PATRIOT HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT-ATHLETE NAMED GATORADE VIRGINIA GIRLS TRACK & FIELD PLAYER OF THE YEAR
CHICAGO (June 22, 2017) — In its 32nd year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, today announced Rachel McArthur of Patriot High School as its 2016-17 Gatorade Virginia Girls Track & Field Athlete of the Year. McArthur is the first Gatorade Virginia Girls Track & Field Athlete of the Year to be chosen from Patriot 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 McArthur as Virginia’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, McArthur 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 5-foot-9 senior set a state record in winning the 800-meter run at the Group 6A state meet this past season, leading the Pioneers to a seventh-place finish as a team. McArthur broke the tape in the 800 in 2:05.42, which ranked as the nation’s No. 3 performance among prep competitors this spring at the time of her selection.
Her 1,600 clocking of 4:41.67 at the Group 6A North Region meet set a state record and was No. 1 in the country at the time of her selection. She won the national championship in the 800 at the 2017 New Balance Nationals Indoor with a time of 2:06.08—the No. 9 indoor time in prep history.
A talented artist, McArthur creates artwork for area shows. She has volunteered locally as a youth track coach. “Throughout 2017, Rachel has proven time and time again that she is the most dominant athlete in whatever event she runs,” said Mike Feldman, head coach of Osbourn Park High. “In a state where there are stars on the track and in the field, Rachel McArthur’s star shines brightest.”
McArthur has maintained a 3.25 GPA in the classroom. She has signed a national letter of intent to compete on an athletic scholarship at Villanova University beginning 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.
McArthur joins recent Gatorade Virginia Girls Track & Field Athletes of the Year Brandee' Johnson (2015-16, Nansemond River High School), Titiana Marsh (2014-15, Thomas Dale High School), Chantel Ray (2013-14, Hampton High School), Felecia Majors (2012-13, South County High School), Megan Moye (2011-12, Cosby High School), Desmonae Gray (2010–11, Western Branch High School), Kathleen Stevens (2009-10, Blacksburg High School), Marlena Wesh (2008–09, Landstown High School), Natalie Baird (2007-08, Park View High School), and Catherine White (2006-07, NortHigh Schoolide High School) among the state’s list of former award winners.
As a Gatorade Player of the Year, Rachel 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.
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.