FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CHICAGO (June 24, 2019) - In its 34th year of honoring the nation's best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company today announced Kenneth Wei of Mount Sinai High School as its 2018 -19 Gatorade New York Boys Track & Field Athlete of the Year. Wei is the first Gatorade New York Boys Track & Field Athlete of the Year to be chosen from Mount Sinai 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 Wei as New York'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, Wei 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, Cali f.), 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-1, 175-pound senior won three individual events at the Division 2 state meet this past season. Wei soared 23 feet, three inches in the long jump, leapt 46-10 to capture the triple jump, and also broke the tape in the 110-meter high hurdles with a time of 13.86 seconds. The Federation championships gold medalist in the long jump (24 -3) and the triple jump (48 -0.75) as well, he took sixth in the long jump at the New Balance Nationals Outdoor to earn All-American honors.
A talented pianist and president of his class, Wei has served as a teaching assistant in a Mandarin class and has volunteered locally on behalf of Athletes Helping Athletes. "Kenneth is a once-in-a-lifetime student-athlete," said Mount Sinai coach Eric Giorlando. "He's never satisfied and always working to improve. He leads his team not only in points and marks, but in attitude, dedication and balance."
Wei has maintained an A average in the classroom. He will attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology this fall, where he will compete in track and field.
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. From the 12 national winners, one male and one female athlete are each named Gatorade High School Athlete of the Year. In all, 607 athletes are honored each year.
Wei joins recent Gatorade New York Boys Track & Field Athletes of the Year Jeremiah Willis (2017- 18, Cicero-North Syracuse High School), Daniel Claxton (2016-17, Smithtown High School East), Rayvon Grey (2015-16, Beacon High School), Rai Benjamin (2014- 15, Mount Vernon High School) and Benjamin Bonhurst (2013- 14, Smithtown High School West) among the state's list of former award winners.
As a part of Gatorade's cause marketing platform "Play it Forward," Wei also has the opportunity to award a $1,000 grant to a local or national youth sports organization of her choosing. She is also eligible to submit an essay to win one of twelve $10,000 spotlight grants for the organization of choice, which will be announced throughout the year.
Since the program's inception in 1985, Gatorade Play er 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.
To learn more about the Gatorade Player of the Year program, check out pas t winners or to nominate student -athletes, visit www.Gatorade.com /POY, on Facebook at www.facebook.com /GatoradePOY or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Gatorade.