CHICAGO — In its 33rd year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, today announced Mayson Conner of York High School as its 2017-18 Gatorade Nebraska Boys Track & Field Athlete of the Year. Conner is the first Gatorade Nebraska Boys Track & Field Athlete of the Year to be chosen from York 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 Conner as Nebraska’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, Conner joins an elite alumni association of state track & field award winners, including Lolo Jones (1997-98, Roosevelt High School, Iowa), Allyson Felix (2002-03, Los Angeles Baptist High School, Calif.), Robert Griffin III (2006-07, Copperas Cove High School, Texas), Grant Fisher (2013-14 & 2014-15, Grand Blanc High School, Mich.) and Candace Hill (2014-15, Rockdale County High School, Ga.).
The 6-foot-5, 180-pound senior won the all-class title in the high jump as the Dukes took fifth at the Class B State Championships this past season. While his clearance of 7 feet, 0.25 inches was a new Class B state record, Conner’s personal-best effort came at April’s Holdrege Invitational, where he leapt 7-2.25. That mark ranked Conner No. 5 in the country among prep competitors in 2018 at the time of his selection. At June’s USATF Junior Outdoor Championships, Conner took seventh with a jump of 6-8.75. The 2018 New Balance Nationals Indoor champion with a leap of 7-1.75,
Conner finished his high school career having won 22 consecutive high-school-only meets in the high jump.
A National Honor Society member, Conner has volunteered locally as a youth flag football coach and with the Special Olympics. He has also donated his time on behalf of multiple community service activities through the First United Methodist Church. “Mayson Conner was unbelievable,” said Brandon Harrington, head coach at Northwest High. “An amazing competitor and a really good kid. He was fun to watch and York did a great job with him. I give him my full
Conner has maintained a 95.33 average in the classroom. He has signed a national letter of intent to compete in track and field at the University of Nebraska 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 Player of the Year Selection Committee, 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.
Conner joins recent Gatorade Nebraska Boys Track & Field Athletes of the Year Seth Hirsch (2016-17, Millard West High School), K.J. Cotton (2015-16 & 2014-15, Papillion-La Vista High School), Kenzo Cotton (2013-14, 2012-13 & 2011-12, Papillion-La Vista High School), Ted Lampkin (2010–11 & 2009-10, Omaha Central High School), Mitchell Hunt (2008–09, Fremont High School), Brett Maher (2007-08, Kearney High School), and Lukas Hulett (2006-07, Bellevue East High School) among the state’s list of former award winners.
As a Gatorade Player of the Year, Conner will be able to select a national or local youth sports organization to receive a grant as part of the Gatorade Play It Forward program. Every Gatorade Player of the Year state winner receives a $1,000 grant to donate and will have the opportunity to enter for an additional $10,000 spotlight grant by writing a brief essay explaining why their selected organization deserves additional support. 12 spotlight grants – one for each sport – will be announced throughout the year.
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