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Boys' Track & Field Athlete of the Year
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David Fraser
Westfield High School in Houston, Texas

Fraser has excelled at Westfield High despite running cross country and track for only three years. He first attracted attention by qualifying for the state cross country tournament in the rugged Houston Class 5A district and region qualifying series, one of the nation's outstanding distance running regions. He went on to qualify for the state meet three years, finishing 14th in the state championships as a senior. "Athletes like David Fraser are among the success stories produced in high school athletics today," NHSCA executive director Bob Ferraro said. "He has worked extremely hard to develop his skills and has become one of the best runners not only in the state of Texas, but the entire nation, and we are proud to be honoring him."  Fraser was a standout youth baseball player prior to beginning his cross country and track career. In addition to his success in the outstanding Houston area, Fraser, who also ran the 1,600 and 3,200 meters for the Westfield High track team, competed in the prestigious Foot Locker North Carolina Juniors Race in Charlotte, N.C. and finished ninth out of 250 contestants. Also an outstanding student, Fraser ranks in the top 10 per cent of his class academically and is a member of the National Honor Society. He also owns and operates his own lawn care service company. Fraser has accepted an appointment to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., where he will continue his track career.



Alan Webb
South Lakes High School, Reston, Virginia 

"Athletes like Alan Webb are among the success stories produced in high school athletics today," NHSCA executive director Bob Ferraro said. "He has worked extremely hard to develop his skills and has become one of the best track athletes not only in the state of Virginia, but the entire nation, and we are proud to be honoring him." In January, Webb, who will attend the University of Michigan, became just the fourth runner in American high school history to run a sub-four-minute mile, in 3:59.86 at the New Balance Games in New York. It was the U.S. indoor boys record. Webb became the first American high school runner to do so since Marty Liquori in 1967. He also set the Virginia Class AAA indoor record for the 1,000-meter run.  At the Penn Relays this spring, Webb anchored South Lakes High's 4X800 meter relay team and distance medley relay teams to victory. Running the anchor leg of the 4X800, Webb's time of 1:49.1 was the fastest in the meet's 107-year history. The medley relay team's time of 9:58.66 also was a meet record and the sixth-fastest time ever recorded by an American high school team.  



Ryan Shields
Leo High School, Chicago, Illinois

"Athletes like Ryan Shields are among the success stories produced in high school athletics today," NHSCA executive director Bob Ferraro said. "He has worked extremely hard to develop his skills and has become one of the best track athletes not only in the state of Illinois, but the entire nation, and we are proud to be honoring him." A native of Jamaica, Shields was sent to Chicago to live with his father at age 9, and he overcame the culture shock and the stress of learning English to become one of the outstanding sprinters in Illinois high-school history. As a sophomore, Shields became just the second runner in state history to sweep the 100-meter, 200-meter, and 400-meter dashes, and followed that with sweeps as a junior and senior as well. Though he competed in tiny Class A, his times were faster than the winning times in the big-school Class AA competition. He helped lead Leo to the Class A state title.



Earvin Parker
Lewisville High School, Lewisville, Texas

"Earvin Parker's performance in the 100 and 200-meters this past year made the selection of him as the National High School Senior Track Athlete of the Year an obvious one ," said NHSCA executive director Bob Ferraro. Parker will begin a career at Texas Tech University after posting the nation's fastest time in the 100-meter dash as a senior at Lewisville High. Parker's time of 10.29 was over a tenth of a second faster than the next best time run by a high school athlete in 2003. Parker also turned in the nation's second-fastest time in the 200-meters, a 20.7, which was just one-hundredth of a second behind junior Xavier Carter (20.69) of Palm Bay High School in Melbourne, Florida.



Xavier Carter
Palm Bay High School, Melbourne, Florida

Carter, also a football star at wide receiver, won the 100 (10.56), 200 (20.72)and 400 meters (45.44, state record) at the Florida "AAA" state meet for second year in a row. Carter ends his prep track career with nine state titles and will now run and play football at Louisiana State University.  



Kevin Craddock
James Logan High School, Union City, California

Craddock established himself as the nation's top high school hurdler a year ago, leading James Logan High to the boys state track title by winning his second state title in the 110-meter hurdles (13.39) and adding the 300 hurdles (35.93), a race he won by more than a full second. Craddock also finished sixth in the 300 hurdles as a sophomore and seventh as a freshman, and was a finalist in the 110 hurdles his freshman year. Heading into this summer's National Junior Championships, his adjusted time of 13.74, run last July, is the best time in the event run at the Junior level in the past year, a level that also includes college freshmen. He will continue his career at UCLA.



