anna Jefferson named Gatorade Michigan T&F "Player of the Year"

Provided by Lauren Rollins, Gatorade POY Program. Photos by RunMichigan.com.

OAK PARK HIGH SCHOOL HIGH SCHOOL STANDOUT NAMED
GATORADE MICHIGAN GIRLS TRACK & FIELD ATHLETE OF THE YEAR


CHICAGO (June 19, 2014) — In its 29th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with USA TODAY High School Sports, today announced Anna Jefferson of Oak Park High School as its 2013-14 Gatorade Michigan Girls Track & Field Athlete of the Year. Jefferson is the first Gatorade Michigan Girls Track & Field Athlete of the Year to be chosen from Oak Park 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 Jefferson as Michigan’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, Jefferson 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.).

The 5-foot-4 sophomore won the 400-meter run in a state-record 53.50 seconds at the Division I state meet this spring, leading the Knights to the championship as a team. Jefferson also finished second in the 200-meter dash and led two relay teams to titles, the 4x100 squad in 47.35 seconds and the 4x200 with a time of 1:38.15. Her state championship time in the 400 ranked as the nation’s No. 7 performance among prep competitors in 2014 at the time of her selection. Jefferson also finished fifth in the 400 at the New Balance Nationals Outdoor championships.

Jefferson has maintained a 3.71 GPA in the classroom. She has volunteered locally on behalf of youth track programs. “Anna had a remarkable season and led us to the first Division 1 state title in school history,” said Oak Park coach Brandon Jiles. “She’s an excellent student with a tremendous work ethic and a huge desire to get better each season.” Jefferson will begin her junior 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 the Gatorade high school sports leadership team in partnership with USA TODAY High School Sports, 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.

Jefferson joins recent Gatorade Michigan Girls Track & Field Athletes of the Year Hannah Meier (2012-13, 2011-12 & 2010-11, Grosse Pointe South High School), Megan Goethals (2009-10 & 2008–09, Rochester), Ariel Roberts (2007-08, Pioneer), and Mary Angell (2006-2007, Byron Center) among the state’s list of former award winners.

To keep up to date on the latest happenings, become a fan of Gatorade Player of the Year on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. For more on the Gatorade Player of the Year program, including nomination information, a complete list of past winners and the announcement of the Gatorade National Player of the Year, visit www.gatorade.com/poy.

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