JULIETTE WHITTAKER NAMED 2021-22 GATORADE NATIONAL GIRLS TRACK AND FIELD PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Published: Jul. 6, 2022 at 5:35 PM EDT

CATONSVILLE, Md., July 6, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- In its 37th year of honoring the nation's most elite high school athletes, Gatorade today announced Juliette Whittaker of Mount de Sales Academy in Catonsville, Md. is the 2021-22 Gatorade National Girls Track and Field Player of the Year. Whittaker won the prestigious award for her accomplishments on and off the field, joining an impressive group of former Gatorade National Girls Track and Field Players of the Year who have combined for 71 gold medals and 34 National Championships.

Whittaker was surprised with the trophy by her family, coaches and teammates at school. Check out a video of the announcement here.

The award, which recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field, distinguishes Whittaker as the nation's best high school girls track and field player. The Gatorade Player of the Year Selection Committee, which leverages experts including coaches, scouts, media and others to evaluate candidates, selected Whittaker from more than half a million other student-athletes who compete in girls track and field nationwide.

Competition for the national award was fierce. Whittaker topped the list of state winners in girls track and field who collectively boast an incredible list of accomplishments, including 26 who are committed to Division 1 colleges and universities, 12 returning state Gatorade Players of the Year and 35 with a GPA of 3.75 and above.

"Juliette Whittaker had already established herself as one of the elite middle-distance athletes in U.S. prep history by advancing to the 800-meter semifinals at last year's Olympic Trials," said Erik Boal, an editor for DyeStat. "But following her mile victory at June's Brooks PR Invitational and a pair of sub-two minute efforts in the 800 during this past outdoor season—capped by her national high school record performance at the USATF U20 Championships in Oregon—she has elevated herself into the ranks of the all-time greatest high school competitors, regardless of gender or event. She is poised to make a significant impact at Stanford as the leader of one of the deepest recruiting classes in that program's history."

The 5-foot-8 senior set a meet record in the 800-meter run at June's USATF U20 Outdoor Championships, clocking a 1:59.04 to shave nearly a half-second off the previous high school record, set in 2013. The state's returning Gatorade Player of the Year in girls track and field, Whittaker also ran four of the U.S. Top-50 prep times from 400 meters to a mile in 2022, including the seventh-fastest mile in girls high school history. In addition, she broke the tape in the 800, 1600 and 3200 at the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland championships, leading her team to the title.

The president of her class, Whittaker has volunteered locally at a soup kitchen and as a peer tutor.

Whittaker has maintained a weighted 4.46 GPA in the classroom. She has signed a National Letter of Intent to compete on an athletic scholarship at Stanford University this fall.

"Sports make a powerful difference in the lives of student-athletes, teaching lifelong lessons and skills such as teamwork, dedication and self-confidence," said Gatorade Chief Marketing Officer Kalen Thornton. "Juliette Whittaker exemplifies the positive impact sports can have on a person and their broader community, and we welcome her to the Gatorade Player of the Year family."

Each year, a selection committee evaluates the nation's top talent to choose one state winner from each of the 50 states as well as Washington D.C., 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. In all, 608 athletes are honored each year. From the pool of state winners, one national winner is selected in each of the 12 sports.

Gatorade has a long-standing history of serving athlete communities and understands how sports instill valuable lifelong skills on and off the field. 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, Jayson Tatum, Elena Delle Donne 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 playeroftheyear.gatorade.com or follow us on social media on Facebook at facebook.com/GatoradePOY, Instagram at instagram.com/Gatorade and Twitter at twitter.com/Gatorade.