David Klech
California High School, San Ramon, California

Some consider the 6-foot-4 Klech the most versatile track athlete to come out of California since Olympic decathlon champions Bob Mathias (1948 and 1952) and Rafer Johnson (1960). Last year, Klech won the state 300-meter hurdles title in 36.06 - the nation's second-fastest time - and finished second in the 110 hurdles and third in the long jump. He also has cleared seven feet in the high jump. In April, Klech, the Nike Indoor Championship pentathlon gold medalist this year, won the 400 hurdles in the Stanford Invitational in a state-record 50.35 - the third-fastest time by any American this year - to earn Athlete of the Week honors from American Track and Field - Athletes Only magazine. The UCLA recruit will attempt to become only the fourth Californian to win three boys events - and the first since 1967 - at the state meet next month.  



Craig Forys
Colts Neck High School, Colts Neck, New Jersey

Forys has been breaking state and national records since he began his high school career, when he established national indoor freshman records in the 1,600 and 3,200 meters. He has won six Meet of Champions individual state titles - three indoor and three outdoor - and as a junior became only the second runner ever to win both the 1,600 and 3,200 in the outdoor Meet of Champions, scoring a double title in the indoor season as well. At the West Chester (Pa.) Henderson Invitational May 4, Forys set three state records in one race - in the 3,000 meters (8:15.5), the 3,200 meters (8:46.04) and the two-mile run (8:48.99) - and he has run the nation's fastest time in all three events this year. Also the two-mile champion in the Nike Indoor Nationals in March, he will attend the University of Michigan.



Christian Taylor
Sandy Creek High School, Tyrone, Georgia

Taylor has starred on tracks from Georgia to the Czech Republic. He earned the maximum 35 team points in the Class 3A state championships for the second year in a row, leading Sandy Creek to its second straight team title. Taylor set all-class state records in the triple jump (52-6½) and the long jump (25-6), becoming the first Georgia high school athlete to clear 25 feet. He also set a 3A state record in the 400 (46.60) and anchored his team's winning 4x100 and 4x400 relays, all repeat wins. The University of Florida commitment also won all three individual events at the National Scholastic Indoor Championships. In the International Amateur Athletics Federation (IAAF) World Youth Championships, Taylor became the first American ever to win the triple jump with a final-attempt leap of 15.98 meters (52-5¼) and added the bronze medal in the long jump.



Mason Finley
Buena Vista High School, Buena Vista, Colorado

The three-time Class 3A double state champion - in the discus and the shot put - set a national high school discus record April 25 with a throw of 236 feet, 6 inches in the High Altitude Challenge at Alamosa. The 6-foot-8, 330-pound Finley, committed to UCLA, set five state meet records, and all three discus state title performances were record-setters. After finishing seventh as a freshman, a toss of 186-10 as a sophomore bettered the defending state champion by 19 feet and gave him his first title. Finley moved from Salida High to Buena Vista his junior year and set a pair of state records, throwing the discus 211-6 and the shot put 64-9½. He also took the Nike Outdoor discus title. Last weekend, Finley ended his high school career with two more state records - 214-1 in the discus and 67-10¼ in the shot put, the latter breaking not only his own 3A record, but the all-class record, which had stood for 27 years. His personal best shot put, 71-3½, is the 10th-best high school throw of all time.



Sam Crouser
Gresham High School, Gresham, Oregon

On May 1, the 6-foot-5, 240-pound Crouser set a national high school record in the javelin, unleashing a throw of 244 feet, 2 inches at the Centennial Invitational on his home field. A two-time 6A state champion in the event, Crouser set a state meet record with a throw of 239-1 as a junior. He also finished second in the shot put last year – to his cousin, Ryan Crouser, a junior and candidate for Senior Athlete of the Year honors next year – and fourth as a sophomore. Sam Crouser also finished third in the discus the past two years, and owns the nation’s best performance in that event this spring, a throw of 205 feet, 10 inches that broke Ryan’s state meet record by more than four feet. Next year, Crouser will begin a second generation of track and field tradition at the University of Oregon. His father, Dean, won three NCAA titles, and still holds the school records in the shot put and discus; his uncle, Brian Crouser, won the NCAA javelin title in 1982 for Oregon, and was a two-time Olympian in 1988 and 1992.



Gunnar Nixon
Santa Fe High School, Edmond, Oklahoma              

The 6-foot-3, 180-pound Nixon capped a record-smashing senior year by winning four events to lead Santa Fe to the 6A state team title, the school’s first since 1997. Nixon erased the oldest all-class record in the Oklahoma record book with a leap of 24-4½ to win the long jump. The previous record had stood since 1969. He also won the high jump (6-10) and swept the 110 (14.01) and 300 hurdles (37.58). No Oklahoma athlete of either gender had ever won state titles in all four events – and Nixon did it in a single state meet. It was Nixon’s second state title in the 300 hurdles – he won last year in 38.59 – and his second-place finishes in the long jump and the 110 hurdles helped Santa Fe finish second in state in 2010. A two-time winner of the decathlon in the prestigious Arcadia (Calif.) Invitational, Nixon established a national high school record in the event at Arcadia in April. Despite going scoreless in the shot put due to fouls, Nixon established personal bests in the 400 and the long jump and finished with an official total of 7,524 points, 58 more than the previous record set in 2009. His original total of 7,577 points was adjusted due to his best long jump being wind-aided. The record earned the University of Arkansas signee Athlete of the Week honors from USA Track and Field.



Jarrion Lawson
Liberty-Eylau High School, Texarkana, Texas

A two-time 3A state champion in the triple jump and the long jump, the 6-foot-1 Lawson set 3A records in both events in the state meet this spring. His winning triple jump of 51-10¼, nearly four feet better than the second-place jump, and his winning long jump of 25-8, which won by 2½ feet, were 1½” and 3½”shy of the all-class state records, respectively, and both are the longest jumps in the nation this year according to  Lawson was named the 3A Most Outstanding Athlete for the second straight year, and helped the Leopards to a third-place state finish. As a sophomore, he finished fourth in the triple jump and was part of a state champion 4x400 relay team. A three-sport athlete, Lawson earned second-team All-State honors in football as a defensive back with five interceptions, and averaged 7.1points as a guard on the basketball team. Lawson finished third in the triple jump and fifth in the long jump at the AUU Junior Olympics last summer, and he was the gold medalist in the triple jump at the AAU Junior Olympics Intermediate in 2010. Also an outstanding student, the University of Arkansas recruit is ranked No. 11 in his class.



Grant Hill
Huntsville High School, Huntsville, Alabama  

Grant Hill won two gold medals at this year’s Alabama Class 6A Track & Field Championships. Hill, who will attend the University of Alabama on a football scholarship, won the discus with a throw of 176 feet, 1 inch. Hill is ranked #2 in the nation in the discus and earlier in the season has a season-best throw of 203-7. Hill also won the 6A shot put gold medal with a mark of 54.3.75.



Trentavis Friday
Cherryville High School, Cherryville, North Carolina

Trentavis Friday captured three individual state championships and anchored his school’s gold medal winning 4X400 meter relay at the North Carolina Class 1A state championship meet. Friday captured gold in the 100, 200 and 400-meter runs. His time of 10.17 seconds in the 100 and 20.33 in the 200 were the best times in the nation this past school year. When he’s not dashing his way through the competition, Friday donates his time to the First Wesleyan Church’s feed-the-homeless initiative. Friday will attend Florida State University. Friday is the first North Carolina athlete to be honored as the NHSCA’s Boys’ Track and Field Athlete of the Year.



Chad Zallow
John F. Kennedy High School, Warren, Ohio

Chad Zallow is a two-time Ohio state champ in the 110-meter hurdles.  He also won state gold twice in the 60-meter indoor hurdles, including this year when he won with the third fastest time in United States history.  During the 2015 outdoor season, Zallow had the best time in the nation in the 110 hurdles with a time of 13.50 seconds.



Norman Grimes

Canyon High School - Canyon, Texas

While Norman Grimes scholastic career came to an end before trying to defend his UIL Class 5A 300 meter hurdles title, he still is the #1 hurdler in America.  Grimes’ suffered a hamstring injury and had to drop-out of the UIL regionals thus preventing him from qualifying for the state championships. At the 2015 World Youth Championships in Columbia, Grimes won the gold medal in the 400m hurdles. Grimes will be continuing on to Texas Tech in the fall.



Damion Thomas 

Northeast High School - Oakland Park, Florida

Damion Thomas capped an outstanding scholastic career by winning his third straight Florida 110 hurdles state title.  Thomas, who will attend LSU on a scholarship, was the No. 3-ranked sprint hurdler in the nation during the 2016-17 school year. Thomas, who was named Gatorade’s Track and Field Athlete of Year as a junior and a senior, also won a silver medal at the New Balance Indoor Nationals, plus won the sprint hurdles at the 2017 Texas Relays with a time of 13.43 seconds.  Thomas holds the 14 and 15-year old age group national record in the 110 hurdles. Thomas is the second athlete from Florida to win the NHSCA Senior Boys’ Track and Field Athlete of the Year Award.  Xavier Carter of Palm Bay High School won the award in 2004. 



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