PREVIOUS GATORADE NATIONAL GIRLS TRACK AND FIELD PLAYER OF THE YEAR WINNERS

YEAR

NAME

HOMETOWN

STATUS

2020-21

Roisin Willis

Stevens Point, WI

High School Senior

2019-20

Taylor Ewert

Beavercreek, OH

University of Arkansas

2018-19

Jasmine Moore

Mansfield, TX

University of Florida

2017-18

Katelyn Touhy

Thiells, NY

North Carolina State University

2016-17

Sydney McLaughlin

Scotch Plains, NJ

US Women's Track and Field Team

2015-16

Sydney McLaughlin

Scotch Plains, NJ

US Women's Track and Field Team

2014-15

Candace Hill

Conyers, GA

Asics

2013-14

Raven Saunders

Charleston, SC

US Women's Track and Field Team

2012-13

Kendell Williams

Marietta, GA

US Women's Track and Field Team

2011-12

Shelbi Vaughan

Mansfield, TX

Threw for Texas A&M University

2010-11

Amy Weissenbach

Studio City, CA

Ran for Stanford University

2009-10

Ashton Purvis

Oakland, CA

Ran for Texas A&M University

2008-09

Anna Jelmini

Shafter, CA

Threw for Arizona State University

2007-08

Chanelle Price

Easton, PA

Ran for University of Tennessee

2006-07

Emily Pendleton

Lindsey, OH

Ran for University of Michigan

2005-06

Bianca Knight

Ridgeland, MS

Ran for University of Texas, Austin

2004-05

Brittany Daniels

Tracy, CA

Ran for University of Tennessee

2003-04

Shalonda Solomon

Inglewood, CA

Retired from US Women's Track and Field Team

2002-03

Allyson Felix

North Hills, CA

US Women's Track and Field Team

2001-02

Sanya Richards-Ross

Fort Lauderdale, FL

Retired from US Track and Field Team

2000-01

Ychlindria Spears

Luling, TX

Ran for University of Texas, Austin

1999-00

Monique Henderson

San Diego, CA

Retired from US Women's Track and Field Team

1998-99

Stacy Martin

Ellettsville, IN

Ran for Auburn University

1997-98

Angela Williams

Chino, CA

Retired from US Women's Track and Field Team

1996-97

Kinshasa Davis

Carson, CA

Ran for University of Southern California

1995-96

Kim Mortensen

Thousand Oaks, CA

Ran for University of California, Los Angeles

1994-95

Joanna Hayes

Riverside, CA

Retired from US Women's Track and Field Team

1993-94

Suzy Powell-Roos

Modesto, CA

Retired from US Women's Track and Field Team

1992-93

Marion Jones

Thousand Oaks, CA

Retired from US Women's Track and Field Team

1991-92

Marion Jones

Thousand Oaks, CA

Retired from US Women's Track and Field Team

1990-91

Marion Jones

Thousand Oaks, CA

Retired from US Women's Track and Field Team

1989-90

Melissa Weis

Bakersfield, CA

Retired from US Women's Track and Field Team

1988-89

Angela Burnham

Oxnard, CA

Ran for University of California, Los Angeles

1987-88

Chryste Gaines

Dallas, TX

Retired from US Women's Track and Field Team

1986-87

Janeene Vickers

Pomona, CA

Retired from US Women's Track and Field Team

1985-86

Yolanda Johnson

Denver, CO

Ran for Colorado State University

About Gatorade

The Gatorade Company, a division of PepsiCo (NASDAQ: PEP), meets the needs of consumers who participate in sports and fitness, through brands that include Gatorade, Propel, Muscle Milk, and Evolve. The solutions they provide are driven by a deep understanding of the unique occasions and needs across athletic activity. Gatorade, their marquee brand, is underpinned by a 56-year history of studying the best athletes in the world, and sports nutrition research by the Gatorade Sport Science Institute, allowing it to provide scientifically formulated products that meet athletes' needs both on and off the field. For more information and a full list of products, please visit www.gatorade.com.

About PepsiCo

PepsiCo products are enjoyed by consumers more than one billion times a day in more than 200 countries and territories around the world. PepsiCo generated more than $79 billion in net revenue in 2021, driven by a complementary beverage and convenient foods portfolio that includes Lay's, Doritos, Cheetos, Gatorade, Pepsi-Cola, Mountain Dew, Quaker, and SodaStream. PepsiCo's product portfolio includes a wide range of enjoyable foods and beverages, including many iconic brands that generate more than $1 billion each in estimated annual retail sales.

Guiding PepsiCo is our vision to Be the Global Leader in Beverages and Convenient Foods by Winning with PepsiCo Positive (pep+). pep+ is our strategic end-to-end transformation that puts sustainability at the center of how we will create value and growth by operating within planetary boundaries and inspiring positive change for planet and people. For more information, visit www.pepsico.com.

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